Sunday, July 22, 2007


As the cities go into strike mode with CUPE I am reminded of when I was a C.U.P.E. member. When I was a nurse we did not have our own union (that has since changed). We belonged to CUPE which included ALL hospital workers from nurses, lab techs, X-Ray techs, housekeepers, interns, security, office clerks, kitchen staff. If you worked at the hospital you were under the same union. The only ones exempt from this were doctors and administrative.

It seemed we were always on strike. Not the nurses but all the other workers. And because we had to support them, we always had to picket. It drove me crazy. I worked my butt off for 3 years sacrificing my family time, money etc to put myself through school and worked hard at my job yet I would get a lousy 10 bucks a day picketing. I could have saved myself all that money and time and stayed home with my children for all the good I was doing on the sidewalk. The nurses worked with union leaders and with other cities/provinces who had separate unions for them to get our own and just after we moved to BC the unions changed so now all nurses had their own union. Sure wait till I leave!!

Keith belonged to the Carpernters Union when we lived there. Just after we married, the entire union went on strike.. all trades. Keith's particular area settled in a couple of weeks but the plumbers stayed on strike for NINE months! Keith couldn't cross the picket line. We weren't eligible for E.I. as he was employed. We weren't eligible for Social Welfare as he was employed. He picked up as much side jobs as he could doing renovations etc in homes etc but it just barely put food on the table. We lost our home that we had bought when we got married. We had used up all our savings making mortgage payments till there was no more and we had to turn the keys over. We couldn't even sell it as the interest rates had rocketed to 24% and no one was buying homes then.

It was a hard pill to swallow. Now as I listen to the news about the city workers going on strike it grates me. Once again we will be held "hostage" by the union. The job Keith is working on now is a city building which means he will not be able to cross the pickets even though he is not a union man. I support nurses when they go on strike as they deal with life and death situations every day. I support teachers going on strike as they teach my grandchildren. Everyone else? You are on your own. You burnt me twice. I won't fall for it a 3rd time.


Carmen said...

You know, I wish I belonged to a union that could then demand more money and better work days. Gee, silly me for choosing LAW where no such thing exists! FORBID that I actually work for my $$ and do a good day's work and put in the time and talent necessary before I qualify for a raise and better work hours!! What is wrong with our world when we have nurses and doctors and police and fire and ER people who get the shaft, and the the garbage workers and city clean up people get even MORE money???? I just don't understand...

Anonymous said...

WITHOUT THE UNIONS we would be working for peanuts and no one would be able to have a home.
I am a union worker and there for have to support the unions. For the most part not all people vote for strikes but those who do are usually the ones that are greedy and always want want want.
I have a husband who won't work a job that is union and so be it, that's his right. We have to support for the most part what people are actually wanting when they strike. In BC especially, it is a Union run Province. Try living in Alberta where the unions are such a small part of the province and you can sure tell cuz the Hospital, Schools always get such a low raise, but the elected officials of the City of Calgary or Vancouver will always give themselves a high increase because they deserve it. Unions have a place in society and we just have to work with them sometimes.