The day began with rain, but quickly turned to sunshine by the time CUPE BC President Barry O’Neill arrived in the Chilliwack Public Works yard yesterday at the hot-dog lunch to hand out a joint CUPE BC-Mayor Clint Hames Certificate of Recognition to CUPE 458 members for “hard work, dedication and commitment to community in defense of residents, public property and infrastructure during BC Flood Watch 2007”. The local media was on hand to record the event, which will be remembered fondly by all involved.
To show just how much Mayor Hames appreciated the efforts of CUPE 458 members, he gave them an extra day off on the August long weekend! It was a surprise announcement that was met by cheers.
“I am really proud of the work you’ve done in the Fraser Valley,” O’Neill said. “There were an awful lot of hours worked, both paid and unpaid. This community spirit sets a high bar for the rest of the province.”
CUPE 458 president Louise Piper was also on hand to thank her members for their efforts, which included building retaining walls for residents under flood risk, cancelling scheduled vacations to help out, filling and placing more than 22,000 sandbags, and taking on the extra load created by the deployment of regular staff to flood watch and preparations.
O’Neill continued throughout the Fraser Valley meeting with members in Cultus Lake, Harrison Hot Springs, Kent and Hope. He thanked CUPE 458 for their flood work throughout the region, spoke to members about the FAIRNESS FOR CIVIC WORKERS (www.fairnessforcivicworkers.ca) campaign in the Lower Mainland, and talked about the importance of keeping our services and infrastructure from water to garbage collection public. O’Neill also met with Mayor Lorne Fisher of Kent.
Reporters from The Chilliwack Times, The Hope Standard, Harrison-Agassiz Observer and Star FM radio interviewed O’Neill and told the story of his visit.
To see pictures of this June 25th tour by CUPE BC President Barry O’Neill of CUPE in the Valley, please visit: http://www.cupe.bc.ca/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=2150