It's Sam's Strike and He Can Do What He Wants To

It's Sam's strike and he can do what he wants to, do what he wants to, do what he wants to. You would chill, too, if it happened to you.

Or would you?

Whatever you would do, it's Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan's strike, the Vancouver city inside worker, pictured here outside the offices of Cupe 15 on 10th and Cambie, said today, adding that the city is sending people with no authority to meet with unions at the bargaining table. Other strikers with similar placards agreed: Sam's strike.

"They send management to the bargaining table that has no authority to make decisions," the striker said. "They're nice people, but they won't get serious. They have no power. The mayor has no respect for us, and we are losing respect for him."

The strike, of course, is getting to be dull, dull, dull to the Canwest dominated local news media as it crawls uneventfully into its second week, particularly with garbage management graciously making sure no trash bins are overflowing. (For those of you out-of-town readers who may not be familiar with the name "Canwest", that's the corporation that holds a virtual stranglehold on public information dissimenation in the happy land of Vangrila.) Honestly, it's hard to tell what's going on around here sometimes, because, well, the news media, just won't tell us.

"We're the executives," a guy hanging off the back of a city garbage truck told a reporter (me). "We're management. And we're working all hours, as long as it takes to keep the city clean."

Unlike those disgusting New York City garbage strikes where bagged garbage piles up on the sidewalks, where the city reeks, creating fecund fodder for tabloids, this garbage et al strike smells pretty good, except to the workers. Whether or not a secretary was mistreated within the union, as reported by the Eastsider this week, hundreds of ordinary people who take care of community centres, pools, libraries, etc. workers are living on 20% of their normal pay. Although it may well be true, the secretary story smells like a distraction to this observer (me).

"We're bearing the costs of the Olympics," a striker outside of City Hall said. Few strikers are willing to have their names published.

Hmmm, I wonder why.

Well, now that the city has hired high priced corporate PR firm, Wilcox Group, it begs the question of what the city really finds of value. It's workers, or it's message?

More in

Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.