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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Edmonton Community Housing Under Union Siege

A reader sent me an email today which includes the following:
I live in a housing co-op called Artspace.  One of the unique things about it is the high percentage of adapted units we have, and an in-house care company that provides home care for our disabled members (in fact, they are the reason Artspace exists).  The care company is consumer driven, run by a volunteer board, and allows user members who need care to control who is allowed in their homes.  This allows them to lead independent lives, rather than be forced to live in institutions.
Last year, the care staff voted to join AUPE.  Then they went on strike.  
Details are on the tabs I have up so far at http://artspaceundersiege.blogspot.ca/
Since May 7th, AUPE - mostly paid picketers - has been picketing our home.  Not a place of business (the office is at the far end of the high rise, which they don't picket).  Our homes.  We have put up with weeks of verbal abuse, harassment, intimidation and threats.  Picketers have been using air raid sirens, megaphones, fake police sirens, as well as yelling, chanting and generally being disruptive.  They have been racist, sexist and ablist, doing everything from calling replacement care workers n***** (this from one of our striking care workers, who's from Jamaica!), shouting sexist comments at me when they found out I was a housewife, and taunting one of our wheelchairbound members for *gasp* having a job.  They have targeted our children, have stalked members off site and online, and worse.  Police have been involved, but they do little to nothing.  Politicians won't act, either.  It doesn't help that we're in  (NDP Leader) Brian Mason's riding...
Updates are HERE

1 comment:

Artspace Under Siege said...

Thank you for posting this!

I've been trying to update it as much as possible, as fast as possible. It's a bit difficult to get some of the member stories, as not all of them are able to write them down.

Thanks again.