A special education assistant, a library worker, a water treatment worker, a family counselor, and a young lifeguard helped launch CUPE’s Strong Communities fightback campaign in Vancouver this past week.
As they spoke about the impact of cutbacks and privatization on their jobs and communities, they were ‘attacked’ by “Gordo” Campbell, a monster-like character featured in the “Dawning of a New Error”, a comic that satirizes the policies of the BC Liberal government. The comic is already into its second printing, with over 120,000 copies distributed across the province in just its first week.
“It really seems like a nightmare when tens of thousands of working people are losing jobs and our public services are being cut without any consultation with citizens,” said CUPE BC president Barry O’Neill.
“Our Strong Communities campaign goes beyond slogans and marches in the streets. This is about taking back our lives, the future and well-being of our families, through a coordinated campaign that builds workplace to workplace, neighbour to neighbour, community by community. It may take months, or even years, but we are committed to using every strategy and resource necessary to bring fairness and equity back to our communities.”
In the days since the campaign launch there have been meetings and rallies in a number of communities, building public support in opposition to the government’s plans.
On January 29, social service workers from CUPE, HEU, BCGEU and other unions demonstrated in towns and cities across the province to protest the attack on their collective agreements by the Campbell government.