Scumbag of the Year 2015: Call for nominations

ScumIt’s that magical time of year again. Where we gather with our closet friends and family for food, drinks and to swap stories about the scumbag employers making our lives miserable. As per tradition, we at RankandFile.ca take this time of year to bestow our coveted Scumbag of The Year award on the one special piece of human filth employer or politician whose actions made workers’ lives hell in 2015.

The Rules

In the comment section below, let us know who you think are the year’s worst bosses, scumbag politicians and right-wing hacks. There are plenty of scumbags around the world, so please limit it to Canada. We will compile a top ten list by the end of next week and you our readers will choose in an online poll the winner of our Scumbag of the Year award.

Submissions: Nominate your candidate in the comment section below. Tell us why they deserve to Scumbag of the Year. Nominations close on December 17, 2015.

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34 thoughts on “Scumbag of the Year 2015: Call for nominations

  1. I nominate Sara Thomas and Mike Hachey, (former) owners of Egg Films Inc.

    In history’s pantheon of megalomaniacs, they are truly supreme. Their antics include, but are not limited to:

    -fighting their company’s certification by IATSE all the way to being denied leave to appeal by the Supreme Court

    -speaking out in the media about the “bias” of the Labour Board and specific Board members, including the esteemed Bruce Archibald

    -creating a website attacking the certification and the Labour Board

    -blatantly bargaining in bad faith, attempting to negotiate a contract that would have a scope covering none of their employees

    -illegally locking out workers, contributing to the death of creative industries in Nova Scotia (which was compounded by the Liberals destroying the Film Tax Credit and then allowing a 17% tuition increase at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design)

    -engaging in a social media campaign via Twitter and Facebook, where they repeatedly admitted to bargaining in bad faith

    -holding their own Ted-style talk (where they actually had a choreographed script that included the two finishing each others’ sentences)

    -after a resounding decision by the Board, saying,”it’s spoiled grapes and the board is pissed off we stood up to them.”

    When it comes to scumbaggery, these two truly ar some of the best!

  2. I nominate Justice Herman Wilton-Siegal, the judge who sided with US Steel and decided to suspend health care benefits to 20,000+ USW pensioners and their families.

  3. I’d like to nominate the entire Liberal cabinet in BC, who have triple-deleted public records and tried to expunge their misuse of public funds from official records. Christy Clark has overseen the institution of a culture of political deceit, public sector austerity and an attempt to re-position the economy towards environmentally destructive resource extraction.

    1. I will have to second this nomination, this man has to go. He has single handedly attempted to destroy Canada Post. For those not in the know, this Deepak is not the renown own, but a poser with the same name…

  4. I nominate the University of Toronto for treating their graduate students like garbage during, before and after they took legal strike action and for contributing to a toxic and harmful work environment.

    1. I’m going to second this nomination, especially in light of the fact of the recent dispute that CUPE3902 has had to bring to the Ontario Labour Relations board.

  5. I nominate the University of Toronto. The University engaged in antagonistic negotiation with the graduate students’ union (CUPE 3902), refusing to meet, and demanding ultimatums. During the subsequent strike, after negotiations had failed, the University led campaign of misinformation against its graduate student body. The strike ended in arbitration that created a fund to be administrated by the union and dispersed to graduate students with minimum funding. After dragging its feet on meeting the terms of the arbitration, it was discovered that the information the University had provided in order to calculate the value of that fund was grossly inaccurate, ad that it had been negotiating in bad faith all along. The union has now filed a grievance with the labour board against the University.

  6. Shane Smith runs a company called Vice. Like the name suggests he is the Temple Grandin of journalists, writers and meta-magical thinkers.

    Besides actually killing humans by hand he is simply “the worst.”

    He isn’t even a phony. It’s all bad. Even his persona sucks.

  7. I also nominate the University of Toronto for not only treating employees like garbage but also encouraging scabbing as well as tricking mediation and lying. It takes some of Canada’s greatest minds to artfully and seamlessly exploit their employees as deeply as U of T does!

