Friday, September 24, 2004
Alcock can’t avoid Table 2 strikers
Treasury Board President Reg Alcock was confronted by Table 2 strikers everywhere he went in
Ottawa Wednesday morning. First the members upstaged his speech at the annual National
Joint Council seminar. Then he was upset when strikers made him 15 minutes late for a Cabinet
meeting. Poor Reg. He could make this all go away if he’d send his negotiators back to the
bargaining tables with decent offers.
Cross country strike report
Golfers refused to cross picket lines up at Highland Links golf course in Cape Breton. Members
at Louisbourg joined forces on the line at Ingonish, while strategic action took place in St. John’s.
Heavy equipment operators and other members from Fundy Park working on a project at Dixon
Point were off the job. After a large meeting of CRA members on Wednesday evening, everyone
was out at Revenue locations in St. John’s. Strategic CRA strikers in Charlottetown were out
lobbying their MPs.
It was a busy day for PSAC members in Quebec. Parks Canada members set up a picket line at
Paul Martin’s riding office in Montreal. The CRA line went up at at 6:00 a.m. at the federal building
on René-Lévesque and by noon, the number of picketers had swollen to 400. Later, they paid a
solidarity visit to the members on the line at Place d’Youville. Members from Ottawa, Montreal,
Laval, Quebec and Sherbrooke arrived at the Canada Border Services Agency’s Learning Centre
in Rigaud, and set up a picket line. In Rouyn-Noranda, strikers were out at 5:00 a.m. at the Tax
Services Office and spent a great day dancing and singing in the sunshine. CRA members also
had picket lines in Montérégie, Laval and Sherbrooke. Solidarity and strong lines were evident in
Trois-Rivières, Chicoutimi, Quebec City, Jonquière and Shawinigan.
National Capital Region
Table 2 lines spent the day on the move, starting at National Defence Headquarters. From there
the line made its way to the NJC seminar to pay a surprise call on Reg Alcock. Local President
Don Bédard waited for Alcock to finish his speech and then spoke out on the joint pay study,
asking Alcock to do the honourable thing and negotiate. He was given a standing ovation by the
union delegates. Another Table 2 line made its way to the Lester B. Pearson building where they
cheerfully greeted Cabinet Ministers arriving for a meeting. Some had no choice but to get out of
their cars and speak to our picketers. Wouldn’t you know it, Paul Martin went in through the back
door. The roving band then joined CRA members on the line and everyone ended up at Treasury
Board headquarters where National President Nycole Turmel spoke to the crowd. NDP leader
Jack Layton pledged that he would not support back-to-work legislation.
Strategic action continued at the Sault Ste. Marie Locks, at the vessel Cove Isle and at CRA in
North Bay. Several hundred CRA members were out in Kitchener.
Friday, September 24, 2004
It was Table 2’s turn to show what great picket lines we can run. In spite of six police officers on
the scene, a contractor decided not to erect a crane being set up to repair the roof at the RCMP
Building in Winnipeg after being faced with nine of our strikers. Boomer, our Parks beaver
mascot, entertained the people stranded in cars lined up to get into the 17 Wing Base. In isolated
Norway House, four picketers set up a line, one on her day off, much to management’s surprise.
CRA members put on an evening demo for the benefit of the Prime Minister who was attending a
$250 a plate Liberal fundraiser in Winnipeg.
Table 2 members from a number of departments in Saskatoon joined the 4:00 a.m. picket line at
National Defence in Dundurn, Saskatchewan. Members from Willow Creek and Melfort travelled
to the line at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert where Table 1 members showed
their support. Trucks, service vehicles and the Daily Herald refused to cross the line. Members
from the Armories in Regina were part of the early morning line at the RCMP Training Academy
that included many members who were not scheduled to work. Members out at the Experimental
Farm and the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration in Indian Head welcomed our two solitary
members from Fort Qu’Appelle to their line. There were lots of picketers at the Agricultural Prairie
Research Centre. After the line was set up in Swift Current, management felt compelled to phone
the RCMP to escort cars into the worksite. Parks members conducted more strategic action in
Saskatoon while CRA workers were out at the Tax Services Office.
Hundreds of members were out in northern Alberta at Beaverlodge, Wainwright, Cold Lake,
Edmonton Garrison and Supply Depot. At the Forestry Research Centre, members from many
small locals joined together on the line. In southern Alberta, there were picket lines up at both
locations at the Bowden Institution and at the Penitentiary in Drumheller. In Medicine Hat, 150
strikers divided into groups to help Habitat for Humanity build a house, work at the local food
bank and help clean up the public parks. Their picket signs said: PSAC members…still serving
the public! Members from Suffield picketed Conservative MP Monte Solbert’s office. Table 1 and
3 members were out supporting the line at the Agriculture Research Station in Lethbridge. Parks
members at Jasper are confusing their management with work to rule tactics.
PSAC members in the North have filed a missing persons report on their MP and Cabinet
Minister Ethel Blondin-Andrews, who has been invisible on the issue of our negotiations. Table 2
members in Yellowknife, joined by our members from the Ekati Diamond Mine, picketed her office
in Yellowknife. The favourite chant was “Ethel, Ethel, where are you…you only won by 52”, as
members reminded the MP of her slim margin of victory in the last election.
Designated members, members working at the Hay River Community Health Board and CRA
strikers joined the picket lines in support. Table 2 members in Hay River set up a picket line and
received great community support, while members in Fort Simpson and Inuvik withdrew their
services. Strategic action by Parks members in Whitehorse, Haines Junction and Dawson
continue to frustrate management.
Our thank you file:
• Table 1 and 3 members for the doughnuts on the Dundurn picket line.
• Frank MacGregor for supplying wood for the picket line at the Saskatchewan Penitentiary.
• Everyone who dropped off coffee and doughnuts on the line in Hay River.
• PIPSC members who brought coffee and muffins to the picket line in Rigaud.