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Author Topic: Is BC headed for a General Strike?
leftcoastguy
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posted 29 April 2004 09:57 PM      Profile for leftcoastguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I guess the capitalist way is not to lead by example. The BC Liberal government is trying to force the HEU workers back to work through legislation, including a 15% wage reduction.

Why don't the Campbell government members take a 15% wage cut themseles first before asking others to do that?

I have just heard some other union is walking off the job tomorrow in support of the HEU workers.


From: leftcoast | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
BLAKE 3:16
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posted 29 April 2004 10:10 PM      Profile for BLAKE 3:16     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Write the MLAs and tell them how ashamed you are of them.
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Kevin
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posted 29 April 2004 10:15 PM      Profile for Kevin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Greater Victoria schools will be behind pickets tomorrow as CUPE workers picket in sympathy for the HEU.

I can only hope we'll get a general strike.


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leftcoastguy
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posted 29 April 2004 10:23 PM      Profile for leftcoastguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The Campbell Government has failed with their economic policies, their tax cuts, and now they are going to try and sort out the mess they have created, on the back of the workers.

Does anyone see the hospital management and executives taking pay cuts? Of course not. That would not be the capitalist way.


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Stockholm
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posted 29 April 2004 10:52 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What impact, if any, might the HEU strike, the draconian response of Campbell and the possibility of a general strike have on the upcoming federal election?

Can the federal NDP try on hitch a ride on the the anti-Liberal sentiment?


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
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posted 30 April 2004 02:23 AM      Profile for NDP Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Campbell's policies are deplorable.

If Mike Harris were still the Ontario Premier and I lived in BC, I would literally be jealous of Ontarians.


From: Cornwall, ON | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
verbatim
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posted 30 April 2004 04:40 AM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I also heard that not only is it a 15% reduction, it's retroactive, so the workers will actually owe the fucking Province money!

A general strike is definitely in order, but I'm taking bets that the BC Fed is too punch drunk (or chickenshit) to call one.


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faith
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posted 30 April 2004 11:20 AM      Profile for faith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes it is to be retroactive for the month of April.
My husband belongs to one of the building trade unions and as the news blared out over the radio on the job site the tradesman started to talk walkout.
Usually the trade unions are kind of seperate from public sector unions but everyone recognizes the threat here. A co worker actually phoned my husband at home just to discuss the possibility of a walkout, I don't think that has happened in the 25 years he has been a tradesman.

From: vancouver | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
MacD
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posted 30 April 2004 11:29 AM      Profile for MacD     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
If the government has the authority to make pay cuts retroactively, I have a suggestion for the next NDP government regarding the wages of THIS government...
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Pogo
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posted 30 April 2004 11:42 AM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Does anyone know what % HEU workers represent of the Health budget. I just don't see great savings here. It is purely ideological.
From: Richmond BC | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
faith
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posted 30 April 2004 12:01 PM      Profile for faith     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Don't you find that many of the moves of the Campbell government are contradictory? The purpose of the liberal policies are always stated to be purely economic, but there is always a target demographic, the poor , the working poor, women , and anyone that actually works for a living. Some of the 'cost cutting' measures are actually more expensive. The disability survey cost millions only to save a few thousand, the closing of the women's centres will end up costing more with services and benefits paid through social services and the cost savings did not even equal the 'gift' to the fish farm industry.
Perhaps if this government could be seen to truly believe in their own policies they would still be resented but respected . When the evidence surfaces of their lies and their uneven application of their policies which exclude their political donors from the effects of liberal policy ,people see them for the lying hypocrites they are.

From: vancouver | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
natas
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posted 30 April 2004 12:41 PM      Profile for natas   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I was getting all excited then I remembered the chants of "General strike!" at the Toronto Days of Action - DOA for short The sentiment was EVERYWHERE except the stage. If you don't know what happened next: a lot of walking around.

I know BC has done some serious shit before, mainly because DOA (no relation) wrote a song about it...if it is really gonna happen, though, someone has got to finally explain BC politics to me...what branch was this pupa hanging on for 20 years??

It's like BC voters let themselves get chintzed like everyone else, but then like NO ONE else, they actually figure out real fast that they HAVE been chintzed and then turf the bastards. And then it begins anew. I find it fascinating, at a distance!

Can BC deliver a real honest general strike? On the eve of an election? With Campbell proclaimed Paul Martin's kind of Liberal? In the left coast heartland? Dare to win!!


From: Vineland Station, Ontario | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
NDP Newbie
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posted 30 April 2004 01:03 PM      Profile for NDP Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but did Harris do anything near this bad to workers?

There's rising social democratic tide in this country emenating from British Columbia, Newfoundland, and Quebec: Let's frolic in the waves and kick some ass!

[ 30 April 2004: Message edited by: NDP Newbie ]


From: Cornwall, ON | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 30 April 2004 01:22 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The next two days will be decisive. The BC Fed refused to rule out a general strike.

Campbell may have to back down. I think they may have pushed too far this time, and we are about to push back, hard.

I'm looking forward to the next provincial election so much.


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
MT VIEW
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posted 30 April 2004 02:31 PM      Profile for MT VIEW     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by MacD:
If the government has the authority to make pay cuts retroactively, I have a suggestion for the next NDP government regarding the wages of THIS government...


