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Best Theratronics owner holiday email rant slams stat holidays, touts benefits of seven-day workweek and threatens to move jobs overseas

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OTTAWA— In what was supposed to be an uplifting email message to workers over the Victoria Day long weekend, Best Theratronics (BTL) owner Krishnan Suthanthiran instead went on a tirade, casting his workers as entitled and lazy for having too many statutory holidays, touting the benefits of a seven-day workweek, and even threatening to move jobs of workers on strike at the company overseas.

The email, sent May 18, was delivered to the company’s workers – excluding those involved in an ongoing labour dispute. Suthanthiran complains “I feel that every other weekend is a Long Weekend in Canada.” The owner of the medical device manufacturer goes on to state: “Canadian Manufacturing has not been very successful” and references his employees strike action, writing:  “The recent challenges at BTL are unfortunate , but predictable Canadian way of Life.”

“Mr. Suthanthiran’s contempt for working people is on full display for all to see. He hurls insult after insult at his staff, workers in general and the accepted working standards and gains that generations of Canadians have fought to achieve, including stat holidays and the five-day workweek,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “It’s clear this is yet another example of an ultra-wealthy, out of touch millionaire who may very well be in the running for Canada’s worst boss.”

In the email, sent in the middle of the first long weekend of the summer, Suthanthiran went on to express ignorance at the actions of striking workers who have been on the picket line at the Kanata, Ontario facility since May 1, 2024. Workers went on strike after rejecting a two-year offer with zero pay increases.

“I work every day , 7 days a week , my habit since Childhood . Mind is a terrible thing to waste . I feel sad that some of our Team Members have traded A Fully Air-conditioned. Work Space and 4 times regular  healthy  meals at Breakfast , Mid Morning / mid Afternoon and lunch , for an  unpredictable weather of heat ,  cold , rain and hanging out outside our building ,  with no bath room facilities or free healthy meals , but have to pay out of their pocket with a small handout for any meals they purchase,” wrote Suthanthiran.

“Suthanthiran should give his head a shake. Our members made the decision to take strike action and sacrifice their paycheques in order to defend their livelihoods and secure their future rather than accept an unhinged offer of zero wage increases,” said Unifor Local 1541 President Steve LaBelle. “Suthanthiran doesn’t seem to understand that his self-proclaimed success is owed entirely to the work our members do to build these medical products.”

Most egregiously, Suthanthiran threatened to transfer Best Theratronics work to facilities in the U.S. and India operated by parent company TeamBest Global Companies (TBG).

“For being the owner of a medical supply company, Suthanthiran sure has some unhealthy views.  Insulting, bullying, and demeaning our members and now threatening workers’ jobs has no place in this day and age. We will not tolerate such repugnant behaviour and Unifor will hold Mr. Suthanthiran accountable,” added Payne.

View Krishnan Suthanthiran’s ‘holiday’ email here.

Best Theratronics received a 1.2 million dollar grant from the Ontario government in 2011 to add new jobs and support employment at the Kanata facility.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector and represents 320,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For media inquiries or to arrange interviews via FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype please contact Unifor Communications Director Kathleen O’Keefe at @email or by cell at (416) 896-3303.

 

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