Forestry firm uses heads to show anti-bullying support

A northern B.C. industrial company turned the colour pink on its head Wednesday.

On the day commemorating anti-bullying, Conifex Timber Inc. made sure their employees were expressing their pink support no matter what their workplace setting happened to be.

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"Altogether we purchased 550 pink hardhats - one for everyone in the company," said Conifex executive vice-president Pat Bell, who learned to wear his pink pride openly while an MLA for Prince George. He routinely donned pink clothing in the Legislature on the province's honorary day of bully awareness. He translated that to the sawmill after he retired from public office.

"We made sure we had pink hardhats for our mill employees in Mackenzie and Fort St. James, the dozen or so employees we have at the regional office in Prince George, and the corporate office in Vancouver," said Bell. "Everyone on the Conifex team felt it was important to show our support and celebrate pink shirt day, but wearing a pink shirt in a mill setting isn't exactly practical. Pink hardhats are."

Bell said it was important for Conifex employees to express their concern about bullying in the adult theatres of life, not just schoolyard issues involving children and youth. Bullying happens in the home and on the job, and it is no less acceptable in those forms than in schools or on the internet.

"Conifex values their people and recognizes the right of employees to work in an environment that protects and promotes the dignity of individuals and ensures that all employees can work without the fear of bullying," said Conifex communications director Kim Royle, who added the company's goal is that people wear their pink clothing on random days of the year as constant reminders that safe and respectful human relations are always the goal in our daily lives.

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