Right. A bill of attainder, legally bullet-proofed by invoking the notwithstanding clause, paying out financial losses to those affected by this and similar legislation, ... and then assessing all the costs incurred by the treasury to the personal assets of the Liberal MLAs.

If it gets down to the point where the bailiff has to start counting up the suits in the MLA's, or former MLA's closet, tough. They should be financially liable on a personal basis for this kind of thing.

This kind of massive retaliation will deter future economic agression, euphemistically labelled as political pendulum swings, and it is the only thing that will.


From: Maple Ridge, BC | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
leftcoastguy
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posted 02 May 2004 08:26 AM      Profile for leftcoastguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
B.C. unions threaten general strike
quote:
British Columbia faces the threat of a general strike Monday as tens of thousands of unionized public-sector employees prepare to line up behind health care workers embroiled in an illegal, deadlocked strike.

The planned show of force was previewed yesterday when power, education and municipal services began to grind to a halt after the B.C. government passed back-to-work legislation allowing wage rollbacks and layoffs affecting the 40,000-member Hospital Employees Union (HEU).

Carole James, leader of the province's New Democratic Party, urged Premier Gordon Campbell to recall the legislature, lest B.C. be left "on the brink of a crisis that threatens to further erode investor confidence in British Columbia and destabilize the B.C. economy."

The province's labour relations board ruled yesterday that the week-long strike by the health-care workers is illegal and ordered strikers back to work. Instead of compliance, there was revolt.

The striking hospital union refused to order its members back to work. The picket lines, union leaders said, were now "protest lines."

That protest was rapidly building into B.C.'s biggest labour disruption since 1983, when opposition to a provincial government spending "restraint" program nearly escalated into a general strike.



From: leftcoast | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 02 May 2004 09:22 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
It ain't just the lower mainland, either. The striking workers in my town out here in the West Kootenays are getting continuous *honks* of support all day long as cars drive by, as well as a few shouted expletives about Campbell. A small band of grade school kids even spent their lunch hour out by the highway with signs reading "Honk for our Health Care Workers!" Ahhh, 12-year-old activists! Puts a tear in my eye!

And all of this is going on in an area where the lumber industry is tanking and a lot of people don't have jobs (or full-time jobs, at least). But the Campbell government's mantra that "they're the most well-paid hospital workers in the country" doesn't wash, because the costs of living are so much higher, both in Van as well as out here in the long-suffering "Heartlands." (Calgary is the closest "big city" to us, and the costs of groceries here are *much* higher than Calgary, for instance.)

On top of this, locals have not forgotten how the Campbell Liberals have slashed funding to so many services, and there was a very real concern we would lose our local hospital altogether. There is a great deal of anger at Victoria in this riding— Marilyn Burgoon, whose daughter nearly died recently, is a well-known local, and her daughter's story resonated with many.

(Nutshell, for those unaware: Burgoon's daughter fell from her bike, was taken to Nelson hospital and then sent home. Back to hospital a couple of hours later in obvious distress with some major internal injuries. They were going to transport her to Trail by ambulance, as Nelson did not have staff for necessary procedure, but a local doctor called away from his going-away party performed emergency surgery and saved her. Doctor later said there was a very good chance that the delay caused by transporting her to Trail might have cost her life. People have *not* forgotten this story!)

I can't speak for the southern part of Southern Interior, but up here in the north part of the riding Blair Suffredine is in deep trouble. There is widespread support for the hospital workers, and a growing animosity toward Victoria. If Campbell was smart, he'd back down. But then, nobody's ever accused him of having an excess of brains.

[ 02 May 2004: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Kevin
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posted 02 May 2004 12:10 PM      Profile for Kevin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Does anybody in BC know where the big marches or protests will be tomorrow? I won't have school and want to go have some fun. PM me if you must!
From: Simon Fraser University | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
leftcoastguy
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posted 02 May 2004 12:18 PM      Profile for leftcoastguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Do you know where Premier Campbell lives in Point Grey? Just kiddin!
From: leftcoast | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
leftcoastguy
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posted 02 May 2004 12:31 PM      Profile for leftcoastguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Angry B.C. unions threaten general strike

Kevin.....if you watch RightOn on Channel 12 @ 5 PM tonight perhaps Moe Sihota will share rally locations.


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leftcoastguy
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posted 02 May 2004 12:34 PM      Profile for leftcoastguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No public transportation tomorrow in Vancouver areaat least. This is quickly escalating.
From: leftcoast | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 02 May 2004 12:50 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by leftcoastguy:
Angry B.C. unions threaten general strike

B.C. health care workers were the highest-paid health care workers in Canada, and the government said it needed that money to provide for better patient care. To further cut costs, the government would like to see the unionized work go to cheaper, non-unionized contractors.



I WISH one of our guys would get out there disputing this trash. When cost of living is factored in, I don't believe the health care workers wages are exorbidant at all, but we need to get that message out to John and Joan Public.

[ 02 May 2004: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Stockholm
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posted 02 May 2004 01:13 PM      Profile for Stockholm     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What scenarios are there for how this will end? We know that one thing it WON'T is force an election since BC has fixed tersm and the next provincial election is exactly one year from now.

So i guess that leaves two possibilities:

1. Campbell totally capitulates and is humiliated. (Does anyoen seriouly think this will happen? It would be nice, but I don't think its in Campbell's nature to back down on anything)

2. The government brings in draconian legislation declaring the strikes illegal and massive $10,000 a fines for anyone staying off the job. Eventually, the workers are forced back.

