Wednesday, October 19, 2005

General Strike! It's about time! Can we try this, too? Lesson Day for BC Premier Gordon Campbell!

The Globe and Mail: Striking B.C. teachers face criminal contempt probe

..Even as trade unionists shut down much of the city of Victoria yesterday in a strong show of support for the teachers, a special prosecutor was appointed to determine whether criminal contempt charges should be laid against the B.C. Teachers' Federation and its members....

Teachers will not be deterred by external threats, Ms. Sims told a huge, cheering crowd that braved drenching rain to attend an anti-government protest rally outside the legislature in Victoria.

"Mr. Campbell, stop threatening us. Stop trying to divide us. It will not work. We will not be broken," declared the 53-year-old Nanaimo high-school teacher, who has said she is prepared to go to jail in defence of the union's strike.

The dispute is beginning to spread beyond the teachers' picket lines into a confrontation with the province's entire labour movement.

B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair called yesterday's organized-labour protest in Victoria, which shut bus service, mail delivery and many other government services, just the taste of things to come if the conflict is not resolved.

At least one other single-day, regional labour shutdown is expected to take place this week. Meanwhile members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees are launching their own job action. They are expected to be off the job today at work sites in Prince George and other northern cities.

The teacher's federation launched its illegal walkout Oct. 7, after the government extended the teachers' existing contract by legislation for two years, providing no wage increase and no improvement in working conditions.

Since then, the government and the union have been locked in a grim stalemate

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