Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Addressing issues; time frames, reactions and potential solutions

It's been quite a ride in the last few days.  Thank you to everyone who has shown support for us and for Kathleen.  Including those who shared some of the tweets that AUPE claims were defamatory to them, through United with Kikki.

There have been a few things brought up from various directions that should probably be addressed.

The first is to point out again that, thanks largely to this blog, the videos and social media attention, the actions of AUPE picketers against our community have toned down.

They are no longer stopping vehicles.

With no security guards driving replacement workers in and out, they have taken to coming in at about 5am, waiting to hassle the replacement workers as they walk in.  The police and others are watching closely.

For Artspace members startled by the sight of a man hanging out by the garden bed in the morning, be assured that it's only this guy.

And if you're wondering who he is;

It seems he's the one that's here to do those interviews AUPE has been posting online, including that totally random, just-happened-to-have-someone-there-to-record-it, interview with saysandra, who also posted this.

I don't think she quite caught on to the contradiction between claiming this was a "polite" talk, while using a derogatory term to describe the replacement workers.

Obviously, she wasn't there to see all the other "polite" talks they had with the replacement workers previously.

So this guy seems to be AUPE's new Large Intimidating White Guy for the picket line.  Maybe because their Little Token POC wasn't quite cutting it.  Who knows.

Anyhow; for the folks leaving to catch a bus or walk their dogs in the early hours, now you know who he is and why he's there.

This is important, considering we do live in an area with high rates of vandalism and transient populations.  We get a lot of people cutting through our area to and from the valley, and it's not unusual for many to be under the influence.  We've also had break ins, and drug deals in the parking lot.

As you can imagine, seeing a big guy hanging around in front at odd hours, in the dark, can be pretty concerning.

Don't know if he's still coming out or how often.

They are usually gone by about 7:30am, then return in the afternoon for anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.

They are still picketing our private homes, rather than SAIL, spending most of their time hanging out at the West raised bed garden.

With AUPE's SLAPP suit against people who dared to support us, many have come to this blog and to the youtube channel for the first time.

Some have suggested that, because the videos are old, and the picketers aren't behaving this way anymore (sort of), we shouldn't be complaining.  Even spokespeople from AUPE have tried to dismiss them due to the age.

The age of the incidents, of course, is irrelevant.  When something happened doesn't change whether or not it was wrong.  When something happened doesn't lessen the damage done.

It's also rather curious for AUPE to pick and choose whether or not something is relevant due to dates.  After all, they kept bringing up their original "bad faith" complaint against SAIL back in May, even after withdrawing their complaint (without, of course, mentioning it was withdrawn).  Then, after they didn't get their way with the mediator's recommendation, they went and filed it again.  Apparently, they're still trying to dig out the illegal lock out complaint, too, and that also happened in May.  Of course, they neglect to mention that they agreed the staff would get paid not to come to work that weekend, too.

We have also learned that the SLAPP suit against Kathleen was actually filed back in August.

For some reason, they waited something like a month to actually serve her with it, only about a week ago.

And it's based on tweets she made in August.

Obviously, they have their own idea as to when something is or isn't relevant, due to time.

The other issue, of course, is that this all didn't magically stop.  Things are still going on.

This, for example, was taken on Sept. 10.  That was the day this happened.

And lets not forget their disruptive photo opportunities with federal NDPers, Brian Masse and Dan Harris (btw, Dan; Artspace isn't a long term care facility, either).

Plus, of course, there's just the general disruption their presence causes.  Even getting our mail is still touch and go.

We had also heard through the grapevine that they intended to lay on the pressure if a resolution wasn't reached before the end of the month.  The last time they did that, we had to endure the events at the end of July and the beginning of August, when the mediator's recommendation was turned down because it would lead to SAIL's bankruptcy.  How a resolution could be found, we have no idea, since there was nothing happening until October, which is when they apparently plan to "turn up the heat" on our community.

The SAIL president has been free to tell us only some things, but one of them is that there is something called a "resolution conference" happening on the first.  This isn't even about the labour dispute.  There's nothing to negotiate, there.  AUPE wants the mediator's recommendation to be accepted.  SAIL can't afford it.  Meanwhile, SAIL's within-budget offers were already rejected by AUPE.  The two sides are so far apart, the binding arbitration they keep calling for is impossible.  From what we've learned, that sort of action is brought about when the two sides are actually very close, but can't get past certain points.

What this thing tomorrow is about is their "bad faith" complaint filed by AUPE.  Which is really just a labour relations version of a SLAPP suit.  If that doesn't work out, then it goes to hearing, which would happen Oct. 15.

That is an interesting date because of this.

AUPE Annual Convention: Preparing for ChangeOctober 16, 2014 to October 18, 2014
This is being held at the Shaw Conference Centre.

From AUPE's website;

Thursday October 16, 2014 thru Saturday October 18, 2014 → 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Shaw Conference Centre → 9797 Jasper Avenue NW, Edmonton

The 38th Annual Convention will be held on 16-18 October 2014 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton. Registration will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014.
The Shaw Conference Centre is located downtown at 9797 Jasper Avenue NW.

