Thursday, September 27, 2007

10 Weeks = 1 Prickly Picketer

My last couple of entries have had an angry edge. Tomorrow marks 10 weeks of picketing. Two and one half months. This week's battle - prevent depression from kicking in.

I wasn't successful.

Long naps, little personal interaction and an overarching anger with everyone - City Management, CUPE, and the fool who called AM730 to claim CUPE was responsible for the no left turn signaling problem that hit Vancouver this morning.

If ever I've seen the collective spirit of a group collapse it was after that news story ran. Emotions swung from hoping it was not true to rage if it were.

If the person responsible is a CUPE member he is truly an IDIOT a FOOL and simply a CRIMINAL.

The City with its perpetual ultimatums combined with CUPE's ideology that privatization is evil and the public sector is the epitome of virtue is infuriating.

Now I am pricky, depressed and infuriated. I can hear you all saying "Get over It."

Thats exactly what I'm doing.

My head is still foggy with lingering depression but I've made some great discoveries. I've found an open office environment where small business creatives work and network. It was invigorating to walk into an office where people thrive on challenge and creativity instead of an employer and union that prefer the status quo or stifle new ideas under the guise of extended process.

Opportunities to write, manage special events, and develop online communities have opened up. It is an exciting new world for me without the political nonsense inherent in Vancouver City Hall.


Anonymous said...

The TV news suggests sabotage but do they ever suggest incompetence??? Could it be that exempt staff screwed up??? Its too bad our newspapers, TV and other traditional medias don't investigate anymore... Is relaying "press releases" to the public journalism? Is this what our institutes of higher education teach in journalism classes...sensationalism sells!! It seems the only real journalism on this strike is from you, Picketboy. Jack Webster would be proud...Local media should hire you...but then again they don't really want in depth reporting (that might offend some advertisers) and, in all likelihood, you're not pretty enough for TV.

Picket Boy said...

CTV reported that it could be a hack or a system failure. The timer on the traffic computer was set back 7 hours. The result were signals programed for 4:00am instead off 11:00am.

The City stated that a similar incident did occur 25 years ago.

The traffic control system has two hubs, City Hall and Manitoba yards. They are normally operated by IBEW union members but they are locked out and it is now staffed by exempt staff.


Thanks for the kind words.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I have to admit at at crucial time like this, for the City to suggest sabotage sounds desperate and makes no sense. I think they know public opinion has swayed away from them and this was a pathetic attempt to change that. This really reeks of a "non-story" - read the caller transcript - it's pathetic - it reeks of B.S. Sorry but any version of this story other than a computer glitch is an insult to our intelligence and shows the true colors of any City spokesperson who believes otherwise.

Anonymous said...

A little boy came by our site today asking why we are all on strike. I responded with the various union retoric, and then was left to ponder as he went back to his fathers car and drove away. People in Vancouver are selfish. The strike only matters to them when they become personally affected. By personally affected I mean not being able to enjoy the services of which we city workers provide. People in Vancouver are outrageous in their comments to picketters. We are engaging in one of the oldest forms of protest, something which has been gauranteed to us under the Charter of Freedoms and Rights. Whether or not the union is right, whether or not management has a point...I think it is or may be a worthwhile enterprise to reflect upon the right which we exhibit everday on the picket line. Thank goodness that we have this form of expression. We as civic workers needed something like this to shake us out of our complacency, especially as we endeavor to have to provide services through the Olympics. We generally dont think of one another as a collective unit, out fighting the common cause. I think its time to start focusing on some of the good aspects of this exercise.

I am not happy about this strike, I am not happy with the union, nor am I happy with management. What I can say is that I am happy to have had my complacency as a civic worker and citizen of this city tested. I now know that I am no longer alone fighting the battle everyday, striving to make this city a better place.

Anonymous said...

I want to hear more about compensation for unfair labour practices!

Anonymous said...

compensation??? good luck!!! HEU still hasn't received any compensation from our provincial government even after "winning???" their lawsuit in the Supreme Court of Canada. The courts decided that our government's labour practice of ripping up contracts was illegal but that's as far as the court went. Compensation was not awarded even though the employer (our provincial government) was found guilty of unfair labour practices.

spartikus said...

