Friday, December 25, 2009

Recession Showed Up at Christmas Eve Dinner Hosted by BC Federation of Labour

Jim Sinclair, President of the BC Federation of Labour dished up turkey at the event.

The recession was evident at this year's 15th Annual Labour Community Christmas hosted by the BC Federation of Labour at the Maritime Labour Hall on Vancouver's east side.

The portions were smaller and they discouraged people from going back for seconds, although one man and woman told me they did sneak back. Organizers had planned for more people this year, but they had still underestimated how many would show up. Guests were lined up outside the door before the dinner opened. The wait to get in was about 40 minutes.

A woman said the turkey was cooked just right; it was tender. A man agreed, "The food was well prepared."

Union organizers gave everybody a ticket for a food hamper as a gift, but they ran out of those too, so some people with tickets left empty-handed.

There was no live band this year either.

Santa did show up as usual though. The children all got gifts.

The volunteer servers were all pleasant, as they are every year.

There was a free bus to the event and back, provided by the unions. The bus kept circling from the Downtown Eastside to the Maritime Hall, picking up people at the Dug Out Drop-In Centre and Carnegie Centre. When transporting the last load of passengers of the night, the bus driver went out of his way for a woman who didn't speak much English by giving her a ride to her destination at Kootenay Loop, after he dropped off his Downtown Eastside passengers.


Anonymous said...

It's hard to be generous when everyone takes a hit from the economy this year. I am impressed the union still managed to put on a christmas dinner in the first place.

I think you shouldn't complain about free food. It's not a right, you know. Just be happy someone is being nice.

Anonymous said...

You get your free meal and still find reason to complain.

Anonymous said...

...and your point?

reliable sources said...

I go to cover this Christmas Eve event which is a big hit amongst Downtown Eastsiders. There is very little media there.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between covering an event and bitching.

reliable sources said...

sources said...


"I am impressed the union still managed to put on a christmas dinner in the first place....Just be happy someone is being nice."

That's exactly the reason the BC Fed hosts the Christmas Eve dinner every year: to make you think they're nice when they've been naughty.

Ask homeless Bill Simpson who was at the free dinner about CUPE members in the BC Federation of Labour. They still have done nothing to resolve Simpson's case in which union staff didn't like it when he was elected by low income voters to the Board of Carnegie Centre, and they participated in having him barred from the building, even preventing him from entering to attend Board meetings.

Also, Jim Sinclair and his labour colleagues still haven't resolved the scandal of CUPE executives hiring non-union secretaries -- one of which lived on the Downtown Eastside -- who worked cheap and where fired when they got worn down from overwork. One had to take CUPE to court to fight for a pension. For more details see, "The Secretaries Santa Sinclair Trampled with the Reindeer Hooves", at the following link:

reliable sources said...


"There is a difference between covering an event and bitching."

Being honest isn't necessarily bitching. Every person who went to the dinner and talked to me about it felt that it had been hit by hard times, at least compared to previous years. Would you like to see that glossed over?

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it make more sense for them to get the media down if they were solely focused on public relations?

Seriously, I wonder why people bothered trying to do good for you guys. You complain when you get nothing... you complain when someone gives you something.

You guys need to experience poor living in 3rd world countries. I have volunteered with villages where they have nothing and they don't complain when we do what we can. Thanks for reminding me why I prefer helping those in need overseas instead.

reliable sources said...


"Seriously, I wonder why people bothered trying to do good for you guys."

If you have to "wonder", you are not living on the Downtown Eastside. Every day, CUPE members swarm to the Downtown Eastside to "do good" in exchange for good salaries. Lots of money goes into CUPE and BC Fed coffers from union dues paid by workers exploiting the poor. The poor are a rich resource for CUPE.

I'm not saying that the volunteers who give up their Christmas Eve to serve at the Maritime Hall dinner aren't nice people. They are always exceptionally pleasant on Christmas Eve. But look at the massive "security" book on the front desk of Carnegie Centre where CUPE members "write-up" the poor and record what civil liberty they have denied them. One low income guy says he picked up a needle that a junkie had left on the steps of Carnegie and brought it inside for disposal and was told by the front desk receptionist, "I could write you up for that!" Multiply this by thousands of times a year. Many of the CUPE members involved in these daily make-work civil liberties abuses targeting the poor should have been fired long ago.

Rachel Davis said...

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Dear R.S.
Happy Birthday to you!

reliable sources said...

Rachel Davis,

Thanks for remembering my birthday.

Happy New Year to you. And thanks for your past tireless work on the Carnegie Board exposing the undemocratic barring of Downtown Eastsiders from Carnegie.

Another Carnegie member, John B. was surprised to learn that people have been fighting back. He said today that he's been upset at repeatedly seeing people barred by Carnegie staff [CUPE] "for no reason" or for saying something somebody didn't like. (I heard a homeless guy use identical words recently: "You can get barred for no reason"). John has talked to people who no longer go into the Carnegie building because they think that because they've been "barred", they can never go back. He tells them to go ahead and walk back in. He knows lots of people on the street and in Carnegie and wants to make them more aware of their rights when barred.

It's amazing how as each new year comes and goes, Carnegie staff and their union and Carnegie management make no effort to curb this abuse of power.