CUPE came back. Striking Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 15 members returned to work Thursday at Carnegie Center in Vancouver. But they are not allowing the poor to return to work. CUPE members are blocking the poor from the public access computers inside Carnegie Center on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Canada’s poorest neighborhood.

There are public access computers in Carnegie in the following locations: three in the basement Seniors Lounge, eight in the third floor computer room, 6 in the third floor Learning Center, and two in the Vancouver Public Library branch on the first floor (although those inside the library branch are primarily for looking up titles of books and other library materials.) Of course the doors of the small Carnegie branch of the Vancouver Public Library remain locked since the VPL workers, CUPE 391 members, voted not to accept last week’s contract offer by mediator, Brian Foley — so nobody expected to get into the library to use those computers. But what about the computers elsewhere in the building? The poor who want to use them have been told to take a hike.

The poor have been told that the reason the computers in the building are off limits to them is that they are run by the Vancouver Public Library. Indeed, the VPL logo is on the desk tops on the screens of these computers.

Only three computers are accessible to the public in the Carnegie building. They are three of the six in the 3rd floor Learning Center. That’s because those three are operated by the Vancouver Community Net, not the VPL.

So what are well-paid CUPE members who have returned to work going to be doing with their time. A primary job of Colleen Gorrie is to work to keep volunteers in the areas in the building where there are computers. The volunteers keep an eye on the computers and get people to sign-in before using them. So what is she doing now?

Maybe she will have the free time now to answer questions about a Workers Compensation Board/WorkSafe claim she reportedly made, claiming that blogging about Carnegie made her feel “unsafe”.

For the rest of this story, see Downtown Eastside Enquirer

Be Sociable, Share!