Daniel Gawthrop, author and CUPE National worker, speaks and reads to Vancouver Library workers

Daniel Gawthrop, author and CUPE National worker, speaks and reads to Vancouver Library workers

Author
Daniel Gawthrop (Rice Queen Diaries, Highwire Act: Power, Pragmatism
and the Harcourt Legacy, Affirmation: The AIDS Odyssey of Dr. Peter)
and also a CUPE national worker, comes to read at the Library Square to
library workers.

Daniel talked to the Vancouver Library workers about how important their jobs are to the community, especially when it comes to promoting and supporting writers.  He complimented the reading events put on by VPL, and said that “No matter if you are a major figure like Alice Munro or Margaret Atwood, or little me… everybody gets the same poster!”

He also gave words of support to the striking library workers, telling them to hold tight, speak their truth, and get their message out.  He criticized the city of Vancouver's use of the Wilcox Group PR firm, to create a media spin on the labour dispute, instead of using their resources to manage a resolution.  He praised the creativity of the CUPE 391 library workers in getting their message out and getting recent media attention:

see: Globe & Mail: Library workers picket with pizzazz
see video: “Grandeur on Georgia”  Wilcox Group vs Pay Equity
see video: “Pay Equity – Recipe for Disaster”

Daniel Gawthrop then told the assembled library workers that he had brought a number of short articles to read from and offered them a choice:  a story about The Curse of Leni Riefenstahl, the killing of Theo Van Gogh, an article about post 9-11, an article about 9-11 in Thailand… but the winning vote was for an debut reading for a soon-to-be-published story titled “Marriage: Why I took the plunge.”  It was an entertaining and enlightening story about gay marriage, and the social impact of it both personally and culturally to somebody who had said that he would never get married.

Check out pictures of Daniel Gawthrop reading at Library Square:
Aug 27 CUPE 391, Daniel Gawthrop comes to read

IMG_2376IMG_2377IMG_2374IMG_2373

Paul Whitney, city librarian stopped briefly by the picket line to say hello.  Okay, Paul is management and the union doesn't like some of the things he has said to the media.  I have known Paul for over 20 years, mostly by association, but he's always been a nice guy and supportive of some of the events I have organized.  He's probably caught between a rock and a hard place as the City negotiates with our Union… so in his own way, he's walking the line.

IMG_2414IMG_2415Paul Whitney, City Librarian, with picket captain Alexis Greenwood and library employee/accordionist Todd Wong

Tom Hansen, retired library finances officer, union rep and former VPL board member also came by.  But Tom was not diplomatic in his criticism of the city's handling of the civic strikes.  Tom congratulated on us going on strike to stand up for what we believe in, and to tell city hall what we think.  He told me that the city is saving a big whack of money every week we are on strike.  “$1 million dollars every two weeks,” he told me.  Hmmm… so much for the library's motto ”
Inspiration through information. Access for all.
http://www.vpl.ca/general/collDevPolicy.html

IMG_2419IMG_2420 Tom Hansen, retired library worker, former union organizer and former VPL board member comes to give support.


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