Reports from both the bike and walking pickets and a few notes

From Beth, a report from Wednesday’s super-ride:
“On Wednesday, the bike strike brigade visited every single Community Centre in Vancouver. That’s 25 centres, every corner of the city, lots of whooping and a fair few hills. The distance (by Phil’s odometer) was 66.29km!  CUPE 391 members were joined by CUPE 15 and CUPE 1004 folks, as well as former councillor Ellen Woodsworth, who came along to show solidarity.

Big thanks to Britannia for laying on morning coffee (and cupcakes) and for Kerrisdale, who were asked to provide coffee and tea, and went splendidly and completely over the top and provided assorted cookies and other sustenance. Thanks also to the folks at the Riley Park Farmers’ Market, who provided us with crates of fruit which we shared with each other & the folks at community centres along the way.

Watch the blog for details of next Wednesday’s epic ride.”

Today’s walking pickets:
“I was hoping to hear more details about how this went today (did our CUPE 15 brothers and sisters greet us with a lemonade stand at the West End Community Centre, or did they perform their cantostoria again? what kind of reception did our folks get at JF?), but when I called Peter to find out, all I could really hear over all the cheering, general hollering, and honking was his one-word description: “phenomenal.” Apparently (obviously!) the walk was a big success, and CBC TV came out to capture it on tape. The segment should have appeared on today’s 6 o’clock news and–who knows?–may just re-air tonight at 11.”

Misc. notes:
Today MP Libby Davies came by Central to film her constituency report and to talk briefly with our members.

As reported yesterday, chili Tuesdays will continue at Central at 6:30 pm. The exciting new development: we are now planning to show movies as well! Stay posted for details.

I’m going on a little holiday for a week, but before I sign off for the next little while, I wanted to add a few more personal notes. The other day I was shopping at a (unionised) grocery store where one of the cashiers told me how much she and her co-workers are behind us. Today I dropped by Cafe Etico to take them up on their special coffee offer (see yesterday’s post for details), and several of the workers came out to make a point of saying the same. (And this is just the past couple of days.) No matter where I’ve picketed, people have made the effort to come up to say how much they miss us, and how they support our cause. It really is heart-warming to get this kind of ongoing support. But it is even more moving to be on the picket line every day, side-by-side with workers who really care about what they do (and each other!), to work with a job action committee that talks about compassion and caring as much as any other subject, and to spend my days with members who are applying their impressive talents and creativity to the task at hand the way they always have at work. I can’t imagine better people to be on strike with. And I’m looking forward to seeing you all again in ten days or so.

cheers and solidarity,

PS: Gail B: please email me so I can fill you in!