Remember, last time BC went through something like this in 1983 with general strikes etc...all it did was reelect Social Credit with a larger majority. How can we make sure the result this time is different?


From: Toronto | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
person
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posted 02 May 2004 01:21 PM      Profile for person     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"2. The government brings in draconian legislation declaring the strikes illegal and massive $10,000 a fines for anyone staying off the job. Eventually, the workers are forced back."

if they do this it will only escalate the situation, which is a damn good thing as far as i'm concerned. it is only at times like this that people begin organizing themselves and taking control of their lives. shit, the people in bc havn't been this charged for 20 years. moments like this present the only possible hope for change, EVERYONE needs to be out in the streets this monday, get out there and yell and scream, and then go talk to your neighbours, friends, and co-workers about how you can start building a better system.


From: www.resist.ca | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
banquo
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posted 02 May 2004 01:28 PM      Profile for banquo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Heph, last evening I watched some guy on NewsWorld (who coincidentally looked like a Eugene Levy character complete with caterpillar eyebrows) yabbering about this clawback as being part of an attempt at budget balancing. It's never been claimed as that until this clown said it. It's always supposedly been about being able to re-direct money into patient care not deficit reduction. The apologists are starting to have a hard time scrambling. So far at least journalists are letting the scrambles stand. "He Said She Said". Perhaps we should start a movement to rename Canada's schools of journalism. 'The Ryerson School of He Said She Said' for example. I like it.

Can you tell I'm fed up with contemporary journalism?


From: north vancouver, bc | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Amy
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posted 02 May 2004 01:42 PM      Profile for Amy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I have a feeling that the Times-Colonist went out for free this morning... as we got one today that we never normally get. I read in there that the bus staff will be protesting on monday in Victoria as well. It won't be an issue for me anymore, since I live quite close to a hospital and can walk down to the Legislature with the HEU, but for people without a way to get into town, won't this prevent many people from getting into town to support the stuff that's going on? I mean, I know it's to shut down private business and show solidarity, but does anybody know if there any shuttle-type busses that will be running people down to the Leg.?

In terms of Campbell's two options... I'm quite sure that he has some plan up his sleeve; he can't have not seen this coming unless he's really really stupid and unable to read the signs. I really don't think that he can get away with fining every individual involved, etc. people are FAR too angry and supportive of the HEU; when i walk by the hospital, two out of every three cars and almost every bus honks at them.

Part of me worries that this is a set up, but that could just be because of the very selected letters written by Anglican 'social justice' leaders (in quotations because I doubt that most social justice groups would be anti-worker the way that the article made these people sound) and angry patients in the Times Colonist this morning. I'm curious as to what is going to happen, and I am very supportive of the action that is being taken by workers in the province. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can help, or where I could go to find out how to help?


From: the whole town erupts and/ bursts into flame | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
NDP Newbie
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posted 02 May 2004 01:54 PM      Profile for NDP Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
What scenarios are there for how this will end? We know that one thing it WON'T is force an election since BC has fixed tersm and the next provincial election is exactly one year from now.

So i guess that leaves two possibilities:

1. Campbell totally capitulates and is humiliated. (Does anyoen seriouly think this will happen? It would be nice, but I don't think its in Campbell's nature to back down on anything)

2. The government brings in draconian legislation declaring the strikes illegal and massive $10,000 a fines for anyone staying off the job. Eventually, the workers are forced back.

Remember, last time BC went through something like this in 1983 with general strikes etc...all it did was reelect Social Credit with a larger majority. How can we make sure the result this time is different?


Never mind. I'm an idiot.

[ 02 May 2004: Message edited by: NDP Newbie ]


From: Cornwall, ON | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
person
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posted 02 May 2004 01:56 PM      Profile for person     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
you could whip up some leaflets about working class solidarity and distribute them to your neighbours/community members, you could run around town tonite spraypainting pro-worker sentiments in visible locations, you could go join the picket lines, put together a flying squad and go "picket" buildings where business is underway, wou could unionize your workplace, you could start up a victoria chapter of the bus riders union and stand in solidarity with the bus drivers, you could start up a renters union with your fellow tenents 9assuming you live in an apartment building, you could grab 25+ people and start a snake march through the downtown, you could.... the possibilities are endless, what's important is that you do SOMETHING.
From: www.resist.ca | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Pogo
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posted 02 May 2004 01:59 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What I understood from Jim Sinclair's speech yesterday was not a general strike, but rotating strikes. He made a statement that it's time for the bosses of industry to start calling their man and to figure a way out of this.

As far a capitulating, Campbell has already made a habit of this (liquour stores, Coquihalla highway). The news casts last night were pretty clear that people were blaming the Campbell government for the crisis. The unions aren't stupid either, they are going to give him an out or some sort or another.


From: Richmond BC | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
person
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posted 02 May 2004 02:01 PM      Profile for person     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
jim sinclair can fuck off, it is not about what rich old and white union bosses want anymore, it is about waht workers want, if workers can shake off the yolk of union bosses we might actually get something done.
From: www.resist.ca | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
NDP Newbie
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posted 02 May 2004 02:01 PM      Profile for NDP Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by person:
jim sinclair can fuck off, it is not about what rich old and white union bosses want anymore, it is about waht workers want, if workers can shake off the yolk of union bosses we might actually get something done.

I'd be careful using the term Harris-developed term "union bosses" around here.


