What are the real issues in the Vancouver Civic strike?
The Georgia Straight finds a political spin between Vision Vancouver's Raymond Louie and the NPA's Suzanne Anton.
The Georgia Straight has just printed an
interesting story about the Vancouver Civic strike, finding an NPA vs
Vision Vancouver angle. Both city councillors Raymond Louie and
Suzanne Anton have attended and loved my Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Toddish
McWong's Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinners. And they are both
well-respected figures in the community.
Suzanne was one of the first politicians we called on for help with the Save Joy Kogawa House
campaign when she was a parks commissioner, as was Heather Deal. I've known Raymond since
just before he was elected city councillor, and our family histories
were both included in the Three Early Chinese Canadian Pioneer Families exhibit at the Chinese Cultural Centre's Museum and Archives back in 2002.
By accident (or fortune) I bumped into Suzanne Anton last week, while
on picket duty at Library Square. Suzanne was on her way to a meeting
at Library Square and recognized me, but she hadn't been aware that I
worked for the library. We had a short friendly chat about some of the
issues regarding the strike. At the city hall rally last week on
Friday I bumped into Vision Vancouver councillor George Chow, whom I
also know. George was the only city councillor to come outside and
talk with city workers to find out their issues and feelings were.
Check out the Georgia Straight article below… then read my comments
Publish Date: August 16, 2007
There's more to
Vancouver's civic strike than just the question of wages and benefits,
says a member of Mayor Sam Sullivan's Non-Partisan Association caucus.
far as NPA councillor Suzanne Anton is concerned, the job disruption is
being orchestrated by CUPE locals and the opposition party Vision
Vancouver as a disguised political action against Sullivan. “There's a
huge political agenda going on here,” Anton told the Straight. “It's
interesting that the non–NPA councillors seem to very closely related
to CUPE. They don't support management, they support CUPE, [and] they
certainly don't support the mayor at all. It appears to be suiting
their political agenda to have the strike continue.”
to the strike, Anton told the Straight that she is supporting the
mayor's bid for reelection in 2008. Anton said that the language being
used by locals of the Canadian Union of Public Employees and by Vision
Vancouver to describe the strike is a giveaway.
interesting that both [Vision councillors] Heather Deal and Raymond
Louie and CUPE like to call this 'Sam's strike',” Anton said. “Why are
they doing that? That's obviously 100 percent politics. That's not
about trying to get a good settlement for CUPE members. That's about
promoting a political agenda. Councillors Raymond Louie and Heather
Deal are on the same page politically as CUPE–and that is, they hope to
take shots at the mayor.”
An ex–union organizer, Louie has
often been touted as a future mayor by former mayor Larry Campbell.
When sought for comment about Anton's political reading of the strike,
Louie told the Straight that Sullivan has only himself to blame for the
labour mess. He said voters will decide if it's a “political hit”
against the mayor.
Todd Wong plays accordion on the CUPE
391 picket line – sharing his talents and helping to make the strike
environment a more culturally stimulating and beautiful place.
the roles of the GVRD labour relations bureau, and the Wilcox Group…
shouldn't the real issues include that the workers want to get back to
work, and provide the service that city taxpayers want to receive???
CUPE 391 has NEVER been on strike before, not in our 77 year history!
The library strike is getting lost in the shuffle!!! We are being
treated just as if we are the same as CUPE 15 and CUPE 1004. We are
NOT! We did not go on strike in 2000, and we have often worked without a contract while our union and employer bargained.
CUPE 391 made their opening offer in November 2006. Why did it take 9
months later for “the employer” to make their opening offer, after CUPE
391 was already on the picket lines for 2 weeks?
Watch a video about Vancouver Library workers on DAY 15. See me playing accordion!
We are creative, intellectual, literate, cultural, and dedicated to the community… why would we want to be on strike?
Unless we knew it was in the best interests of our fellow workers, our public patrons, and the City of Vancouver…
A tremendous brain trust and community resource is being squandered.
Community programs are not being presented. Businesses can't access
information. Academic researchers can't find their information.
Children are cut off from summer reading programs. Cultural groups and
sporting organizations can't access information or promote their
events. Nobody wins. Everybody loses.
When former city librarian Madge D'alto first came to the Vancouver
Public Library, she remarked what a wonderful resource and institution
that the Vancouver Public Library was. And that if she was an invading
army, the first thing she would do would be to close down the
libraries, to cut off the access to information. That is how important
I am proud of the good work that I have done in the city libraries. Last year I received my 30 year service pin at the Vancouver Public Library,
and was also thanked by VPL board chair Joan Andersen for my community
work too. She was wonderfully surprised to be able to present me with
my service pin, because she is more aware of the community and cultural work I have
done through my involvements with the CBC – both radio and television,
as I am often asked for interviews or for resources. These are the kinds of workers we have at the library – resourceful, community-oriented and dedicated.