Friday, August 17, 2007

Private upscale Arbutus Club takes in garbage for members - anti-poverty group, CUPE trash the service

No trash if you've got cash

Vancouver civic strike


A Vancouver anti-poverty group and the union for city workers are criticizing the upscale private Arbutus Club in Shaughnessy for providing garbage disposal for its members during the current strike.

The Arbutus Club is offering to take two bags of members' garbage twice a week for a fee of $5, according to a members-only website.

But if you want to join the club, talk to your banker - initiation fees are $40,000 plus six per cent GST and additional monthly dues of more than $200 a month.

The news dismays Wendy Pedersen, community organizer of the downtown eastside Carnegie Community Action Project.

"It's really unfair, it's overwhelming. They can get rid of their garbage and we're stuck with mountains of garbage and feces in the alleys," Pedersen told 24 hours.

"I find it a bit hurtful. What we really need is their support."

Barry O'Neill, Canadian Union of Public Employees B.C. president, was angered by the club's service.

"This is for the bluebloods only, eh?" O'Neill said. "Don't these kind of things need business licences? Aren't there health concerns? This is too much."

But Arbutus Club CEO Brent Elkington told 24 hours he was only trying to regulate a situation where members and others were dumping garbage at the Club's front gates.

"We're trying to put some control on something that was already happening," Elkington said.

"We don't want to be involved in a dispute with the city and its workers. We are concerned."

But O'Neill didn't buy the explanation.

"That's nonsense. That's hogwash. Members of the Arbutus Club are dumping garbage at their own front gate?" O'Neill asked.


Elkington said so far Arbutus Club members have not overwhelmed the service.

"Not a huge response but a lot of members are away," he said.

Pedersen said she hoped Arbutus Club members would push the city to negotiate so everyone can have their garbage picked up.

"We really need the Arbutus Club to advocate for people on the downtown eastside and for working people, for the garbage collectors," she said.

O'Neill said his members will be "pretty frustrated to hear about this."

And he questioned how the Arbutus Club is operating.

"Where are they taking the garbage? What do the neighbours think? Can anybody just start collecting garbage?"


A. G. Tsakumis said...


It is absurd, in the extreme, to be playing these tired NDP, class warfare standards. It's the only part of Carole James' "new NDP", that I find palatable, that she does not engage in such nonsense and sees equals all around--IN THAT DISCUSSION..but I digress.

Notwithstanding the Club rep's feeble explanation, why shouldn't they be able to do that(dispense members' trash)? The Club has private collection, so they offer an additional service to the members, for a fee, and it's hauled away.

If O'Neill was serious, he wouldn't be such an ass and suggest the Arbutus Club shill for the union any more than Citizen Sham should expect tacit support for the City's side. Red Herrings about collective bargaining by "extremist journalists", aside, the public is overwhelmingly not on the unions side, regardless of what questions were not released by the City from the poll conducted, or delusions (or wishful thinking) by other union sympathizers.

The union has botched their efforts to make this work, only to be aided by Shammy's incompetence, for a little while. Now the union is cornered as their orignial (outrageous)demands were exposed (by me) and they have nowhere to run.

As I have said in the past, this is the soiled dance card of the Solidarity movement redux, and no one is buying it.

Not about politics and politiking? In less than 12 hrs from Faoro declaring it "Sam's Strike", union placards hanging around members necks saying exactly that "Sam's Strike"????? Give us a break. That's either the fastest printer in the world, or the fix was in.

The union walked away from an offer that was half a percent lower than Richmond, but with greater long-term benefits! Why don't you talk about that?

Gee I wonder...

Listen, why don't we all make some money together!?

I know one of the attorneys in Atlanta for the World Wrestling Entertainment Group...CUPE blowharder Mike Jackson would be perfect! Goatee, black-T, Neanderthal verbiage and lingo, and, of course, the Mr. T. start-up kit hanging around his neck really helps...think of the money we'll make...

"Ladies and Gentlemen, from parts unknown (that's how Amercian's usually refer to Canada), weighing in at 245lbs in the red and white thong and Cracker Jack box neckchain, Mike Jackson, aka 'The Northern Nutbar', 'The Count of MonteCrisco', 'The Master Blaster of Union Disaster', and 'The Dunce of the Dance'..."

We'd make a fortune!

I'll leave you with his most intelligent 'Jackson thought' of the strike, as I was there for the press conference. Reporter: "Mike, what do you think about the Mayor's latest comments.."