  8. Western University’s scandal-addled president, Amit Chakma, and his cronies, the Board of Governors headed by Chirag Shah. It’s champagne and caviar levied from tuition fees for these scumbags as Western’s contract faculty struggle to barely make ends meet. They also have it out for non-STEM departments – you know, the ones that might get students thinking critically about their world. Their strategy is right out of the Mont Pelerin Society’s playbook.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/amit-chakma-western-university-president-earned-924k-last-year-1.3012070

  9. I will also nominate the University of Toronto, specifically Cheryl Regehr and Meric Gertler for all the reasons mentioned above. Specifically, they dragged their employees (who are also their students) through the mud in a vicious campaign painting us as greedy and entitled. This lead to a culture of fear and hatred directed towards TAs in our 2015 strike; we received online threats and picket lines felt unsafe, with multiple incidents of antagonism .

  10. I also nominate the University of Toronto – for lying, bargaining in bad faith, smearing its workers, facilitating scabbing, refusing to allow workers into management offices to hold talks, and giving themselves bumper salary raises after arguing throughout a month-long strike that poor people should stay poor.

  11. Hard to choose just one scumbag worthy of distinction given the elite’s various sustained and organized assaults on the public good and working people and students this past year. That said, I think the University of Toronto’s admin. deserve special recognition for their brutal and dishonest bargaining tactics and for their disdain for the legitimate grievances of graduate students struggling to balance academic and teaching and research obligations with a decent life outside of school, without sinking too far into debt.

  12. Is this even a contest?

    Stephen Harper and the entire conservative party have got to be the number 1 scumbag(s) of the year!

    The combination of their hatred of democracy, parliament, the public, openness, unions etc, and the amount of power they were given, makes them not only the worst scumbags to run the country and set policy but the worst scumbags with the power needed to really wreck the middle class of Canada.

  13. RSU president Andrea Bartlett who unjustly terminated a worker by phone while the worker was on maternity leave. The worker is being replaced by Andrea’s former colleague from the Ryerson/Ted Rogers Commerce society. Nothing says Merry Xmas to a new mom like a kick in the teeth. Definitely a contender for scumbag of the year.

  14. A year in the life of working at U of T:

    1) January 2015 – U of T refuses to meet with the Union it’s bargaining with and has to be ordered by a provincial mediator to provide bargaining dates
    2) Feb 2015 – U of T tries to personally sue an Union executive officer because of a video in which they saw “him” clapping and cheering when a contract offer was rejected. When the video was finally supplied, it was . . . someone else.
    3) Feb-Mar – During a 4-week strike, U of T hires scabs, cancels strikers’ work, pressures professors and admin staff to take on strikers’ work for no pay and never once meets with the Union.
    4) Feb-Mar — U of T Provost Cheryl Regehr takes to the airwaves to argue that Union members, nearly all of whom live below the poverty line, are too rich to be on strike. During repeated marches to her office and requests for her to address the striking workers herself, she never comes out and never once speaks to workers or anyone from the Union.
    5) April 2015 – Just days after the end of the strike, which was over tiny percentage increases for low-wage workers, Provost Cheryl Regehr and President Meric Gertler both take salary increases of over 20%.
    6) September 2015 – It turns out that U of T believes that its “funding commitment” to graduate students includes every penny of T4 income they earn, including jobs they pick up 100% on their own initiative and even including shit like reimbursement for conference travel. None of this was made clear during the strike, when U of T gave the Union data about funding commitments on which the Union relied to settle the strike. In fact, they deliberately lied and labeled the data with the phrase “original funding commitment as distinct from net income.”
    7) Present – U of T joins the exceedingly rare company of scumbag employers who have to be brought under bad-faith bargaining charges AFTER the end of bargaining. That’s because few employers actually have the gall to lie, and cover up the lie for months, in order to settle a contract.

  15. I nominate former Treasury Board president Tony Clement for assisting in bringing down the morale of the entire public service with his “opinion based facts” and allowing us to lose pride in the work we are supposed to do. He and #Harperman get my votes!

  16. I nominate the Conservative Party of Canada and the Senate. The criminal senate backed them while they created the largest deficit in Canadian history without benefiting Canadians. The corruption and criminal activities was so great in many countries it would have caused a coup, major arrests, etc., or even assassinations. I guess we truly are social compared to other countries after what had been done without violence.

