Monday, August 20, 2007

Endless Summer (Strike)

Found this article in The .

Ten other cities have settled with civic workers. Why can't Vancouver?

Monte Paulsen
Published: August 16, 2007
Article provides an overview of the negotiating deadlock. It predicts, and I agree, that school will be in while civic workers will still be out.

This strike has "been a ballad of incompetence (the mayor) vs. miscalculation (the unions). The result is a race for irrelevance."

Incompetence is not an issue with the NPA and City Management muzzling Mayor Sullivan. Councillor Suzanne Anton, a former Crown Council, has taken the lead in presenting the City's position. She, like Mr. Dubrovolny, remains cool when using hot forms of media such as television or radio.

Miscalculation continues at CUPE.
  • Arbutus Club Blocked - bullying occurs in front of news cameras
  • CKNW reporter told to "Fuck Off" at Manitoba Yards the Monday after the six day media blackout is lifted - goes to City Hall and is welcomed
If CUPE muzzles its more boisterous members it can still win the media campaign. Mike Jackson, CUPE 1004 President, stating that his members are upset or emotional is simply not credible. Upset or emotional feelings does not justify the reported actions.

If CUPE outbursts continue citizens and media will blame CUPE for the length of the strike.

The City can publish as many charts and stats as it wishes. There is, however, an underlying suspicion of information provided by politicians and their $100,000.00 plus salaried managers.

Unions too have a perception problem. Big burly bullies. It was played out with spectacular effect Saturday at the Arbutus Club on Global and CTV. Some argue that there was more to the story than was presented. It doesn't matter. Strikers, at all times, must act as if there is a camera present. Who knows when a cell phone might be recording?

More stories of CUPE 1004 members calling street kids "scabs" and citizen good will evaporates. The City becomes the de facto guardian of the public good.

Why is the City slow to negotiate? It is waiting. Waiting for CUPE member's missteps to accumulate in the public mind. That provides the City with the leverage to conclude the strike on the City's terms.

Odds are during the next civic election Vancouver voters will be asked to approve private contractors to dispose of single family resident waste.

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