Community support for CUPE 391 Vancouver library workers from Author Terry Glavin and Dr. Fred Bass – former city councillor

Community support for CUPE 391 Vancouver Library workers from Author Terry Glavin and Dr. Fred Bass – former city councillor

Author Terry Glavin speaks about the important role library workers have in aiding authors for their research – photo Todd Wong

Renowned author, columnist, journalist and UBC faculty intructor –  Terry Glavin came by to give words of support to striking Vancouver Library workers.  Former city councillor Dr. Fred Bass also attended and gave words of support too!

Glavin says he probably spent a year of his life on the picket line, during 15 years of work including 3 strikes at Pacific Press when he was a writer for the Vancouver Sun.  His first union strike experience was 30 years ago for pay equity at the Daily Columbian newspaper where he discovered veteran female workers earning far less than brand new male workers.

Aliza wrote on the CUPE 391 blog:

Most interesting was his very first strike in the early eighties when
he and his colleagues at the “Columbian” went out in support of their
fellow female workers for pay equity! Twenty-five years have gone by
and here the members of 391 stand outside the doors of our libraries
fighting for the very same thing. It’s not right. In a civilized and
modern culture, gender discrimination should have no place.

Glavin is a self-admitting fan of Gung Haggis Fat Choy and wanted to interview me for a piece he is writing about diversity.  Earlier this year, he recommended me to a German Public television company ZDF TV, which is making a travelogue about multiculturalism in Vancouver.  It will be aired in Europe in December.  Hopefully we can have Terry as a featured Canadian writer of Irish-Celtic descent at a Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinne in Victoria one day.

Read Terry's blog at
or check out his new column in The Tyee :: Views ::

Dr. Fred Bass came by give Todd Wong some support on the picket line
and listened to Terry Glavin speak – photo Peggy Watkins/Todd Wong

Dr. Fred Bass, former City Councillor also came by to say hello and give support to the striking Vancouver Library Workers.  By coincidence, Bass' daughter Jennifer works for the library too – we've worked beside and known each other for years…  Fred even had some words to say how Mayor Sam Sullivan likes to operate in city council. 

Even Doug Perry, perennial provincial and federal Green Party candidate for Vancouver Fraserview and Vancouver South, asked to address the crowd to give words of support.

Dr. Fred Bass, former Vancouver City councillor talks with Vancouver library workers on the strike line – photo Todd Wong

In the morning, our union executive came by with Jim Gorman.
Aliza wrote on the CUPE 391 blog

Jim gave the crowd a quick overview of the
five days we spent last week in bargaining and then he and the members
of the committee answered some questions.

 The one of everyone’s mind was probably “how long can this go on?”
The City of Vancouver spokesman was quoted as saying six to eight
weeks. A frightening thought, but I can assure you that the bargaining
committee will do everything it can to end it sooner. If it should last
that long, it is because that is how the city wants it. Regardless, the
members of CUPE 391 will stand strong together.

In the afternoon… Vancouver Library workers moved en masse to Georgia Street to wave to cars drawing supportive honks from many rush hour commuters.  A City TV camera crew captured the scene and told me that it was great action to film and witnessing the interaction between the striking workers and the general public.  The mood was positive and lots of cars, buses and trucks honked their horns receiving uplifted cheers from the library workers.

CUPE 391 Vancouver City Library workers wave to cars in the Tuesday afternoon rush hour – photo Todd Wong

Other strike issues can be found on

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