  17. Alberta farmers. These scumbags are fighting a bill (Bill 6) that would extend occupational health and safety legislation to cover farm workers in that province. The right-wing in Alberta is rallying around a movement that has gone so far as to threaten the premier’s life. Farm owners are true reactionaries and certainly worthy of the scumbag of the year award.

    http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/albertans-keep-threatening-to-kill-premier-rachel-notley

    http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/farmers-organize-convoy-from-carstairs-to-olds-to-challenge-bill-6-1.2693932

  18. Target and Target’s former and current CEO who went out with boat loads of money while they shit canned 25,000 workers this year.

  19. I’d like to nominate, for a second year in a row, David Marshall, president and CEO of the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

    Marshall will be leaving his post in February, 2016 to be a special advisor on auto insurance and pensions (because the two are so related?) to Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa. Marshall has overseen the WSIB’s nickle-and-diming of injured workers. The WSIB has been ignoring the assessments of qualified doctors and forcing workers back to work under dangerous conditions, and failing to properly compensate and protect them. His five year contract, now cut short, would have exceeded $2.4 million, while workers’ benefits have been dramatically slashed.

    And with his upcoming post, It’s terrifying what this man could do to the pension system. Let’s give him a proper sendoff with the Scumbag of the Year award. God knows Wynne will be lavishly celebrating his years of damage at the WSIB.

  20. I would like to nominate Warren (Smokey) Thomas for being the worst President/leader of OPSEU!

    He not only does not give a damn about his members. He abuses nepotism, hires cute waitresses (instead of members), hand picks favourites and threatens his executive committee to not go against his ways or he will not grant any more favours.

    He has fear mongered all the so-called activists into following the masses (even when the masses are asses and make bad choices) or they too will be cut off from OPSEU opportunities.

    He has created a cult of followers with very few real activists left that stand up for the union and the people!

    OPSEU SUCKS! We need new leadership desperately! Smokey is not a leader, he’s a control freak with bargaining chips to get the OPSEU opportunists to follow like sheep!!

    Let’s not even talk about him ruining our relationship with the OFL! That speaks for itself!

    1. I’d have to agree with the above…he truly is a waste of our time. Once this contract is settled, I’m sure he will be out the door. I think he likes the government more than he likes his members!

  21. Linda Knight, CEO of Carepartners, a for-profit community care organization fully funded by the Ontario government. Linda kept community nurses on strike from April-Dec. of this year – and wanted to make them pay for the EMPLOYER’s portion of the new Ontario Pension Plan on top of their own portion – because of course, they don’t have pensions. Scumbag extraordinaire.

  22. Corrections officer

    Reply

    I nominate deb matthews who ran the ontario health and long term care sector into the ground with the Ornge scandal. Then got moved to the head of the treasure board. Her and yasir naqvi have ignored the safety aNd needs of cos for years and now after years and years of hiring freezes aNd wage freezes are trying to continue to do the same again. People have been taken hostage, major fires have erupted at numerous jails, mold outbreaks, assaults on officers are at an all-time high, officers are being bullied by management with no recourse, the jails are overcrowding because the gov refuses to address the growing mental health isues, not to mention the rise in weapons, disturbances and lockdowns. Correctional officers are the lowest paid emergency service/law enforcement employees in the country. They are paid several thousand less than TTC bus drivers and the employees who check tickets on the go train. Many people are either attempting to transfer or quit and go elsewhere. Yasir naqvi and Deb Matthews of the neglectful, shameful and incompetent liberal government is my vote

  23. I nominate Stephnie Payne – the Executive Director of San Romanoway Revitalization Association. She shut down a popular music program helping the youth of jane and finch because the workers joined a union (CUPE). The union filed an unfair labour practice and the Board found that she had in fact broken the law by terminating three workers simply because they exercised their rights under the Labour Relations Act. She is small potatoes for sure; but it is particularly troubling that she continues to lead this social services agency despite having been found to have broken the law. The workers there still does not have their first contract. Payne once ran as an NDP candidate and was supported by labour when she was a school board trustee for years and then fights tooth and nail when her own staff want to unionize. I just thought this level of hypocrisy should be recognized. Can’t wait to see who ‘wins’!!!

