Clips from BC Labour Heritage Centre oral history interviews, 2018.
Cliff Andstein (Chief Negotiator, BC Government Employees Union) [00:00:00] People who were on the front line doing the fighting with their members on strike, with others coming on, were not part of that decision. Were not part of putting that package together. And I thought that on that Sunday, Monday we’re going to shut down the transportation system in the province. And we caved.
Art Kube (President, BC Federation of Labour) [00:00:24] It was supposed to be meaningful consultation. You know. Discussions on all the issues. Both trade union and the community groups.
Patsy George (Fired BC government social worker & staff for Solidarity Coalition) [00:00:42] Well, don’t I remember. I’m certain not only me, but the entire group who is at the Solidarity Coalition office, including Renate Shearer who is the co-chair. We burst out crying. That’s what we did, because we never imagined that, that the Accord will happen in a way, the way it did. We were not part of any of that conversation. It was very much an Operation Solidarity, was a, it was just the union leaders who met and decided how they were going to do it. Who was going to go. Mr. Munro went because Art Kube had serious health issue at that time. He was our leader as far as we were concerned. Jack Munro was not, even though he’s a solid union leader and we did not trust Munro because he was kind of easy on government. We thought all along. In fact he made comments about it. He made some comments I don’t necessarily want to repeat, but so we didn’t have much confidence in him as far as… I’m talking not about the union people, but the non-union people, the community representatives didn’t have the same kind of confidence in him as they did in Art Kube. And also it really showed that in spite of us coming together, the community and the union coming together, it really showed that the decisions were made by a handful of people. The community representatives, the leaders of the Coalition, they were not part of those conversations. And I think that was very, very bad. You know, it’s very well possible that the real… you know, the, that Bennett may not have met with anyone other than the union leader, because they were the ones who were on strike. I understand that, but at the same time they, the, the Coalition felt that we were sold out. We were betrayed, and there was quite a lot of negative feeling and to the point where all that work we did to have the professionals, the community and, and, and the unions to work together, that was lost very much. Very much so. Yeah.
Larry Kuehn (President, BC Teachers’ Federation) [00:03:27] I didn’t really find out, you know, the details, you know, until the next day. You know, the Monday, you know, from the media report of, you know, that, you know Jack Munro on, on Webster’s show actually provided more information than I had before that. There, there was a meeting of Operation Solidarity then, but it was just, you know, at that stage, things that had already come to an end.