Jackson: "Uh, well, um...well, he's a weasel, a real weasel..."


Next morning, with his comment plastered across every major broadsheet and broadcast on every radio and TV outlet, he was lamenting "Why the Mayor won't talk to us...?"

Gee dunce, I mean Mike, I wonder why.....

Nice weekend to all.

And Tieleman, Duckhorn Paraduxx has just offered a new release and it's at every liquor store--try it, best Merlot around. Pricey, but you won't find it on the list at the Arbutus Club.

Bill Tieleman said...

Thanks as always, Alex for your colourful comments, even thought some of these are misinformed.

"NDP class warfare"? I think one of the reasons the NDP is well behind in the polls in BC is because they've lost their class analysis even though - as you know - the biggest single factor on whether someone votes NDP or not is their income level or class.

The fact that you find the "new NDP" palatable on that part of their approach probably only indicates even more emphatically that it is a mistake!

But don't get me wrong - I don't call it "class warfare" nor do I engage in it despite your comments. What I do think a political party should do is understand the motivation, concerns and needs of its supporters and potential supporters and try to meet them.

The BC Liberals have done that in spades for the well-off and corporations - and it has worked for them. Huge tax cuts disproportionately given to those complain most loudly but are not in need while cutting social services and bumping up sales tax (for awhile), Medical Service Plan premiums (permanently) and other user fees that make up a much bigger percentage of the income of lower-income earners.

Anyway, we can discuss this over a bottle of Bordeaux once again but let's get on to the CUPE strike.

You, like other NPA supporters, have consistently pointed publicly and privately to CUPE for "personalizing" the strike.

But as I think you will admit, it was Mayor Sam Sullivan who injected himself right into the middle of things from the beginning with assinine comments like "CUPE wants to disrupt the Olympics" and then final offer voting a city proposal everyone knew was ridiculous.

As for the Arbutus Club, people will make what they want to of its offer to take garbage from its members but I hardly think it unfair on my part to ask downtown eastside advocates and the union what they think and get the Club's views.

Over to you and thanks for the Duckhorn Paraduxx recommendation!

Anonymous said...

Who is playing these tired NDP Class warefare standards, the first poster asks?. Some rich folks , who somehow see to be polled often get their garbage handled, so why would they suggest the city side of the labour dispute get over to the tables and bargain? The city treid to bypass two unions to deal with the libraty staff. My God, we just can'[t have the Library shut down,, abd by Gosh, the Libray folks said. Not good enough and they were offered more than the inside workers and outside workers.

whomever is doing the city side is simply waiting for someone esle to drop in and sort things out. I understand the inside workers asked for a mediator. I wouod suggest a arbitrator might do the trick. He or she would use the other minucipalites as a start point and go up a bit due toi downtown living csots. The Sam, the blunderman, could save face by saying they were forced into the deal. Wonder who will be cleaning up out at the PNE? Maybe the arbusus Club could work a deal to haul the manure somewhere. This strike really has nothing to do with the NDP a,g.t. a couple of ujnions and the city are the participants. ByyGosh Sam was asked by some council memebr to have a council meeting todiscuss this mess and refused. maybe he shouod get his insructions from the first in line poster here.
And the question I ask is, what land fill is the Arbutus club and those private garbage guys using if most of the places have union staff. Funny as well that I've not seen many newspapers repoorts or radio comments telling us how they sure support Sam and his crew. DL

Anonymous said...

Do you think the City of Vancouver's latest strike poll was a waste of money? DL
79% Yes
21% No

Thanks For Your Vote!

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with Alex. Who really cares if a small group of rich folk can have their garbage carted away for $ 5 bucks a bag. This does not help my friend who works in Parks trying to make his astronomical mortgage payments during this stupid strike.

I also think this old school CUPE BS of publicly insulting the mayor and wasting Union dues supporting opposition political parties does nothing more than guarantee retaliation is in order. The retaliation of course is to screw over the everyday workers who do the dirty work. Do people like Barry O’Neil have their pay cut to $ 50 bucks a day ? I don’t think so. These morons who run CUPE had better take a course in effective communications, because publicly slamming your Boss never works in favor of the worker.

