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October 17, 2012

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Message to the premier: Give us a fair deal!


Community social services workers mark first day of strike by picketing Christy Clark’s office

VANCOUVER—Community social services workers kicked off their job action on Tuesday with a spirited picketing of BC Liberal Premier Christy Clark’s constituency office in Vancouver-Point Grey.

For four hours, up to 150 striking workers and their supporters from various unions stopped by to carry picket signs, wave flags, and call on the provincial government to ensure a fair and reasonable deal that shows respect for community social services and the workers who provide them. They covered most of the block outside Clark’s MLA office on Fourth and Dunbar.

CUPE members passed out leaflets and chocolate hearts (representing the “Heart and Soul” of the community) to passing drivers, many of whom—including police cruisers—honked in support. There was a strong show of solidarity by CUPE 116 members from UBC, and CUPE BC secretary-treasurer Mark Hancock and general vice-president Paul Faoro also showed up.

In addition to the BCGEU, CUPE, HEU, HSA and six other member unions of the Community Social Services Bargaining Association represented at the rally, union leaders who showed up included the BC Federation of Labour’s Jim Sinclair and Irene Lanzinger, BCTF president Susan Lambert, and COPE 378 president David Black.

The only contact with Christy Clark’s office occurred when a staff member appeared briefly to say that protesters would not be permitted inside. He did, however, accept the workers’ offer of free campaign T-shirts and chocolates.

Job action will continue in Kamloops (Oct 17) and Prince George (Oct 18).

For more photos, visit the gallery.

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