Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shameful behaviour by striking CUPE workers in Windsor, ON

I live in Windsor, Ontario, where city workers have been striking since mid-April. There has been no garbage pickup or park maintenance, but I've been happy to see the people of Windsor stepping up to do what they can to take care of the city. People have started going out with their kids to help clean up parks as a way to teach them about littering and keeping the planet clean. One major cleanup by folks cleared piles of Tim Horton's cups and other garbage from the riverfront.

Entrepreneurs have also come to the forefront, offering garbage pickup with their trucks and trailers for people who don't want to leave their garbage at the road in the hot weather for rats or raccoons to tear open or to store it in their basements as the city suggests. It's been absolutely heartwarming to see people helping one another in my city.

Apparently, though, this isn't OK with the city workers, who shout at those trying to clean up and have been reported to have even grabbed garbage from workers at local businesses to dump it into city parks. Most startling so far, though, is this cell phone video of a woman shouting at a couple and their granddaughter as they pick up garbage in a park. The woman aggressively approaches them, tears open a bag of garbage and kicks it all over the ground the child and couple have finished cleaning, telling them, "Here's some more garbage, since you think you should be doing our jobs."

The man who shot the video is afraid to be identified because he's worried the union will retaliate against him. Apparently he should be. The columnist who wrote the article on entrepreneurs linked above had his car vandalized after his article was printed for the first time in a long career of controversial writing.

When unions were first started they had a noble purpose - to protect workers from mistreatment and to give them an equal voice when bargaining for their jobs. The high value of the workers protected their jobs when they were on strike and reminded employers of their value.

Over the years this purpose has been completely lost, especially as legislation has taken away the ability of the employer to have equal status when bargaining -striking employees cannot be fired and replaced if others are willing to do their job for less. Although employees' labour does not have the high value it once did, employers are forced to treat them as though it did.

Public sector unions, though, are the worst. When they go on strike they are basically holding third parties - taxpayers and citizens - hostage to get their demands. Because they provide public services, they are infuriated even by something as positive as people working together to make the world a better place.

The rumour here in Windsor is that CUPE president Sid Ryan is using Windsor to set an example and let municipalities know that CUPE will not take lower raises or benefits because of the economic downturn, dispite the hardships their taxpayers might be facing.

If this is true and Ryan is looking to make an example, perhaps he should start with the CUPE picketers who would intimidate, frighten or shout at the people, including children, trying to keep their parks safe.

Cross posted to the Shotgun.


Simeon (Sam) George Drakich said...
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Charles Martin Cosgriff said...

Unions are for the workers first - period. Nothing wrong with that so far as it goes, but in cases like this I have to agree with the much maligned Calvin Coolidge: "There is no right to strike against the public welfare, anytime, under any circumstances."

Paul M said...

I'm going to assume that woman was charged with assault....oh wait, silly me.

Never mind.

BBS said...

The cell phone video didn't work. Do you have a link? I'd like to post it as well.

BBS said...

Found it -

Anonymous said...

CUPE gives all unions a bad name. In fact, CUPE gives humans a bad name.

Janet said...

BBS - thanks, I fixed it.

marlene said...

Why wasn't the woman in the video charged under the littering by-law? The City's by-law officers are responsible under Part IV of the Criminal Code of Canada to enforce that law as are police officers responsible.

If the City doesn't charge the woman, then they are complicit in municipal corruption and are saying that C.U.P.E members are above the law - or any union member for that matter.

The City has a Constitutional obligation to make sure every single person is treated equally and gets equal benefit of the law.

If you get assaulted by a union member and a police officer does nothing, get his/her badge number and file a complaint with their superior officer under s. 126 of Part IV of the Criminal Code. (it would help if you looked it up first, which can be done at the local court house law library. If they say no - that is also against LibraryCo's policies)

Simeon (Sam) George Drakich said...

Marlene, police are the defenders of CUPE.

marlene said...

Here's the City's littering by-law:

Also, it's pathetic that the CAW would direct their aggression at kids.

I just read this article where the CAW is going to withdraw it's funding for kids sports if parents clean up soccer fields. I would call their bluff and find other private funders and forget the CAW altogether.

The CAW is also telling their members to support C.U.P.E by putting their garbage on their front lawns - deliberately trying to make the City neighbourhoods look bad and increasing the likely hood of attracting vermin

marlene said...

I know Sam...but you still have a right to complain under our laws - they aren't above them

Simeon (Sam) George Drakich said...
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marlene said...

Also, it's better to video tape an officer refusing to act on union aggression - all of which should be put up on YouTube.

marlene said...

You won't even get that far Sam - it's the act of filing a complaint. The Windsor City Police have complaint forms right in their front entrance. If there are brave Windsorites willing to file complaints when they occur, they should do so. But bring in a video camera because the cops are nasty at the front desk. It's the stuff on YouTube that makes the difference

Simeon (Sam) George Drakich said...
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marlene said...

Yes, I know Sam - I don't trust the Windsor Police either nor the county OPP. Some cops are involved with organized crime w/i the sex trade/body shop parlours.

But it's the way the corrupt Ontario system is set up - the former Minister responsible for the police had associations with Russian organized crime - so what do you expect? The politicians are part of the organized criminality in Ontario.

I had a best friend, all through grade school & high school, who now works for the OPP. He unlawfully and w/o authorization, went into CIPIC just so he could find where I lived to say 'hi' - after I moved away from Windsor. The problem is I was in the middle of a harassment & human rights complaint against the Windsor company his brother-in-law worked for (Stantec). I had my car stolen within that year. The car was found but a medical tape was the only thing taken.

Municipal forces are corrupt all over Ontario.

But does that mean we as citizens stop fighting? That's what social networking sites, like Blogger, Facebook and YouTube are for.

Simeon (Sam) George Drakich said...
This comment has been removed by the author.