Letters to the Editor

LETTERS: We need thoughtful end to strike

A rally is held Tuesday outside White Rock City Hall marking the second week of city workers’ full-scale strike. - Tracy Holmes photo
A rally is held Tuesday outside White Rock City Hall marking the second week of city workers’ full-scale strike.
— image credit: Tracy Holmes photo

Editor:

Re: History-making strikers target mayor, May 6.

The impasse between the City of White Rock and CUPE workers appears to be, in part, a desire by the union to have a new long-term benefits plan and clearly defined working hours, and appears, on the surface, to be fairly reasonable.

The question would be, who is going to pay for it?

The city may feel that defined working hours will have the potential to cost more, as various services – i.e. snow fall and clearing – don’t keep a tidy time schedule.

Long-term benefits also come with a large cost.

White Rock taxes are already considerable, so there would be some pain for ratepayers if the city agreed to bear the costs involved.

Some workers may feel that they can no longer afford to work for White Rock and may feel obliged to seek employment from employers with deeper pockets.

Many White Rock residents, including my family, don’t have an employer-paid disability benefit plan and so are obliged to purchase our own. There is no shame in admitting you cannot afford to buy something that you may want, just because someone else already has it.

There is probably no reason that the union could not buy such a group plan out of their own revenues.

Food for thought in the new economy.

While it is an admirable characteristic for a councillor to decline to cross a picket line, on his way to fulfill his council duties, as a matter of principle and/or morality, it does bring into question his qualification to be a councillor and to serve his constituents (Councillor frustrated outside of picket line, May 15). While I admire his principle and character, I believe he should step aside.

In any event, hopefully this labour disturbance will resolve shortly.

Bob Holden, White Rock

• • •

It’s embarrassing that the management of the City of White Rock apparently can’t work out a timely agreement with its municipal workers that includes a long-term disability plan – something that is part of similar agreements all over the place.

A city that is one of the wealthiest in B.C. can surely provide its workers with benefits comparable to cities like Surrey. Let’s get this thing settled.

Bill Piket, White Rock

• • •

Re: ‘Shame’ is not on the mayor, May 15 letters.

Letter-writer Glen Gerow’s hyperbolic rhetoric would appear intended to fan the flames in the current city labour dispute. Good job he’s not our negotiator. This strike would never end and we’d all disappear in a rising pile of our own garbage.

He has purposefully taken what seems to me to be one employee’s concern over “what appears to be the complete lack of progress and no willingness to negotiate,” and twisted it into an expectation that the city cave in to the union’s demands. Quite the stretch!

But the letter writer was not finished. He talks of “typical” union workers and implies that workers who belong to unions are not in the “real world” and, further, that any supporters must be “rental protesters.” Rental protesters implies that they are being paid. Does he really believe that?

These workers are our employees. When this is settled, they will return to caring for our parks, collecting our garbage and providing a myriad of other valuable services.

Let’s show them some respect and allow the bargaining process to proceed without adding to the acrimony.

V. Coulter, White Rock

• • •

Re: Good sense, good cents, May 6 letters.

What a great letter! How refreshing to hear the fair-minded and perceptive thoughts of an honourable businessman. Our city workers deserve full health coverage and long-term disability benefits.

Letter-writer Jeff Baumann sees “the list of union demands” as being “quite modest.”

What comes to my mind is the heavy lifting, pushing and pulling that the garbage maintenance workers must endure. This repetitive, physically demanding work necessitates a full health coverage and longterm disability safety net.

Also, Mr. Mayor, please ensure that city workers’ financial security is not undermined by work-hour cutbacks. Grant them the clear hours of work that they need. Without their services, White Rock’s underpinnings would crumble.

Please, Mayor Baldwin, shift your perspective. Grant our city workers these most reasonable and modest requests.

Rhonda Kirkpatrick, White Rock

 

 

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