Jurors learned a bit more about Kevin Douglas Addison and his relationship with Western Forest Products as a union leader took the stand in Addison’s B.C. Supreme Court trial Friday.
Addison, 49, was arrested in relation to an April 30, 2014 shooting at Western’s downtown Nanaimo mill and faces two charges of first-degree murder and two of attempted murder. Michael Lunn and Fred McEachern were killed in the incident, while Tony Sudar and Earl Kelly survived.
Lunn was on a committee assisting Addison.
Brian Butler, Nanaimo area United Steelworkers union local (1-1937) president, said he has known Addison since around 2006. Butler testified that Addison had filed a number of grievances against the company, including a successful grievance related to overtime pay in December 2007.
The mill shut down in December 2008 and was closed for approximately two years. While Addison had 24-months seniority retention, Butler said, he was not among the 41 workers called back when the mill re-opened in November 2010 and his seniority expired.
Butler said some employees were covering two jobs and that was brought up to the company with no success.
Butler also said Addison “would’ve been the first senior person on the list not to be called.” A worker junior to Addison was called back because he had first aid training and while Butler said the union didn’t like it, there was no grievance avenue because the mill was entitled to have more first aid attendants.
Addison filed another grievance in January 2011 and according to Butler, issues included millwrights doing work Addison was trained for, which he thought he should’ve been recalled to do. Butler said management has direction of the workforce and the millwrights had seniority.
Addison also took issue with hiring two contract carpenters. The contract work was not ready to commence so management directed the carpenters, who were qualified welders, to do some welding work. Addison thought he was qualified for the work, although Butler said the mill had no record of him being a qualified welder.
Butler recounted a phone conversation he had with Addison in January 2011. In it, he told Addison that nothing could be done about the junior worker with first aid training who had been hired. He also told Addison that they would be unable to pursue the grievance over the welding work, which Butler said was without merit, but would’ve been pursued if it had merit.
Butler testified that he had another phone conversation with Addison in March 2011 and Addison was upset, but it was nothing out of the ordinary.
Scott Van Alstine and Nick Barber are representing the Crown and John Gustafson is representing Addison.
Crown is expected to finish presenting evidence next week and Gustafson is expected to begin his defence.
The trial is scheduled to run until Oct. 14.