Thursday, July 21, 2005


Underbelly News
Downtown Eastside


Jim Green was busy defending his position of running against COPE in this November's municipal election with his new municipal party, Vision Vancouver. In this week's opinion piece in the Vancouver Courier, the columnist Pat Johnson, extracted a great quote from Jim Green. As usual though, as Mr Green's always does, he stretches things to suit his purpose. Some call it fibbing. Others say its a misrepresentation of facts.

Here is what he said.

"This is exactly the same structure that COPE ran on for years," Green says of his proposed alliance between VV and COPE. "When I hear people talking about their deep roots with COPE, well, they're not that deep if they're not aware of how we ran so many elections."

Since this blogwriter has deeper roots which go much further back in the progressive movement than Mr Green's, I must champion that Jim Green doesn't always want people to know certain truths.

For instance, Mr Green who did run under the COPE banner in 1990 as its mayoralty candidate and COPE raised all the funds necessary for his campaign. As it should.

However, what Green doesn't want people to know is this. It wasn't enough for COPE to raise the cash for his campaign, he also demanded and was granted, a paid salary while he campaigned for Mayor.

So much for him being a man of the ordinary people as he articulates. The obscene part of this was that he demanded DERA workers volunteer on his campaign after they finished a long day of work at the inner city DERA offices, where Mr Green was the big boss.

In fact, if you refused, there was hell to pay. After the election which Mr Green lost, he came back to DERA with a vengeance and created an unsafe work environment for many DERA workers. Upon his return, Mr Green promptly fired a number of unionized staff--without cause. The Union--CUPE 1004--opposed this blatant disregard of worker rights and challenged Green, for displaying anti union animus.

Of course, Mr Green in his usual blustery way, was overheard saying to Union reps. OK if you want proof that these employees deserve to be fired, "I'll get you proof".

Mr Green forgot one key element, it is that you should always have grounds for firing before terminating an employee. You don't go looking for bones after you have fired someone for petty reasons.

If an employee ultimately is making mistakes, this should be brought to their attention for corrective action. This is union politics 101 and anyone in the labour movement knows this. Of course except Mr Green.

So much for Mr Green's supposed Labour knowledge.

Imagine Mr Green as mayor and what he could accomplish presiding over thousands of unionized city hall employees who he may take a dislike to for not doing as he demands.

Scary isn't it.

Jamie Lee Hamilton


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