Mr.Tielman, you apparently run a communications firm; would you suggest to any of your clients that they should go out and publicly insult their business partners? Should your client Ross Rebagliati tell his sponsors they are a bunch of “weasels” that is just stupid. I can’t believe you defend this kind of crap.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately Mr. Tskumis was not at the press conference by the opposition on City council. Luckily I was. Every single council member led with, "This is Sam's strike". I suppose Paul Faoro quoting them maybe too much for you. I could take the time to find a link to some of their speeches but I was there.

As a side note I was also there for David Hurford's rebuttal but he only spoke loud enough for the microphones. Even some of the reporters I asked had no idea what he said and would have to listen to the tapes. Sad, I only know what he said by the small sound bytes reported in the media. Funny thing, the Council members all spoke loud enough so everyone present could hear.

By the way, the placards were not reprinted. It's just a simple sticker that goes over the "On" with "Sam's". I guess these unskilled workers (although many have a degree or above) have surprised you with their ingenuity.

unfortunatelyonstrike at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

For those who do not belong to the Arbutus Club - Take your trash to mayor Sam's house!

The mayor seems to be taking a perverse pleasure in not involving himself in the civic strike... So take the strike to Sam's house.

Anonymous said...

Arbutus club? A scab by any other name is still a scab.

Anonymous said...

Follow the money : Speaking of " The Blue Bloods " running Vancouver . Just look at the people attending & setting up the Jamie Graham roast ie: The Vancouver Sun , CKNW etc.

----- Original Message -----
From: Steve D
Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 4:33 PM
Subject: pay $195.oo a plate ie: J.Graham is the M.Vick of BC Police Brass . 1) Lied about Angels running BC drug trade 2)Lied over Pivot charges 3)Allowed renegade cops 4) Was close to Mr Ho 5)Helped protect mr Ho from drug & prostitution charges 6)etc.,etc,etc

pay $195.oo a plate ie: J.Graham is the M.Vick of BC Police Brass .

1) Lied about Angels running BC drug trade

2)Lied over Pivot charges

3)Allowed renegade cops

4) Was close to Mr Ho ie: it was a good VPD Officer who complained about Mr Ho providing a Hotel suite to J.Graham .

5)Helped protect mr Ho from drug & prostitution charges ie: Good VPD Officer busted mr Ho with crack & young sex trade workers .


steve dockeray

milner bc


Bill Tieleman said...

A response to one Anonymous poster who doesn't like my position and questions my business acumen.

I spent 6 years as a staff person with the BC Federation of Labour, have had dozens of union and labour organization clients for the past 9 years and spent two years as an Employee Representative at the BC Labour Relations Board, so I think I have some experience in labour negotiations to draw on.

Labour negotiations are not like negotiating with a sponsor or business partner. In cases such as the current Vancouver city workers strike, thousands of members of CUPE are without pay cheques and hundreds of thousands of citizens are without services.

Therefore, it gets a little testy if not nasty at times. That's par for the course my friend and both sides understand - or should - that this isn't a tea party.

What brings the parties together eventually is pressure - both economic, political and public - until an agreement is reached.

CUPE for its part is attempting to put political pressure on Mayor Sullivan and the NPA majority to end the dispute. Sullivan is putting economic pressure on the union by not settling or even negotiating at this point.

There will be an agreement sooner or later - I hope sooner - the only question is when.

So, my advice to Ross Rebagliati on sponsors - which is not my role, by the way - would have nothing to do with labour negotiations and to suggest otherwise is demonstrably foolish.

Lastly, the fact that an anti-poverty group and the union, as well as several posters here, are upset with the Arbutus Club taking garbage from members makes it a story and an issue.

You may not like that and disagree but your views are not shared by all Vancouverites.

Anonymous said...

One of our family members is a inside worker in Vancouver, and has been for well over 20 years. He likes his job and fellow workers and has always gotten high marks for his work. He worries that the town is starting to look rather ratty. He worries about the co workers with kids and many commitments. He understands the union position and just as Bill and others have mentioned, this is a dispute and the workers have withdrawn their labour. They arn't getting money coming in, loans and mortage payments might be missed or adjusted. It's no fun. It's no fun for the average citizen either. But if the Mayor. or whomever is advising him, thinks he can starve them out, he is very wrong.
I used to be in unions and soon found that strikes are soemtimes necessary, and eventually get settled. As we can all notice, other places close by have settled. Nobody gets everything they first put on the table, but no table exists if one side won't show up. No I don't believe anyone shoud throw garbage on the mayor's lawn, if he has one but it has to go somewhere. Folks pay taxes and expect services. The Mayor is not providing those services. I'm sure a lot of folks will remember this pathetic show of defiance by the Mayor. The opposing members on council are trying to get him to see the reasons for negotiations. Hopefuly he will wake up soon and get the city side of the team to the table. Thhhe Federation of Labour represent a lot of people here in BC and the Canadian Labour Congress represent a huge number of workers. They can and will support others as need be. Bill has been well known in Labouyr circles and insults directed at him really don't cut it for most of us. DL

