An arbitrator says a former Canadian Pacific train conductor who was fired over social media posts is entitled to monetary compensation, but not to getting her job back at the railroad.
Stephanie Katelnikoff was dismissed in November 2017 over disparaging remarks she made about the company online as well as modelling photos that were taken on railway property.
Union lawyers representing Katelnikoff argued the company’s investigation into her conduct was not fair or partial.
Arbitrator Richard Hornung says in his December decision, which was obtained by The Canadian Press, that he agreed with the Teamsters union.
He says some of Katelnikoff’s behaviour warranted a short suspension, but not a dismissal.
LISTEN: Stephanie Katelnikoff responds to CP Rail’s claim that she was fired for safety issues
However, Hornung says social media posts after her firing, especially a sexually suggestive one mentioning the CP investigating officer by name, make it untenable for her to go back to the railroad.
He says in the decision that the post “speaks volumes regarding both her lack of respect for the company and her unsuitability to return to the company as a fully participating employee.”
The union also argued at the arbitration hearing that an emailed complaint about Katelnikoff’s online posts came from a fake person the company made up to give it the pretext for an investigation. Hornung says in his decision that it’s improbable the email came from a legitimate functional address.
CP was not immediately available to comment.
Katelnikoff said in an interview that it’s now up to her union representatives and the company to try to work out an appropriate compensation amount. If they can’t agree, it goes back to the arbitrator.
She said she loved her job at the railroad and is sad she’ll likely never get to work as a conductor again. She’s now working in a shop fixing heavy equipment and trailers for a fraction of the pay.
“I’m with a really good company now so that helps take away the sting of not getting to go back to the railroad,” said Katelnikoff, 30. “At least I’m somewhere that I like and they treat me really well and they’re really understanding and progressive.”
Katelnikoff said she eventually wants to go to law school so that she can help others.
In addition to the railroad photos, CP seemed to take issue with racy pictures posted to the same Instagram account where there was a 2017 selfie of her in a work vest.
Katelnikoff said she’s tired of hearing about women getting flak for what they do outside of work.
“What a girl does in her spare time when she goes home with her life and her body isn’t anybody else’s business but her own. And if it’s not hurting anyone, then it really shouldn’t matter to the company.”
Katelnikoff’s 2017 dismissal was the second time she was let go from the railway.
On Boxing Day in 2014, a train Katelnikoff was conducting derailed, sending 15 cars off the tracks in Banff, Alta. The Transportation Safety Board determined that a broken piece of track caused the crash.
She was fired a month later. The company said it was because she violated rules on injury reporting and protecting an accident scene.
In February 2016, an arbitrator found in Katelnikoff’s favour, saying the grounds for her termination were discriminatory and in bad faith.
© 2020 The Canadian Press
Hashtag Trending Nov. 29 – Lush leaves social media; Apple warns prosecutor of iPhone hack; man receives 3D-printed eye – IT World Canada
Lush deletes all of its social media profiles, Apple warns a Polish prosecutor that her iPhone is under attack, and a British man receives the world’s first 3D-printed prosthetic eye.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Monday, November 29th, and I’m your host, Tom Li.
Cosmetic giant Lush went on a social media cleansing routine on Friday by closing its accounts on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat, citing worries of the harms caused by social media. The announcement was made on the Black Friday weekend, one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. According to Lush CEO Mark Constantine, the company could lose 10 million euros by shutting down the accounts, but he’s happy to embrace the loss. This isn’t Lush’s first attempt to leave social media. In 2019, the company left Instagram and Facebook, but ultimately returned. The scale of its second departure seems to be much larger, and it looks more permanent than before.
Apple has alerted a Polish prosecutor that her iPhone has been compromised by the NSO spyware group. According to 9to5Mac, the NSO group was responsible for creating the Pegasus spyware, which has been used to spy on journalists and politicians. Apple is currently in the process of suing NSO for attacking iOS users and is monitoring signs of Pegasus-related attacks.
