THE STRIKE BEGINS… ALMOST

Everything was heading towards labour action as of 7am on Wednesday morning. UBC didn’t seem to want to head back to the bargaining table and the TA union and the TAs met tonight to make posters and signs.

I prepared by not reading the pre-lab for my soon-to-be-cancelled-lab on Wednesday. It was coming to a predictable start of a campus strike. Then, at 12:30am, just hours short of the kick-off, I get an e-mail and then the CUPE 2278 web site gets updated. This is what I read:


Notice – A legal impediment due to unforseen complications in Essential Services mediation means there will be no job action Wednesday February 12, 2003. Please be sure to attend the General Membership meeting scheduled for 5pm in the University Chapel.

Apparently, the hospital and firehall essential staff services mediation has raised a legal impediment. So, the TAs can’t legally strike until 7am Thursday now.

Like a false start to a race, people are nervously waiting for the real thing to begin. It’ll be business as usual on Wednesday. Personally, that means I’ll have to go to my lab. Bummer. And I was so hoping to not have to go.

I’m not sure if anyone saw those full page ads in the newspaper taken out by UBC, but they don’t exactly represent the truth. UBC is quick to point out that they are bargaining in “good faith”. However, there are more than a handful of incidents that demonstrate otherwise. Once, all parties involved agreed to meet, but the UBC negotiator failed to show up. Another time, the UBC negotiator went on holidays. Eager to get things moving, the union requested a second negotiator, but was ignored by UBC. When the negotiator did show up, he once said, “I wouldn’t give you the change in my pocket” to the other side.

I know nothing about labour negotiations, but in my mind, this certainly isn’t the way bargaining in “good faith” goes.

On a final note, when this strike goes full-scale, I’ll be needing to get a resident-pass for myself. This way, I won’t be questioned when I need to cross picket lines to get back home.

And so the drama continues…

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