Tropicana Community Services board hired labour consultant with a long and ongoing history of racist and sexist social media posts
Retained shortly after workers unionized, labour consultant Ken Godevenos is a prolific social media user with over 30,000 posts on Twitter alone. His archive includes dozens of racist and sexist comments, especially directed towards the Black community.
TORONTO, Dec. 17, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Local 2 has uncovered a long history of racist and sexist posts authored by Ken Godevenos, a consultant hired by Tropicana Community Services management. This discovery comes amidst the Tropicana staff strike, a workforce majority comprised of members from the African, Caribbean and Black communities.Ken Godevenos is the president of Accord Consulting Services, which offers management consulting services for the non-profit sector. Godevenos was hired shortly after workers unionized to act as a labour relations consultant. Since the start of the strike, he has served as a liaison and been an integral part of negotiations.In one tweet dated on the day the strike commenced on November 9th, Godevenos shared a quote from the founder of a ministry labelled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In reply to a comment under this same post decrying the exigencies of modern-day tolerance, Godevenos comments, “in that case I will take being a racist pariah as being an honor.”Godevenos has also posted defending the use of the term “Wuhan virus” or “Chinese virus” when referring to the COVID-19 virus and several posts promoting the conspiracy theories about the virus originating in a Chinese lab.He has made several disparaging remarks on Black Lives Matter while anti-police brutality protests were ongoing in the United States and Canada. For instance, in a tweet authored on June 27th 2020, Godevenos states: “It appears my white social contacts that you and I are the enemy. #BLM is not so much worried about bettering the life of blacks, as it is destroying and eliminating of the life of whites. Take a look. Your thoughts welcomed.” Godevenos then links to a news article posted on a fringe right-wing site entitled “Black Lives Matter Fliers: WE ARE AT WAR; WHITE PEOPLE ARE THE ENEMY”.Godevenos’ ire has not been reserved for people of colour. He has made several sexist comments, including a Facebook post authored on October 26th, 2020 where he states: “Why is it that the majority of females who want to connect with me on social media never have original thoughts, but only “like” what others have said? Oh, I know.”SEIU Local 2 calls on Tropicana management to remove Ken Godevenos from his post, end years of wage freezes and live up to the higher standards of equity and conduct incumbent on a publicly-funded organization.SEIU Local 2 represents workers in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick and British Columbia.Assya Moustaqim-Barrette