From: Cornwall, ON | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Pogo
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posted 02 May 2004 02:02 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by person:
you could whip up some leaflets about working class solidarity and distribute them to your neighbours/community members, you could run around town tonite spraypainting pro-worker sentiments in visible locations, you could go join the picket lines, put together a flying squad and go "picket" buildings where business is underway, wou could unionize your workplace, you could start up a victoria chapter of the bus riders union and stand in solidarity with the bus drivers, you could start up a renters union with your fellow tenents 9assuming you live in an apartment building, you could grab 25+ people and start a snake march through the downtown, you could.... the possibilities are endless, what's important is that you do SOMETHING.

Just bumping a great post!


From: Richmond BC | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
person
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posted 02 May 2004 02:02 PM      Profile for person     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
might this turn out to be another "operation solidarity" with an eleventh hour sellout by union leaders and social democrat politicians?
From: www.resist.ca | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Pogo
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posted 02 May 2004 02:19 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by person:
might this turn out to be another "operation solidarity" with an eleventh hour sellout by union leaders and social democrat politicians?

What is your acceptable outcome?


From: Richmond BC | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 02 May 2004 02:22 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Remember this?
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Amy
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posted 02 May 2004 02:23 PM      Profile for Amy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I certainly hope not. I was born in 83, so I don't remember all that stuff, but I think that people would be mighty pissed off if the leaders decided to give in, and it could cause a whole new set of problems.
From: the whole town erupts and/ bursts into flame | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cpar
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posted 02 May 2004 02:27 PM      Profile for Cpar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What`s needed in BC is a good strong chunk of rope and a good strong branch, and Campbell hanging on the end of rope.
From: kelowna, BC | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 02 May 2004 02:59 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yeeeeh. Easy there, cpar.
From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 02 May 2004 03:12 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Everyone I know here in Ontario is excited by the principled position of the BC workers. Once again, they are showing the way forward.
From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gargamel
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posted 02 May 2004 03:46 PM      Profile for Gargamel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I have a question for all you NDPers out there. Check out this press release by the BC NDP. The BC NDP is calling for a DELAY in the reduction of wages by 15% "to give people time to adjust," but they are not against it! What is with that?!? It's unbelievable! Also, they are not calling for a halt to privatization of the HEU, merely saying that privatization should be suspended until negotiations are over. It's the same old weak-kneed capitulation we're all too used to. Oh you can beat me up but please don't kick me. The NDP leadership is clearly mesmerized by the good polls and don't want to hurt their chances with a messy general strike.

I know you are mostly NDPers but if you are honest and compare the pathetic BCNDP press release (which I do understand is not the sentiment shared by most NDP members) to the Green party's press release Green Party supports HEU strike, don't you agree the greens are acting alot more like the people's party than the BCNDP these days?

Go general strike!!!

[ 02 May 2004: Message edited by: Gargamel ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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posted 02 May 2004 04:15 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
That is a selective reading, Gargamel. The NDP went through legislative procedures in order to delay, harry, and soften a bill that they could not stop (being rather firmly out-numbered). They are now calling for a repeal of the bill, or at least the repealing of the most egregious aspects of the bill. As for the Greens, good on them for supporting the workers this time 'round, but I have no faith in the Greens as a workers' party.
From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cpar
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posted 02 May 2004 04:26 PM      Profile for Cpar     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I suppose my post above was a bit harsh, so I will tone it down a bit. Campbell should be tried for treason, among other things. How does an elected official get away with saying that he would not tear up collective agreements, not privatize health care, not sell BC Rail.etc,etc, then promptly do everything exactly the opposite of what he said. Now that he has stirred up the hornet`s nest, so to say, Mr. .16 blood/alcohol level at 70 miles an hour is now an expert on what is illegal/legal. I say the time has come for a General Strike. These creeps have sold us down the river too much, and for too long. This is what the end result would be like electing the likes of Steven Harper federally, I suspect. And to top it off, the "Canadian Taxpayers Federation" is running TV ads asking patients to sue the HEU.
From: kelowna, BC | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
beluga2
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posted 02 May 2004 04:30 PM      Profile for beluga2     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In that case, I think I'll sue the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation for claiming to represent me (a taxpayer) without my consent. Butt out, assholes.

quote:
Originally posted by Stockholm:
Remember, last time BC went through something like this in 1983 with general strikes etc...all it did was reelect Social Credit with a larger majority. How can we make sure the result this time is different?

I think you've put forward this idea before, and once again, it's not historically accurate. Operation Solidarity happened after the '83 election, and by the time the next election rolled around in '86, it was ancient history. Vander Zalm's campaign was based on his claim to represent a break from the Bill Bennett past ("A Fresh Start" was his laughable campaign slogan). And he won largely due the media's shameless Zalm-boosterism, and Bob Skelly's untimely fumblings in front of the TV camera.

This time there's only a year to go before the election. Less time for people's memories to fade. And Campbell, if anything, is even more hated now than Bill Bennett was at a comparable point in his final mandate. Unless the Libs manage to pull out a Vander Zalm-style saviour/rejuvenator from somewhere, they could be in serious trouble.


From: vancouvergrad, BCSSR | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Centrist
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posted 02 May 2004 04:59 PM      Profile for Centrist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by beluga2:
Operation Solidarity happened after the '83 election, and by the time the next election rolled around in '86, it was ancient history.

