Wednesday, 7 May 2014

First Day of the Strike (video added) (updated)

The following is part of a statement submitted by a member who's family does not live in the high rise, but in one of the townhouse units.  They are not SAIL users and have nothing to do with the supposed reasons for the strike.  The statement covers several days of activities.  This is the first portion.  Video will be added to this post when it is available.

The first day of the strike was one of notable aggressiveness on the part of union strikers (as far as I am aware, none of the strikers I had to interact with were actual SAIL employees).  As I approached my van, I had strikers try to talk to me.  I let them know I was fully informed and told them “no” repeatedly and emphatically, which was ignored.  Once in my van, as I often do, I set my phone up on my dashboard holder.  As a preventative measure, I set the phone on video record.  Much of what happened next was outside the frame, but can be heard on the recording.  As I tried to leave, a union guy (UG from here on) approached my driver’s side window to talk to me.  His attitude was very adversarial and confrontational. I opened my window slightly and responding by telling him I was already informed and said “no, thank you” to his offer of a flier. 

As soon as I said “no, thank you,” the first time, a security guard (SG) approached.  Due to how close the UG was to my van, the SG could not come between us, so he stretched his hand out in front of the UG’s face.  The UG continued to talk to me, even as I repeatedly said “no, thank you,” and the SG quietly and politely tried to tell him to stop.  The UG then turned to the SG, saying “please get out of my face, please get out of my face, why are you attacking me? Why are you attacking me?” even though the SG had not touched him, had not gone any closer, and continued to talk only in a quiet and professional manner.

As the strikers that were blocking me began to move away, I began inching my van forward.  At this point, there was an altercation at the entry to the underground parking.  There, the strikers had mobbed a white SUV type vehicle.  They had surrounded the vehicle, were hitting it, and shouting for the driver to “park that vehicle!”  The driver had tried to move and it appeared to me that one striker had gone in front of the vehicle in an attempt to get hit.  I am not positive, but the vehicle may have actually touched the striker, but it seemed to me that the striker himself had slapped the vehicle to make it sound as if he had been hit.  As I was driving myself, I was not in a position to look too closely.

Update: video added

Updated: another member's experience.  (Note that this was submitted on a phone, with the usual problems with sentence structure and typos.)

There is a strike today in our which is Artspace Co-Op.  Just from our initial encounters, I've formed an opinion that the union behind our just-barely unionized home care workers (who work for an agency housed under our roof) wants to push them into conflict, and not in their own interest.  I'm a little concerned because my medical schedule requires me to go in and out with regularity.  Today, when I exited the parking garage, they held me for six minutes, so I took a look at their material because I want to know what the union had to say.  I had missed the meeting what all this came to a head because I was in hospital.  After holding me up for about six minutes, they let me go.  When I came back, they gave me some material, which I took cordially, then, as they wave me in, I waved at one our workers that I could see, and then, the AUPE agitators - and there were a lot of them - BOOED loudly as I entered the parkade.  They BOOED as I entered my home.  That was frightening.

There are all types of people here in Artspace - old, young, with disabilities and without.  There are a lot of children.  This is a space unique and perhaps the world.  Those of us who live here treasure it.

, this place is our home and they have no right to picket us, much less insult us on the street and boo us.  If they believe they will gain any ground with these tactics, they are almost surely wrong.  ...

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