A. G. Tsakumis said...


The personalization of this strike began with the union calling out the Mayor. Sam, being the dunce he is, simply took the bait! It wasn't complicated. If anyone saw the Shaw Cable advert of the Aug 10 press conference the union put was almost enough for a little swig of Pepto amoung the Beam...absolutely vomitous, old school rhetoric, with the same old tired retreaded lines about "us vs them" from the unions. When you position your argument that way, how the hell can you expect any kind of substantive, useful negotiating process?

The collective bargaining process works if you lose all this posturing--on both sides. Sullivan, to his meagre credit, has finally stepped away (although the damage is done) after having received an earful from key members of caucus.

Additionally, so concerned was the Mayor's Chief of Gaff about how the Mayor was faring or moreover, how the City was progressing with the process, that he booked himself off for three weeks of holiday, in the middle of active negotiations, in Naramata, where, to be sure, one whine was replaced with another (wine).

There are two major problems here:

1) The Mayor took the bait and thus is into this up to his neck. Pulling out only solves the partisan messaging problems. Otherwise, it shows he is weak and ineffective. Regardless of party affiliation, he is Mayor of all Vancouverites. He sees this differently and that's where the problem lies for him...he has, in his pea, demonized union workers, who deserve better than that certainly.

2) The union complain bitterly over the GVRD Labour Relations reps being in the room and a major stumbling block in settling. Why? The haven't answered that. They complain bitterly that nine other settlements have taken place, why not Vancouver...? Simply put, in no other city or region have them demands been as think, nor the PR spin been as heavy. They are to blame as well.

To end the strike, it will require a fresh approach of minimum acceptances of what they can agree on. Vince Ready style baby-steps, to complete the picture.

But, to show the disingenuity of both sides, nothwitstanding the city's stand-offish position, the union won't even engage in such a process that will guarantee some movement.


Because both sides have decided that the PR war is worth it. The union hasn't gone far enough to permanently damage the NPA, and only Sam (they blew it by being hardliner union-firsters, and the public hate that, and NPA caucus and party, to their credit have left Sam on his own to sort out the mess of his own making) and Sullivan has been a dismal failure in not recognizing that the workers are people too, and have mortgages and car payments and kids to pay for.

It's a mess, that much we can all agree on.

Best to all.

Budd Campbell said...

"NDP class warfare"? I think one of the reasons the NDP is well behind in the polls in BC is because they've lost their class analysis even though - as you know - the biggest single factor on whether someone votes NDP or not is their income level or class.

According to Canadian Election Studies the best predictors of NDP voting are not income, but union memberhsip and no religious affiliation. But perhaps that's not the strictly B.C. perspective.

Furthermore, I don't know of anything that the NDP in B.C. has said or done in the last several years that amounts to any lessening of it's emphasis on wage equity or equal opportunity issues. Do you, Bill?

And if there's a huge gender gap between the B.C. Liberals and the NDP, why not tell it like it is? It's not that the NDP does relatively better among women, it's that the Liberals do so fabulously well among men. In your professional opinion, Bill, would Carole James have anything to do with that? If so, what would that be, ... or is it impolitic to say it out loud?

The NDP is going to have to convince male voters, including manual workers, to vote for a woman leader, not an easy task. It won't be solved by staging a bullshit leadership review. Neither will it get done by championing silly-bugger, bleeding hearts stances, like opposing Maynecourt's Safe Streets Act, a move which was solely responsible for Stevenson losing a winnable race. Thanks very much to Jenny Kwan for that one!

And it certainly won't be solved by allowing asphalt jungle MLAs like Shane Simpson and David Chudnovsky, eager to suck up to the WestSide environmental NGOs, to pin the party to the suicidal cross of an anti-Gateway, anti-highways platform that will not sell with anyone, not even the majority of their own East Van constituents, all of whom own cars, and all of whom want to be able to drive up the Valley or up-country on weekends without spending an excessive amount of time in useless gridlock.