Report from the picket line at Depot 74, Vancouver; Day One
12:00 High noon, and tensions are high as well. Management is
hiding inside the depot, so to set an example for the world and
save face we will have to beat one of our own union members into
a bloody pulp with a baseball bat. Volunteers are requested.
12:01 No one volunteers. Morale seems low. This could be a long
12:02 We randomly select one union member to "volunteer." In
what is surely a meaningless coincidence, this turns out to be
the smallest, stupidest and most fragile worker there.
12:03 The plan is stymied when our "volunteer" runs away with
our only baseball bat. Recreational events for the weekend will
have to be cancelled....
13:00 After only one hour, I am already bored and frozen - stiff
being the appropriate adjective in each case.
14:12 Newspapers (the Province), books (Plato's Republic) and
radios (CKNW talkshows) are abandoned when one of our union brothers
reveals his former identity as a Special Forces Vietnam Vet. His
anecdotes about home-made explosives are especially informative.
14:36 Several of the union brothers and sisters pay a quick visit
to a nearby paint store.
15:27 Morale leaps up suddenly when a Federal Express truck overturns
and explodes in front of the depot. Despite our best efforts,
the driver manages to escape from the flames.
16:30 I go for a lunch break of chicken souvlaki at the trendy
coffeeshop next door, Automotive.
17:00 We are forced to abandon our defensive positions in the
back alley due to the encroaching darkness and the proximity of
the fast-moving cars there. Somewhat daunted by losing the best
place to drink unobserved, we retreat to the depot's frontage
on Homer Street.
18:00 My first tour on picket duty is over, and I have survived
to whine about it for another day....