Public sympathy usually occurs at the beginning of such disputes (as in the present case) but if things get out of control or are mismanaged public opinion can turn.

A public opinion poll was published by the Vancouver Sun in late 1983 and the findings were that 19% supported Operation Solidarity and its aims for a general strike.

At that time it was perceived in many circles that Operation Solidarity was an extra-parliamentary opposition which had usurped the NDP status as a parliamentary opposition.

While I am always reticent about the results of on-line polls, here are two on-line polls with between 13,000 and 14,000 votes each regarding the current HEU strike and the back-to-work order.

http://www.cknw.com/station/past_polls.cfm

These things can always become a double-edged sword if not handled properly.

handled properly - just a general concept that can have various interpretations.

[ 02 May 2004: Message edited by: Centrist ]


From: BC | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
verbatim
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posted 02 May 2004 05:06 PM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Centrist:
...These things can always become a double-edged sword if not handled properly...

What is handling and how does one do it properly? Please elucidate.

From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Amy
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posted 02 May 2004 05:38 PM      Profile for Amy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
that is a voluntary CKNW poll, meaning that is an indication that the listeners of a right-wing radio station don't support the HEU strike. big suprise! it's pretty meaningless.
From: the whole town erupts and/ bursts into flame | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
verbatim
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posted 02 May 2004 05:49 PM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
OTOH, check out the poll on the left side of the Victoria Canada.com page. When I last left it was 71.5% yes / 28.5% no to the question "Do you support non-HEU unions walking out to support the health-care workers?"

[ 02 May 2004: Message edited by: verbatim ]


From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
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posted 02 May 2004 06:47 PM      Profile for NDP Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Holy shit.

On canada.com?

In the 2000 election campaign, an online poll there had at Canadian Alliance at close to 50%.


From: Cornwall, ON | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
leftcoastguy
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posted 02 May 2004 07:36 PM      Profile for leftcoastguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I am not familiar with the situation, but in 1983, did not a union leader named Munro sell out the workers?
From: leftcoast | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
bigbird
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posted 02 May 2004 07:52 PM      Profile for bigbird   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Mytelus.com online voting

"Who are you siding with in the contract dispute between health workers and the B.C. government? "

54% for Hospital Employees' Union
34% for B.C. government
11% for Neither


From: Vancouver | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
NDP Newbie
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posted 02 May 2004 07:59 PM      Profile for NDP Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The socialist hordes are at the gates!

This time we're tearin' them down.


From: Cornwall, ON | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 02 May 2004 08:02 PM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
Just announced on CBC Radio:

BC Supreme Court finds strikers guilty of contempt of court

So what's next?

Edited to add:

Judge says he will decide penalty later in the week....

[ 02 May 2004: Message edited by: Hephaestion ]


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
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posted 02 May 2004 08:04 PM      Profile for NDP Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Hephaestion:
Just announced on CBC Radio:

BC Supreme Court finds strikers guilty of contempt of court

So what's next?


A big "fuck you"!


From: Cornwall, ON | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
leftcoastguy
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posted 02 May 2004 08:52 PM      Profile for leftcoastguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Outrage Knits Defiant Unions
From: leftcoast | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
leftcoastguy
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posted 02 May 2004 11:08 PM      Profile for leftcoastguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What about the private sector unions?

What about the Construction workers, Local 1611?

Why are they not supporting their brothers and sisters in the HEU?

What's the problem with their union leadership?

Is it time for changes in leadership in the private sectors unions?


From: leftcoast | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
person
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posted 03 May 2004 01:43 AM      Profile for person     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!




STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!! STRIKE!!

[ 03 May 2004: Message edited by: person ]

[ 03 May 2004: Message edited by: person ]


From: www.resist.ca | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Albireo
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posted 03 May 2004 02:33 AM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Er, um, a deal has been reached between the health-care workers and the government, so a general strike would seem to be moot, at least right now.
From: --> . <-- | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Vansterdam Kid
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posted 03 May 2004 02:34 AM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by leftcoastguy:
What about the private sector unions?

What about the Construction workers, Local 1611?

Why are they not supporting their brothers and sisters in the HEU?

What's the problem with their union leadership?

Is it time for changes in leadership in the private sectors unions?



I'll have you know that many private sector workers were willing and able to support their "brothers and sisters in the HEU". Here's a link it specifically says that
link. I know first hand that people in private sector unions are willing and able to do so if called upon. How? My mom works in the private sector, with a union, and they where going to go off on monday as well. However it appears that they might not have to because a possible deal is in the works.


From: bleh.... | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Vansterdam Kid
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posted 03 May 2004 02:37 AM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post

[ 03 May 2004: Message edited by: Davidbcalec ]


From: bleh.... | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
NDP Newbie
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posted 03 May 2004 02:53 AM      Profile for NDP Newbie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Removing the retroactivity and limiting contracting out?

That still doesn't address the massive pay cut they'll be facing.

What's the point in being unionised if you're not willing to use the leverage to fight for a decent living?


