Saturday, August 18, 2007

Arbutus Club Trash Talk

Arbutus Club member's trash drew CUPE pickets Saturday August 18th. Pickets were legitimate as the private club's 115 non-management staff are CAW (Canadian Auto Workers) members.

Leave it to the CUPE members present, which included a CUPE 15 negotiator, to take what should have been an information picket and instead create a case study on "How to Bully." Better yet do it while news crews are filming and be seen bullying across Canada every hour on NewsNet and locally all weekend on CTV and Global.

The appropriate steps would have been to coordinate with the CAW and set up a picket line prior the Arbutus Club's opening. CAW members would have respected the line and club managers would be left explaining why the club was closed to their $40,000.00/year members.

The result would have been this 40 second story -

instead of this 2:22 minute case study on bullying.

More to come on this story.


Anonymous said...

The dispute at the Arbutus Club could indeed have been entirely avoided if the offer to collect municipal garbage at the Club had not been issued. It is not surprising that the full story of today's events were not shown on the news, however, as someone who witnessed it all from the beginning to the end, it is safe to say that the bully's that were present were not the CUPE members, but the members of the Arbutus Club attempting to access the Club with their vehicles. As most would expect, there were many obliging members of the Club that understood it was not a personal attack against them and that they were welcome to cross the line, just not with their vehicles. With ample street parking, many chose this simple solution, some even sincerely wishing the CUPE members luck with the labour dispute and offering their verbal support. Unfortunately, there were also other members that thought that verbally and physically abusing the striking union members would gain them access to their club. I personally witnessed two members deliberately charge picketers with their vehicles. Other vehicles did come in contact with members as they pushed ther way in with their vehicles, but the two charging incidents will not escape my mind for quite some time. It was shocking that these individuals would have such little regard for human life that they would deliberately charge union members standing up for their civic rights. The situation at the Arbutus Club did not need to escalate into any kind of confrontation and CUPE members calmly explained the reason for the picket to club members attempting to cross the line, even pointing out that they were welcome to walk across, it was merely the vehicles that were an issue as they could contain bags of garbage. It is commendable that the Arbutus Club management recognised the seriousness of the CUPE members' issues and retracted their offer to collect garbage. On a final note, it must be mentioned that Mike Jaggar's comment on the news clipping regarding his wife and children crossing the line was completely inaccurate and needs to be clarified. His wife did, indeed, try to bully her way into the parking lot with her vehicle and, of course, met the picket line. CUPE members explained to her, as they did all individuals, what the nature of the picket was and that she was welcome to park her vehicle and cross the line (as mentioned earlier, there were ample spaces available and ultimately she did park directly outside of the club). Her vehicle was not touched at any time and the only inappropriate interaction was her yelling profanities at the strikers to which it was suggested to her by them that she not use such language in front of her children. She continued to try to bully her way through until it became apparant to her that the line was not moving and she was causing a traffic jam in the street. I can't fault Mike Jaggar for trying to defend his wife on TV and say that the union members shouldn't be banging on cars with children in them or any other such nonsense if that is what she told him transpired. I will say for the record though that nothing of that sort occurred at all and the only inappropriate action was actually the language used by his own wife in front of their children. While the picket line was no doubt a major inconvenience to some clubgoers, it is unjust to make the CUPE members out to be bullies as they truly were not. They were simply not moving to let verbally or physically abusive people past their line.

Anonymous said...

It isn't the union members 'right' to pick up my garbage. It's their job. They are not doing it.

Why should taxpayers, who are paying the full fare for city services, get intimidated and picked on by union brute squads for dealing with the garbage themselves?

The Union would be well advised to leave the overgrown school yard bullies at home at future pickets.

Anonymous said...

You're absoutely correct to question why taxpayers should be picked on or intimidated by union members. They should not be. The fact remains that they were not being picked on or intimidated at the Arbutus Club incident. The most confrontational people were the club members themselves! To reitterate, it is completely understandable to be upset that you cannot cross into a parking lot as you are used to doing with your vehicle- it does not give anyone the right to be abusive, however. No individuals were being "picked on" or "intimidated". The issue was between the union and the actions of the Club- not the members of the Club. It was a legal picket line and the union members did have a right to be there, whether it was enjoyable for the clubgoers or not. As stated by the police, the clubgoers also had a right to go to their club, which was not infringed upon in the slightest- they simply had to walk across the line (we are talking of a difference of about ten feet)! An inconvenience, but not anything to justify attempting to run people over with a vehicle!
As stated in the previous blog entry, "It isn't the union members 'right' to pick up my garbage. It's their job. They are not doing it."
It is the union members' job to pick up garbage, and as such- protected by the labour laws regarding union practice and the agreement between the city and the unions- it is, actually, their right to perform their job and not have others perform it for them. The reason why they are not doing their job right now is because they cannot! I have yet to come accross a city worker that doesn't want to go back to doing their job- the nature of a job dispute such as this is that they cannot until the employer and the union reach an agreement. In order for this to happen, the city MUST get back to the bargaining table, where the unions' bargaining committees wait for them, and begin some serious bargaining. It is unpleasant for all people living in this city, those out on the picket lines and those effected by the strike otherwise, so best the bargaining resume so that no more incidents between frustrated union members wishing to go back to their jobs and equally as frustrated members of the community occur. Unfortunately, until a settlement is reached, emotions will continue to run high.

