Save On Foods in Port Hardy is now chipping in to help out the striking loggers.
Store Manager Jake Martin said the donation bin, located in the produce section of the store, won’t be taking away from any other charities that Save on Foods currently works with.
“We want to make sure that in all our communities we support as many groups as possible,” said Martin, “so by adding this on to our community support, we are not subtracting from any other charities that we currently take care of.”
United Steelworkers local 1-1937 union member George Genoe, who is on the Camp Committee in Port McNeill and has been a member of the union for 50 years, says this donation bin at Save On Foods came about because “Just out of years of watching them support the food banks and everything, I figured Save On Foods could be our centrepiece here for bringing in donations, so I talked to them and of course they were on board instantly.”
He added that all the food collected at the grocery store will be going to the old union building in Port McNeill where the Kitchen Corner is, “and then it will be distributed amongst our picket lines to all the people who need it.”
Genoe wanted to say that this strike has been “terrible, absolutely terrible” on the workers. “My uptake on it is, Western Forest Products you should be ashamed of yourself.”
He added he’s been hearing about union members’ houses going up for sale, vehicles being repossessed, and “it’s absolutely terrible — it all started from WFP throwing 26 concessions on the table and they would not take them off — they had no business having them on the table in the first place. They’re making big profits, and all we were asking for is a little bit of extension on what we get.”
With this now the longest strike in history, surpassing the previous longest strike that happened back in 2004, Genoe said WFP’s Nov. 18 press release about the mediated talks breaking down was nothing but “lies, continuous lies — they’re playing a game here and it’s a childish game they’re playing.”