The Shaw Conference Centre is just a few blocks away from our home.

In numerous videos (not all of which are online), David Malka was heard to say that all 83,000 members of AUPE support the actions against our community, and were willing to picket our home.

Obviously, that's not true.  I doubt all the members even know about what's going on here, and we have heard from plenty of members who have stated they don't support what's happening here, in their names.  Unfortunately, most of them are too afraid to say so publicly.

I don't know how many union members come to these conventions, but the idea that they might be encouraged to walk a few blocks and picket Artspace is rather concerning.

Which brings me to another issue that some have brought up.

There are a few people who have suggested that AUPE's actions have been in retaliation for our doing things like posting the videos (which they can't complain about, what with all the signs warning them that this might happen), or putting up the signs.  Oddly, there was even a suggestion that the Canada Day invasion was in retaliation for the signs we put up.  Which is completely backwards.  We put those signs up when we found out about their plans to hold a party on our street, because it was the only way we could get our message out to all the people coming out for free hot dogs and drinks.

Then there was our 100 Day Vigil.  They retaliated with another illegal block party at our home the next day.

While it certainly seems like a retaliation for our own 100 Day Vigil (partly because they were a day late, their own website's counter said 98 days, and they were wearing new signs with "100 days" written on them), the fact that they had Fat Franks out again, as well as hiring drummers, meant that this was actually planned for some time, even if they didn't post about it on their website, like they did for the Canada Day invasion.

This wasn't a retaliation against our own vigil.  It was retaliation for standing up to them for 100 days.

Another interesting issue that's been brought up.

Apparently, we're just a bunch of whiners and complainers.  We, by drawing attention to what AUPE picketers have been doing at our home and to our community, are supposedly the ones who are antagonizing them and making things worse.

A curious thing.

Are those who say this suggesting that we should have just let AUPE engage in misconduct while picketing our homes, without complaining?  And that, by objecting, we are just whining?

Tell that to the people having anxiety attacks because of the noise and intimidation levels.

Tell that to the people who have had to increase their pain medications because of what's going on outside our home.

Tell that to the people who've been reduced tears and throwing up, because of the stress caused by these invasions outside our home.

Tell that to the people who have had to clean up after their dogs, who have had accidents because of the disturbances outside.

Tell that to the people who still cannot even go out the front door when the picketers are there, due to the long term effects of their previous damage.

Tell that to the person who was hospitalized because of their actions.


Tell that to the people struggling with their PTSD because of what's going on outside.

Not only are we somehow expected to remain docile and passive in the face of abuse, but even people who don't live here are not supposed to speak out in support of us.

Because if they do, they'll get sued for defamation.

AUPE, if there is anyone you need to blame for defamation, it's the people in the videos.  It is their actions, not the fact that people brought attention to them, that is the problem.

People have also wondered, what solution is there?

That's a good question.

When it comes to things like the labour dispute itself, or AHS funding, that is outside of the scope of this blog.

The majority of the Artspace community has nothing to do with either, and AUPE's mistake was to target all of us over something we have no control over.

AHS funding is a political issue that has nothing to do the labour dispute, because neither SAIL nor AUPE has any control over that funding.  Yeah, it would be nice if AHS provided more funding, but that's not the reality they have to deal with right now, and political action could take years.

From the beginning, we have wanted only two things.

First, for the picketers to adhere to the labour regulations, which I will quote here again;

III. PICKETINGOnce a lawful strike or lockout is in progress, the Code allows persons to engage in picketing and to try to persuade others not to enter the employer's place of business or do business with the employer. See: Section 84(1).The right to picket in connection with a labour dispute is subject to the following conditions:
· it must be peaceful;· it must take place only at the striking or locked-out employees' place of employment;· it must not involve acts that are otherwise unlawful.The Board has the power under section 84 of the Code to regulate lawful picketing. It will do so where necessary to maintain the lawful character of the picketing and preserve the peace. The parties may themselves reach agreement on picketing protocols. See: Section 84(2)(b), (3), (4); Cargill Foods v. UFCW Local 1118 [1997] Alta.L.R.B. LR-025.

With an end to misconduct, which is defined as:

... a course of conduct of incitement, intimidation, coercion, undue influence, provocation, infiltration or any similar course of conduct intended to prevent, interfere with or break up lawful activities likely to induce a breach of the peace in respect of a strike or lockout.

Second, we want accountability.  Every individual that took part in misconduct on the picket line, regardless of what position they may have within AUPE, needs to be held accountable for their actions against our community.  That would have to include ensuring that the picketing SAIL staff (remember; most of the striking staff have never been seen on the picket line) are never allowed to work at Artspace again.

Because, whatever happens with the labour dispute, Artspace members - SAIL users or not - must be able to feel safe in their homes.  Right now, with those picketing SAIL staff, that is no longer possible.

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