    The Board decision is:
    http://canlii.ca/t/gjb2x

    Rabble did a few articles:
    http://rabble.ca/taxonomy/term/11890

  24. While 2016 saw a number of standout performances, I think that Michael Cooper, the CEO of the nightmarish Dream Unlimited Corporation should take the honour.

    Cooper oversees Dream Unlimited – an especially predatory $14 billion real estate giant. In 2015, a notable Dream subsdiary, Dream Office REIT, distinguished itself in anti-social behaviour by, according to a legal statement of claim, having the cleaning service sub-contractor at several Bay St office towers scam a group of cleaners out of past wages owing, and actually paid these workers less than the legal minimum wage. SEIU Local 2 and other worker activists organized several support rallies for these workers – more on this available here:
    http://justiceforjanitors.ca/2015/10/30/janitors-and-supporters-rally-on-bay-st/

    Michael Cooper and Dream Office REIT have, to date, completely ignored these concerns and the lives of these workers.

    But that’s not all. Cooper’s Dream Unlimited Corporation, together with the despicable Windmill Development Group, launched a $1.2 billion condo mega-project on a plot of unceded and uniquely sacred Algonquin land on the Ottawa River. Strong and clearly expressed opposition from nine Algonquin First Nations as well as many non-indigenous residents of the region has been completely ignored by both Dream Unlimited and Windmill, who see enormous profits available, so long as their critics can be silenced or ignored. Colonialism is resurgent in Ottawa, thanks in no small part to Michael Cooper.

    Cooper keeps ugly company on the Dream Board of Directors. Top Board cronies include Ned Goodman, the real estate billionaire and Fraser Institute Director who calls Cooper his “fifth son”, and Richard Gateman, a VP from pipeline giant TransCanada PipeLines. Anyone with friends like this is very bad news.

    To top it all off, Michael Cooper is pals around on the philanthrocapitalist circuit with the wretched Ben Mulroney, son of former Conservative PM Brian. Michael liked the entertainment-gossip journalist Ben so much, he added him to the Board of Directors of another Dream subsidiary, Dream Industrial REIT.

    According to the most recent Dream Unlimited filings, Michael Cooper drew annual compensation for 2014 of around $2.6 million.

    To my mind, a great candidate for this important annual award.

    PS – Those Egg Films people are pretty rotten too…

  25. We would like to nominate Greg Brockmann, Manager of the Ottawa Jail Hostel, for RankandFile.ca’s “Scumbag of the Year” for 2015!

    Why did Brockmann earn the title?

    In a Statement of Claim formally filed in court, five former workers at the Hostel’s Mugshots bar have argued that they were terminated illegally by Brockmann, provided no notice, and none of their legally entitled severance.

    Ugliest of all, the Statement describes Brockmann’s public and humiliating firing of one of the five on the spot – in front of everyone.

    To their enormous credit, this courageous group of five workers got organized, hooked up with the Workers Action Group of Solidarity Against Austerity, and got legal advice. They organized an incredibly successful (and fun) legal defence fundraiser, and with a growing group of friends and allies, launched a campaign for justice, now known as #JusticeForMugnots – a hashtag that continues to rebound on twitter. The mass illegal firing has been reported widely, including in Ottawa’s edition of Metro, and the Carleton University based The Leveller.

    Of course, Greg Brockmann should publicly apologize for being such an awful scumbag, but he continues to refuse. The people he reports to, at Hostelling International Canada, could intervene and resolve the dispute much more cheaply than fighting on and heading to court just to lose. While they have not done so yet, there remains a good chance they will. To support the #JusticeForMugnots campaign, take 12 seconds to sign the petition on the front page of http://solidarityottawa.ca

    Signing this petition is the best way to send a message to Brockmann, and all those other manager parasites out there who abuse their power and violate the most basic rights of low wage workers. The second best way is to “reply” here below, and indicate that you agree – Greg Brockmann for Scumbag of the Year!

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