Anonymous said...

I live in a Condo and the strike has only served thus far as entertainment. Keep up the good videos!

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify on what I wrote..."it is, actually, their right to perform their job and not have others perform it for them." I was not trying to imply here that the members of CUPE have an exclusive right to collect garbage, merely that they do have a right to perform their jobs, which in this case is collecting garbage. Whilst other people may choose to dispose of garbage using other methods during this time, such as going to open waste stations, which, as I understand, the union has no conflict with, the issue here was that a club, operated by unionized members themselves, was offering to replace the other unionized members' jobs by collecting the garbage.

Walter Schultz said...

To anonymous 3:14, 11:31 & 1:55,

Maybe it's time for you to switch to decaf?

Forget the he said, she said crap, thuggish behavour has no place in our society. You can't explain bad behavour away, it's on You Tube for all to see.

Let me add, that spitting on people, throwing eggs at their cars (why bring eggs to a picket line?), breaking windows and destroying private property are also unacceptable. Sorry, no video, however it was evidence presented at a Labour Relations Board hearing on CUPE 1004 picketing constuction sites during the first week of the strike.

Don't believe me ask your Union leadership, they quickly and quietly backed down removing their pickets.

Oh yes, and of course, the 1004 picketers never started the egg throwing, it was someone else's fault.

Anonymous said...

To Walter Schultz:
Maybe you should re-read what was written. I've clearly stated that there is no room for thuggish behaviour, intimidation or anything of the sort, however one should not just assume because you saw a tiny video clip that you know what happened at the incident at the Arbutus Club, which is what we were discussing here. I was not present at any of the previous incidents which you refer to and therefore cannot comment on whether or not what occurred there was accuratley portrayed in the media- I simply cannot say. What I can say is what did or did not occur yesterday as I was present- were you?? Obviously not. I have seen the clip on the news and agree that it was not a peaceful situation and understand why you may jump to a conclusion without being fully informed- that is why I chose to write what actually occurred. The video clip on the news was taken right before the end of the strikers' action and after no fewer than 8 people had been hit by cars and two, as I wrote, were charged at and actually hit hard by vehicles- one of these victims was a young, very slight woman! You cannot tell me that there is any excuse for that kind of behaviour, just as there is no excuse for thug-like squads. It's too bad the news crews arrived after the police as perhaps the club members would have continued to act like brutes themselves running down people with their cars and the rest of the city would have been able to see the full story.
As I clearly stated, not all club goers behaved in a poor manner and on the same note, not all union members behave like thugs.
One more comment, Walter- I have frequented the Arbutus Club myself for over 20 years and am not a member of CUPE 1004. I'm simply a citizen that saw what actually transpired on this particular occasion and felt that the full story should be told.

Anonymous said...

re: Anonymous x3

anyone who thinks that members of the arbutus club, or the club itself, would be out to 'replace jobs' is an idiot.

the union guy in this video talking about the arbutus club taking food from his mouth is so ludicrous it's actually kinda funny.

If that guy is an example of one of the Union bargaining people... id say that all hope is pretty much lost for an ending to this strike.

I also thought that the guy asking someone to hold his glasses was classic. Not to mention the big guy in the red shirt using his gut as a battering ram. the video is hilarious!

What a marketing and PR disaster for the Union. One week calling homeless kids scabs and the next week getting 'worried' that a bunch of lawyers and doctors are now out to steal their jobs.

give your head a shake. what a bunch of losers.

Anonymous said...

re: "perhaps the club members would have continued to act like brutes themselves running down people with their cars and the rest of the city would have been able to see the full story.
As I clearly stated, not all club goers behaved in a poor manner and on the same note, not all union members behave like thugs."

The club members have every right to get onto the club property, and if they choose to drive in, noone should stop that.

if the union had any class, they would block the traffic, explain their position, ask the member to park on the street and then allow the member to make their own informed decision as to how to act. Acting like a mini-militia and fully blocking traffic, especially blocking people who have nothing to do with the issue is unbelievable. It's asking for trouble and inviting conflict.

re: 'not all union members are thugs' can you point out one who isn't in that video?

im sure that not 100% of union members are thugs just as im sure that the majority of the union would actually prefer to be working... so why doesnt the union choose those people to work the 'front lines' of their fight rather than the thugs, and there is no question at all that each of those men in this video were all too happy to have a chance at a fight, that were there.

Someone, somewhere in the Union must be smarter than that.

Anonymous said...

I am a 1004 member and one time thug.I choose not to put my self in certain situations like the one in question at the arbutus club. I belive its time for a mediator to be used for the obvious reasons.Hopefully through this strike both city hall managers and all unions involved learned valuable leasons.......we all looked unprofessinal in the taxpayers eyes.