Name: Canadian Office & Professional Employees Union, Local 378
Donations: Vision Vancouver $16,350; COPE $1500
Labour unions dug deep in Metro Vancouver last year and spent millions to take control of Councils and School Boards. This follows on the heels of public sector workers negotiating a 17.5% pay increase over five years from all cities and municipalities in the region. To say that public sector workers are now the dominant force in local politics would be an understatement.
It's already been widely reported that CUPE gave a lot of money to support the combined Vision/COPE campaign. Less known is that the combined donation from all CUPE locals (not including individual payments from members) for the so-called progressive slate totals $437,500.
What's particularly interesting about the 2008 civic election is how many trade unions with no members actually working for the City of Vancouver poured money into the campaign to win back City Hall. It may interest readers that the Hospital Employees Union (HEU) gave over $50,000 to the combined COPE/Vision campaign.
Another interesting example of a trade union without a direct city interest is the Canadian Office & Professional Employees Union, Local 378. According to their website, the City of Vancouver is not on their list of workplaces.
Nonetheless, COPE 378 have become a part of Vancouver's political scene thanks in part to the generous donation, and Geoff "Mayor" Meggs recent appearance at a workers rally promising that Hastings Park employees will not be out of work during the 2010 Games. Our readers may recall that it was Meggs that moved to take Vancouver out of Metro Vancouver's GVLRB bargaining unit. The occasion of the COPE 378 meeting where Meggs spoke also showcased the union's new Gordon Campbell Hates You ads.
It's nice to see political groups raising the level of policy debate in our province. COPE 378 claims that a series of "humorous" attack videos are on the way for the Spring campaign. We can just imagine some of the great concepts they must be kicking around, like Gordon Campbell Sent Your Family to the Gallows, or Gordon Campbell is Packing and Will Shoot You, or the classic Gordon Campbell Put a Razor Blade in Your Kid's Apple.
So much for cooperative relations with Victoria, eh, Geoff?