Finally, a British man became the first person to receive a 3D-printed eye. The prosthetic isn’t a functioning organ but was described to be highly realistic with a clearer definition and more depth to the pupil. Moreover, the procedure was less invasive; Whereas traditional eye prosthetics require a physical mould of the eye socket, the 3D printed one scans the socket digitally, bypassing an invasive step. Moreover, the 3D printed eye was matched against the patient’s other eye, which was also digitally scanned.
Now for something a bit different. The estate of JRR Tolkien, the creator of the Lord of the Rings series, has successfully blocked a crypto-currency called JRR Token. According to the lawyers representing the estate, the token’s name invoked copyright infringement laws. It’s clear that the coin’s creators were trying to capitalize on the success of the author’s name, but this is a common occurrence. In October, the creators of Squid, a coin based on the popular Korean TV show Squid Game, duped their investors out of more than $3 million.
That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire Newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. If you have a suggestion or tip, please drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thanks for listening, I’m Tom Li.
Ethiopian gov’t forces in control of Chifra: State media – Aljazeera.com
Dead bodies seen ‘everywhere on the streets’ of town in Afar region as Al Jazeera gains exclusive access to front line of escalating conflict.
Ethiopia’s state-run broadcaster has said government forces were in control of the town of Chifra in Afar region, their first major seizure since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said earlier this week he would head to the front lines to lead federal troops against fighters from the northern Tigray region.
Tens of thousands of people have died and millions displaced since the war between Ethiopian federal and allied troops, and the Tigrayan forces, broke out in November 2020. The conflict has also caused a massive humanitarian crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people facing famine.
The Tigrayan forces captured Chifra, on the border between the northern Afar and Amhara regions, after fighting intensified last month.
“Ethiopian Defense Forces and Afar Special Forces have controlled Chifra,” the Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation said on its Twitter account on Sunday, without providing further details.
There was no immediate comment by the Tigrayan forces.
‘Dead bodies everywhere’
Much of northern Ethiopia is under a communications blackout and access for journalists is heavily restricted, making battlefield claims difficult to corroborate. Al Jazeera, however, was able to gain exclusive access to Chifra, the first international news organisation to do so.
Reporting from “the heart” of the town, Al Jazeera Arabic’s correspondent Mohammed Taha Tewekel said the Tigrayan forces “were driven out of this strategic area” by pro-government militia from the Afar region, but also noted “gunfire could be heard from all directions” for hours.
“It [Chifra] has been the epicentre of military operations during the past 40 days,” Tewekel said during a live broadcast, with gunfire ringing in the background.
“The scenes we witnessed are very appalling. Dead bodies everywhere on the streets. It is living proof of the ferociousness of the fighting. There are clear signs of the lack of humanity in this conflict. The town’s commercial shops were totally destroyed, even the mosques were not spared. All the residents have fled for their lives and the town has turned into military barracks for the Afari fighters,” he added.
The Afari fighters “have seized the city” and are now advancing towards the towns of Bati and Kombolcha, the correspondent said.
Chifra is west of the town of Mille, which Tigrayan forces have been trying to capture for weeks, because it lies along the highway linking landlocked Ethiopia to Djibouti, the Horn of Africa’s main port.
State-affiliated Fana Broadcasting reported on Friday that Abiy was on the front line with the army fighting the Tigrayan forces in Afar.
“The morale of the army is very exciting,” he said in the remarks broadcast on Friday, promising to capture Chifra “today”.
After months of tension, Abiy in November 2020 sent troops to Tigray to remove the region’s governing party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in response to what the government said was an attack on federal army camps. The TPLF, which dominated the federal government for nearly three decades until Abiy took office in 2018, said federal forces and its allies launched a “coordinated attack” against it.
The prime minister promised a swift victory and government forces seized Tigray’s capital, Mekelle, in late November. By June, however, the Tigrayan forces had retaken most of the region and pushed into the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions.
The Tigrayan forces recently reported major territorial gains, claiming this week to have seized a town just 220km (135 miles) from the capital, Addis Ababa.
International alarm about the escalating conflict has deepened, with several foreign countries urging their citizens to leave as mediation attempts by the United Nations and the United States have so far failed to yield any results.
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