Re the recent issue involving Filipino worker Reynaldo Verdeflor and The Chocolate Claim and the bias shown by the local Filipino Association, Yukon Federation of Labour and local CBC radio:
As the employer involved in this controversy I am very disappointed in the lack of fairness and balance on the part of the above-mentioned organizations.
In the June 30 Whitehorse Star, Yukon Federation of Labour president Alex Furlong was quoted as suggesting the employers involved in this story “revisit their facts.” This is rich, given that Furlong’s facts seem to consist solely of the story being told by Verdeflor.
Furlong has pointedly not returned my calls. This adversarial conduct is unproductive and, I would suggest, limits the federation’s credibility.
Yvonne Clark of the Filipino Association did take my call, although the association also seems to have taken Verdeflor’s word without question.
Verdeflor was treated fairly at The Chocolate Claim. Had he not misled us that he had a valid work permit we might have been able to help him before the law was broken.
He was paid on time and in full for the work he did at The Chocolate Claim and his cheque has been cashed.
I suspect Verdeflor was not able to survive financially without working. Perhaps the Filipino community should consider that a more effective form of support for those in his position is to supply them with the necessities until they can legally work again.
I am most disappointed in the conduct of CBC Whitehorse.
They made no effort to present both sides of the story at the outset. I listened to two fairly long articles on the subject before I was even aware that our company was one of the employers referred to. It was only after the local papers published my comments that Cheryl Kawaja contacted me to ask for our version of events.
Is that fair and balanced journalism?
I think it is unfortunate that cases like that of Verdeflor have received so much attention and publicity.
The majority of the foreign workers in our community are honest and hardworking people. The three people whom The Chocolate Claim has sponsored through the Yukon Nominee Program (two of whom are Filipino) have proven to be exemplary employees and I am happy to welcome them to Canada.
Glenys Baltimore, owner/manager The Chocolate Claim Inc.