Friday, June 17, 2011

Cats and Picket Lines

At 12:01 a.m. tonight there's a pretty good chance that the staff at Animal Services will go on strike.  Honestly, I know nothing about unions.  I've always been "the man", so unions and strikes are a foreign thing to me.  As I type this blog post at 4:45 pm, the shelter has been closed for 15 minutes.  The staff were told to hand in their keys and expect the strike. 

I don't know why they're striking, but what I do know is that the only person NOT union is the Animal Services Manager.  Is she supposed to clean and feed all the animals by herself?  Animal Services is not set up for volunteers, so I can't help. 

Yes, I'm worried for the animals at the shelter.  God only knows when they'll be fed or cleaned.  I hope they're striking for a good eff'ing reason, because the animals need the staff to be on the job.

I've been warned about the picket lines.  "Beth, will you cross the picket lines to do rescue?" 

"Holy crap...what does THAT mean?  I...I...guess so!  What will happen if I do?"

I guess things can get ugly when you cross a picket line.  I've watched enough movies.  Of course, I'll cross the picket line to do rescue.  I'll put a sign on my chest that says, "Rescue" and God help the people that keep me from going in to the shelter to save the cats.  I don't mean to make myself sound so cavalier, but I don't screw around when it comes to the cats that need to get out of there. 

So what's going to happen?  I don't know.  This post may be a mute point and the strike won't happen. 

I rescued 4 cats today - one being a very handsome orange man named "Eldrick":
I felt very teary-eyed when I left wondering what the fate of all the animals would be if the staff go on strike.  There are some VERY tiny kittens there that need special care.  Who is going to do that?? 

Let's hope for the best and the staff can show up to work tomorrow.  The animals need them there. 


Renee said...

I would have to hope that the workers know you're not going in to do something that they'd normally be doing. You're not trying to "cover" their positions. And from a PR perspective, hassling you wouldn't be smart. They could try to delay you, and if they do, be patient, but I sure hope they're still human enough to let you save lives.

And you know you can count on me to the best of my ability. I'm sure tons of your other friends and foster homes are the same.

Anonymous said...

when there was a strike at another animal control, they sent admin staff from the city who were part of a different union in to feed them - hopefully the same will be true.

They didn't get scooped/litter changes etc properly but at least they had food and water daily

Saying that, I have done a whole shelter alone. It took 5 hours but I got it done. Kittens first and then work your way through

hmacross said...

Beth, the picket line will likely be the staff that work at the shelter - they know you and know what you do. If you are going in to rescue cats, I don't see that as a problem. Problems can arise when someone crosses to do the work done by the people on strike.

I would think that care of the animals is an essential service though - I hope it all works out.

Eldrick is very handsome! My next cat will be orange or white :) My kids want a full set, which they define as one of each colour (black, grey, white, orange).

Trixie, Lily, and Sammy-Joe said...

If they're going to go on strike, the should assign a few people to sneakily go in and take care of the animals! How can they let the animals suffer? When teachers go on strike, they don't actully leave the students inside the school with no food, water, supervision or care, do they? Strike or not they still gotta take care of those little furry guys!

Debbie said...

Just curious who else did you manage to rescue? I had my eyes on Eldrick but unfortunately we don't have any space, so I'm glad he got out.

Anonymous said...

They say in the event of a strike they will still be open 12:30-3:30 Mon-Fri so there will be someone in there at least. But who knows over the weekend, I hope they topped up the bowls before they left just in case

Lory & Co. said...

Good for you Beth! Ignore the picketers, helping those animals is more important!

Anonymous said...

I just read online that they reached a tentative deal early this morning...thank goodness for the cats and for all of us who live in Hamilton

Anonymous said...

Its great to see that they seem to have come to a deal without a strike