From: Cornwall, ON | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Vansterdam Kid
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posted 03 May 2004 03:15 AM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
NDPnewbie no it doesn't address the 15% pay cut. I still think that sucks. There's no way around it 15% hurts it that's alot of money. And it's probley even worse considering the fact that alot of the members of the HEU have dependants. They may be mothers or other caregivers that their families rely on to provide for them. I'm definitely not defending the Campbell government.
From: bleh.... | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
LukeVanc
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posted 03 May 2004 05:44 AM      Profile for LukeVanc     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Thank Dog. The general strike would have led to many people being laid off from their jobs, not to mention left many of us housebound, due to the full-scale transit strike that was planned for tomorrow.
From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
verbatim
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posted 03 May 2004 05:49 AM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
OTOH, no General Strike means that the safe, unaffected public just goes about its business without any tangible understanding of what disruption can mean. A little disruption and hardship might snap a few complacent people out of their unperturbable reveries.
From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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posted 03 May 2004 05:55 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well it will be interesting to see the deal and figure out who blinked. A lot of union leaders fear the concept of a general strike almost as much (or even more) than government.

Still, this makes you wonder just what would have happened had the OFL not pulled the plug on the Days of Action and actually went through with a general strike (and not a measly one day general strike that the state can just brace itself for and sit through but an indefinite action).


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
leftcoastguy
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posted 03 May 2004 06:00 AM      Profile for leftcoastguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'd be curious to know what Local 1611's position is on the upcoming federal election.

They seem very, very quiet if you know what I mean.


From: leftcoast | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Mycroft_
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posted 03 May 2004 07:51 AM      Profile for Mycroft_     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
According to CBC:
quote:
Government spokesman Andy Orr says the contentious issues have been dealt with. Details of the agreement include:

* Caps the number of full-time union jobs health employers can contract out to 300 in each of next two years.
* $25 million severance package for workers laid off between 2002 and 2006
* Arbitrator to negotiate how 10 per cent wage and benefits rollback is worked out


Sounds to me like the union has sold out its members.


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged
spindoctor
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posted 03 May 2004 09:49 AM      Profile for spindoctor   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Sounds to me like the union has sold out its members.

Funny, I thought the same thing when I heard the news. Accepting a 10% wage roll-back? What the hell?!?!? On the verge of the biggest strike in 20 years???!?!?!?!?!

This is just gross.

I'm just listening to The Current's feature on the deal and the Vancouver reporter made an interesting comment, referring to the fact that the workers who were threatening to strike (garbage collectors, mill workers, bus drivers, hospital workers) were the ones "who run the province". It wasn't conscious, but it's an interesting and clear reference to the power that workers possess.

All they have to do is seize it.


From: Kingston, Jamaica.....oh alright....Kingston, Ontario | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pogo
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posted 03 May 2004 12:13 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The HEU was facing massive penalties after losing its court case on Sunday. Yes a general strike that mobilized the province against the government would have been ideal, but it wasn't going to happen.
From: Richmond BC | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
person
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posted 03 May 2004 12:22 PM      Profile for person     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
only due to weak-kneed yellow unionists who don'y have a fucking clue what solidarity is. the union leaders (i don't mean local leaders) are worse than campbell and should be kicked out of their positions.
From: www.resist.ca | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
person
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posted 03 May 2004 12:40 PM      Profile for person     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
the story from cbc vancouver


Eleventh-hour deal averts chaos [chaos?!?! wtf kinda description of a general strike is that]

selections from the article:

"HEU spokesperson Chris Allnutt calls the agreement a victory for workers, and the health-care system."

what a piece of shit.

"B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair says the threat of a general strike forced the government to back down.

"I absolutely believe it was all the other working people along with the HEU that made this possible," says Sinclair."

what possible? getting fucked over a little more softly?

just sickening....


From: www.resist.ca | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
MT VIEW
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posted 03 May 2004 01:10 PM      Profile for MT VIEW     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by beluga2:

I think you've put forward this idea before, and once again, it's not historically accurate. Operation Solidarity happened after the '83 election, and by the time the next election rolled around in '86, it was ancient history. Vander Zalm's campaign was based on his claim to represent a break from the Bill Bennett past ("A Fresh Start" was his laughable campaign slogan). And he won largely due the media's shameless Zalm-boosterism, and Bob Skelly's untimely fumblings in front of the TV camera.

This time there's only a year to go before the election. Less time for people's memories to fade. And Campbell, if anything, is even more hated now than Bill Bennett was at a comparable point in his final mandate. Unless the Libs manage to pull out a Vander Zalm-style saviour/rejuvenator from somewhere, they could be in serious trouble.



Going back to the Bob Skelly business, his loss in 1986 could be attributed to much more than just a single poor showing on TV, even one that was repeated endlessly by the media in much the same way as Howard Dean's Scream earlier this year.

During the SC leadership race, public opinion polls showed the SC party recovering even before they got to Whistler for their convention. The NDP had lost the spotlight because it had absolutely no strategy whatsoever for dealing with the fun-and-games SC popularity contest.

In the Spring of that year, I asked one of our provincial candidates why, as each SC leadership contender came out of the starting blocks, Skelly and the NDP didn't offer some kind of quotable critique on that person, perhaps especially in the case of the two candidates backed by the then widely disliked Big Blue Machine. All I got for my troubles was some trite explanation that Bob Skelly would not be commenting in any way at all about the SC leadership race "because there'e nothing in it for us". Frankly, I was stunned by the vacuity of this complete non-answer.

Into the fall and the election it became clear why the "mums the word" approach was the iron law of NDP provincial politics. Just before the election, in early September, the NDP caucus decided to have a review vote on Skelly's leadership so that all those who had opposed him could say, turning to opinion polls that by then showed a huge Vander Zalm-SC lead, "See, we told you so. It should have been Vickers!" (Vickers having been the runner up leadership candidate in the NDP's 1984 convention.)

