Ontario construction workers fired for bringing stripper on site amid COVID-19

Video showed workers caressing, kissing and licking an exotic dancer at a Milton, Ont., job site

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A crew of Milton, Ont., drywall contractors have been fired en masse after explicit video and images emerged of the workers hosting a stripper inside an under-construction home.

The project is a residential complex being built by Mattamy Homes, one of the province’s largest home builders.

Cellphone videos of the event show the workers touching and lifting the dancer, as well as kissing her breasts. One man in particular can be seen drinking Grey Goose vodka that has been dribbled down the woman’s backside. Later, he is seen simulating oral sex on her. Nobody involved is wearing a mask or practicing any apparent form of social distancing.

The event appears to have been a kind of impromptu birthday party. “Don’t forget everyone, this Friday is Bobs birthday, so there will be cake and a special surprise!” reads a since-deleted social media post from one of the alleged participants. Several of the men in the video are seen to be wearing shirts reading Nelmar Drywall, a Toronto-area drywall contractor.

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The timing of the video could not be worse. Amid dizzyingly rising cases of COVID-19, Ontario is now ranking as one of the most infected jurisdictions on earth. The Ontario construction industry, meanwhile, has been spared most of the severe lockdowns that have afflicted other sectors, such as the restaurant or hospitality trade. Almost all forms of contracting have been deemed an “essential service,” in part because of industry assurances that worksites were well-equipped to be insulated against outbreaks. Stripper parties notwithstanding, this has largely been correct.

Every single company with even a peripheral link to the video was quick to denounce its contents on Friday, and Nelmar Drywall soon confirmed that it had terminated all those involved. “Upon learning of the incident, we immediately investigated and have since terminated the employment of all individuals involved in the incident,” wrote the company in a lengthy statement posted to its website. “While the incident occurred at a developer worksite, neither the developer nor its employees were aware of, involved in, or responsible for the incident in any manner whatsoever.”

Nelmar added “we take this incident very seriously.”

The Residential Construction Council of Ontario called the video “shocking, unacceptable and repulsive behaviour and simply degrading to women,” and said it only helped to perpetuate stereotypes of construction being a “male-dominated and misogynistic industry.”

The identity of the man holding the camera throughout the event has not been revealed, although multiple participants, including the dancer, can be seen flipping him the middle finger throughout.

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