Unlike the Killarney Field, I am personally doubtful this was an act of sabotage. While a number of news reports raise the possibility, so far none of have said any evidence exists.

First, with the enhanced mediation process beginning, the die is essentially cast for the strike. There is very little motivation to engage in such deplorable acts - especially if your motivation is to get the City to the table, because it's at the table already. (Perhaps if your motivation was to disrupt might, who can say?)

Second, as PB mentions, the employees with the most intimate knowledge of the system's defences are not CUPE.

Finally, if it was sabotage then this is a serious breach of security that has implications for the Olympics and should be treated very seriously. If it was a CUPE member, then the necessary technical knowledge limits the list of suspects. I would be very confident the police would be able to catch the culprit.

Anonymous said...

"People in Vancouver are selfish. The strike only matters to them when they become personally affected."


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Anonymous said...

BLACKBIRD BLACKBIRD OMG too bad PB didn't print the rest of my post where is freedom of speech on a blog tsk tsk

Picket Boy said...

Re: Anonymous at 8:49pm

Quote simple actually - my blog my rules. Actually I won't ever print derogatory comments about a person's physical disability (even it if is the Mayor.)

I have relatives with similar challenges and just view such words as another form of discrimination.

jonuck said...

I was anonymous 5:11 and 8:49 and as a handicapped person myself I resent you saying that we can't be crooked scammers
I will not however be arguing what is politically correct-I love and appreciate your blog PB

but when you cut out the part where citizens are saying heartwarming things about our plight and never voting anything with NPA on it again, I had to wonder
Blackbird, I had investigated class action suit as well and this is the man I am told could do it

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Anonymous said...

Dysfunctional describes our workplace to a tee. This management team, through fear(final offers) punishment(refusing to bargain) and dishonesty(half truths to the media) may have taken away any passion its employees had for their work. I know how the ant-union posters on this site will respond but lets face it human nature is what it is. I know the naysayers will question whether any cupe members ever did have passion but if you read through this web site you can't deny it! How can this management team motivate its workers? There is no respect for their leadership. An employee who respects its leaders and who feels his efforts are respected will be much more productive.

Maybe its the system that is rotten. Everything is planned for the short term. Our managers and our politicians are all rewarded for making short-term gains. Cut costs and management gets bonuses, politicians get re-elected.

Perception is everything and the perception is that we've been screwed by this management team.

Anonymous said...

yes prickly puts it gently...I would like to go back to the day when you were discussing managers and if they intimidated employees or not and if they were putting the cart before the horse OR instead of following that carrot in front of their nose they are having it following them if you get my drift. I promise you in my workplace the managers were telling us to vote in favour of the final offer or it was going to be a long one

Anonymous said...

Dear Blackbird,
I think you may have miscontrued my comments on complacency. Not surprising as you probably skimmed and did not reflect on the full import of the message. By complacent I refer to those employees who are unionized and are in positions of "import", where they have the ability to hire and promote other employees. They are not management...but they act as management. The strike has been a great equalizer, in the sense that those same said employees are out on the line like everyone else. The one thing that I hope that we can all take away from the strike is that ... good or bad we are all in the same boat when the chips are down. I personally will be bringing this sentiment back into my workplace...and I hope that we can all do that. Don't castigate me with the same brush as you would others. The way that we treat one another as fellow coworkers I have noted on occasion has not been with the utmost care and concern of which we should exhibit. Again...I stress that this does not apply to all. I think that it is important that we take learnings and lessons away from this experience.

I take exception Blackbird with your comments around my coworkers taking up my slack. Shame on you for that tactless and unthoughtful comment. I am a hard worker...we all are hard workers. However, our treatment of one another could use some work...your comments being the case in point!

In terms of my comments around selfishness of the citizens of Vancouver...sorry that still stands. While many citizens empathize with our troubles...those same said citizens will dump trash where ever they can in the city...right in front of picketters. Some citizens even accuse members of doing deeds unbecoming of any person...

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