The reason Skelly was counselled by all his handlers not to make statements in the Spring that would have allowed him to appear on top of the SC leadership situation is because of continuing divisions beneath the surface over his own leadership win in the NDP. Some of the strategists who focussed way too much on NDP backroom considerations just didn't want him saying anything that might lead to mutterings at a provincial council meetings to the effect that "We still aren't satisfied with who WE got."

But that stony silence was the main thing that led to the big SC lead building up, which was then used to prove that his leadership was questionable from the beginning. Neat eh?

Is Gordon Campbell more hated that Bill Bennett? Maybe so, but certainly not less. Is he going to be gone soon? That depends on whether or not the media decide to drop The Bomb on him. Rumour has it that the commercial mass media have multi-megaton arsenals filled with incredibly damaging (and entertaining) personality stuff that could be used to blow Campbell to smithereens in a matter of days, ... should they ever decide to launch it all.

And if they did rub him out, ... well, then they kill two birds with one shot. First, they get a losing candidate off their backs for now. And then they stockpile this episode for the next fifty years. Any time someone from Labour or the NDP is whining that the coverage isn't fair, all they have to do is say, "Give it a rest, guys! Don't you remember what we did to the poor SOB Campbell?"

[ 03 May 2004: Message edited by: MT VIEW ]


From: Maple Ridge, BC | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Pogo
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posted 03 May 2004 02:04 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Mycroft:
According to CBC:

Sounds to me like the union has sold out its members.


Each day on the picket line was going to cost $400,000. Public support was there now, but is very fickle. Asking them to maintain the momentum because it feels good to push capitalists around for a change is shortsighted. There has to be an achievable goal that justifies the very high level of risk. I am not close enough to the situation to evaluate the risks, but it sure isn't clear to me that a week of escalation would have gotten a better deal or demonized the Liberals any more. On the other side it could have bankrupted the labour movement and turned the public against it.


From: Richmond BC | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 03 May 2004 02:30 PM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm not sure how I feel about the outcome. I'll defer to the union folks directly involved.

It's not up to us on the sidelines to decide if it's a sellout or not. I doubt it, personally.

My uncle used to be a negotiator for his union. He told me that he always knew he'd done his job well when EVERYONE was pissed at him, because that meant they all sides had to give up more than they wanted.

The wage cut hurts, for sure. OTOH, they do have a very friendly benefits package in other ways (holidays are good, for one).

The contracting out is the biggest problem. No point to having benefits if you get laid off. I would have liked to see them put a stop to that altogether.


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
person
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posted 03 May 2004 02:31 PM      Profile for person     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
"On the other side it could have bankrupted the labour movement and turned the public against it."

no, if a general strike goes forward and some of the powerful unions get on board, the govewrnment will fold like a soggy noodle. we should be out theor demanding the resignation of this government.


From: www.resist.ca | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Vansterdam Kid
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posted 03 May 2004 05:04 PM      Profile for Vansterdam Kid   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Well whether this was a sell out or not is really up to the members of the HEU to decide. It's not my place, i'm not a member.

IMO I don't know that there is really much else that the HEU can accomplish by continuing to strike. They should (along with other concerned citizens) keep the protests up just as a reminder that Campbell is privatizing health care (and generally doing a bad job governing) so as to encourage the people of BC to take that into account in may 2005. But a full blown strike (discounting the essential services levels that the HEU maintained during the strike) is only going to hurt them more. Hopefully though the political damage this has caused to the government will continue to linger (and get worse) until may 2005 and give Campbell and company the pink slips they and not working people deserve.


From: bleh.... | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
B.C. Mary
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posted 03 May 2004 07:20 PM      Profile for B.C. Mary     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Just a suggestion: If 2 or 3 people plan to post a dozen or so comments aimed mostly at one another -- i.e., a personal discussion -- wouldn't it be better if they e.mailed each other directly??

I'd rather hear the specifics of who, what, when, where, and why of helping win the May 2005 election campaign.


From: Toronto | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Anchoress
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posted 03 May 2004 07:34 PM      Profile for Anchoress     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by B.C. Mary:
I'd rather hear the specifics of who, what, when, where, and why of helping win the May 2005 election campaign.

Since this thread is about the general strike, perhaps you should start a thread on the 5 Ws of winning the 2005 election?


From: Vancouver babblers' meetup July 9 @ Cafe Deux Soleil! | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
LukeVanc
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posted 03 May 2004 07:59 PM      Profile for LukeVanc     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:

OTOH, no General Strike means that the safe, unaffected public just goes about its business without any tangible understanding of what disruption can mean. A little disruption and hardship might snap a few complacent people out of their unperturbable reveries.

Yeah I know. Remember Ujjal Dosanjh, George Puil, and Jennifer Clarke?


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 04 May 2004 02:25 AM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm deeply ambivalent. Politically vis-a-vis the election, the outcome may have been the most expedient. Campbell looked like the asshole he is, the strike was short enough that all his and the media's complaints about the horrific effect on the health care system looked pretty lame, the unions were seen as both a political force and a justly enraged group of people ready to help each other out, rather than spun as greedy etc. the way the media usually does, the government was seen to blink, but at the same time the HEU workers still look like objects of pity and compassion because they still got a shitty deal. People got a feeling of what unions could do if they got together, but weren't angered by actually having to live with it.

