Sep 13 2007
I’m sure I’m not the only one asking the question.
While I’m pretty insulated from the effects of the strike (city managers have even managed to set aside time to spoon-feed me data for an upcoming magazine feature article), countless City residents are certainly losing their patience.
I’m not anti-union. Frankly, I wouldn’t mind belonging to one that managed to get me the kind of benefits that City workers had even before the strike started.
But on the whole, some of CUPE’s demands just seem greedy.
The City’s offer of a 17.5 per cent raise over five years seems decent enough, and pretty much in line with the private sector for outdoor work not involving oil rigs in Alberta.
Meanwhile, why is CUPE asking for a no-layoffs policy? The government is not an employer of last resort. If there’s no work, there’s no work.
Besides, it seems to be a red herring, given that over the past ten years, the City has laid off just 10 workers of a workforce of 3,500. How much more job security could one possibly need?
CUPE also wants all auxiliary work only assigned on the basis of seniority. Why shouldn’t merit be at least a factor, even if not the primary one?
Perhaps Vancouverites are already aware of these kinds of examples, though. It may explain why I have yet to hear a single commuter honking their horn in support for the strikers outside City Hall.