Politically it all looks just great. Yay. But the HEU got a shitty deal and I'm mad as hell. The ends don't justify the means--if we win the political election on the back of the HEU, what does that say? Where the hell have our guts gone if we got the biggest labour mobilization in twenty years rolling and we think it's OK that all that accomplished was to let most of the workers keep their jobs with a 10% pay cut working longer hours?! I'll tell you, if Carole James gets elected, she owes the HEU and she better give them back their wages and put back their jobs or maybe we'll see the first general strike under an *NDP* government!

And on the court thing--that fine is *still* hanging over the union. Their going back to work hasn't made it go away, and the deal didn't include the government legislating it away. As long as they're getting the shaft anyway, they might as well have gotten some mileage out of it instead of striking just long enough to take the penalty but not long enough to force a decent deal.

OK, maybe I'm not that ambivalent. My head is divided. One side says we did the expedient thing. The other side says you do not build movements by wimping out, and we've been losing for decades through retreat after retreat after retreat because everyone's afraid of bad optics or of challenging the status quo. And my heart is not divided--it says we should have been out, dammit!


From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 04 May 2004 05:13 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post
Three words: Work To Rule....
From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 04 May 2004 08:30 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
We keep hearing about how the public would have turned against the unions if they had continued the strike. What kind of idiot would turn against people facing a 10% or 15% pay decrease!? That's ridiculous. I think even people who aren't normally pro-union would be able to sympathize with workers who are getting a huge pay cut. For those who would consider the unions unreasonable, I think a fair question to ask of them is, "So you won't mind then, if you go to work tomorrow and your boss lowers your wages by 10 or 15 percent?" That alone is worth a general strike if you ask me.

Seems to me that you don't need a union to negotiate a pay cut with your employer - they can do that all on their own without any help.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
robbie_dee
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 195

posted 04 May 2004 10:39 AM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
You can read a selection of unmoderated comments from CUPE members (as well as a few trolls) at the bottom of this article, from CUPE's website: Privatization curbed but BC health care workers still hit hard (cupe.ca)

quote:
The Day of What? Where did the trigger go? [7039]
posted by J. Lau on Monday May 3, 2004 08:08AM

The strike that never was...

I'm disappointed that the general day of protest never happened.
All this grand talk fizzled out to squeeming and bowing to the Govt.
The faith that was built up by the day of action unions is now lost.
This momentum will NEVER happen again and more and more people will stop standing behind unions.

I guess the union leaders didn't hear their members.
I guess the Govt. does have the power.

It is a sad message to front line workers -- that we don't matter!
We can go back to work without the securities that BCFED, CUPE, and other large unions have been shouting out all weekend long.

I am a public sector worker, a proud member.
I am a taxpayer, one of many.
I am one voice, that wasn't heard.
I had faith, but it is gone.
I was ready and mobilized.
I am... were you?



From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
natas
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4211

posted 04 May 2004 10:44 AM      Profile for natas   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
FYI, I've started another thread to bemoan the treatment this issue gets in the NUPGE flak job on the front page.
From: Vineland Station, Ontario | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Nam
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3472

posted 05 May 2004 12:36 AM      Profile for Nam     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I think it was Bob White who once said "You don't need a union to go backwards". Paycuts, job loss, benefits cut...why belong to a union??
From: Calgary-Land of corporate towers | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
leftcoastguy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5232

posted 05 May 2004 02:05 AM      Profile for leftcoastguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
One thing I don't understand is why the union negotatiators did not take what they agreed to back to the HEU general membership for a ratification vote. It seems the way it was done the union leadership have set themselves up for internal trouble, but I do not know enough about it.
From: leftcoast | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
sideshowbob
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 5822

posted 25 May 2004 07:57 PM      Profile for sideshowbob        Edit/Delete Post
oh lets be realistic. who out there doesn't think a 15 percent wage cut and the loss of jobs isn't a victory? you cant expect a general strike when you are bargaining amazing contracts like that.
From: winnipeg, manitoba | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
Babbler # 621

posted 25 May 2004 08:08 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yeah... I think any chance of a general strike went right out the window with the complete cave-in by the HEU leadership. Workers need to believe it's worth the risk to go on a general strike. The HEU membership was mobilized and militant, but for all their energy and conviction, they got nothing in the way of results; they were sold out by their leaders. If you don't think the leadership can hang tough, why would you go on general strike? Other unions came in behind them... they will be wary of any mass solidarity now, too.

Besides which, there has to be a strategy to follow through on a general strike. What are the criteria for calling it off? How long are you prepared to go? How organized will you be to protect members who are getting evicted from their homes? Militant members can go a long way to improvising solutions, but again, we don't have the depth of political culture. There simply doesn't exist the ideological base or political depth in the labour movement to mount actions like this. The leadership is scared to death of one thing or the other, and much of the leadership is unreconstructed right-wing social democrats whose idea of politics is telling the members how to vote -- that always works!

If there were to be a general strike in BC, it would be the next step in breaking the labour movement there. And without a general strike, you'll get the same results, only slower.

The basic work the labour movement and the broader left need right now is of re-formation at the level of mass political education. But the current leadership is not capable of leading it the way it needs to be led.


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3308

posted 26 May 2004 02:21 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Also need either more union members or more worker-owned businesses or both. The percentages right now are not good.
From: Caithnard College | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged

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