18
Aug
13

Success!!

Vancouver Solidarity Network (VANSOL) has success in coffee shop worker conflict.

This spring, a coffee shop worker in Mt. Pleasant contacted VANSOL about compensation from their boss after being fired unfairly and without notice.  The worker showed up to work and was left almost completely off the schedule for the next two weeks (3 hours only), effectively being fired without notice.  According to the Employment Standards Branch, a boss must give the worker notice, or offer compensation accordingly.

The worker, understanding the potential for frustration in dealing with the ESB, and desperate to pay rent, decided to use another tactic to obtain their lost wages. They contacted VANSOL, an organization that exists specifically to pressure bosses and landlords that take advantage of workers and renters. VANSOL and the worker drafted a letter listing their demands, while also noting that if demands were not met, they would escalate tactics until the demands were met, using community support and picket tactics.

It is very common for bosses to take advantage of workers, and to cut corners in terms of what is owed to workers. The service industry depends on this, and knows that workers are not likely to contact the ESB or push to get what is owed to them.  The location in this case is notorious for this type of firing.  I am sure the bosses were not expecting the worker to contact them again. Just think about how many times they got away with not following protocol. At the end of the day, the burden falls on the shoulders of the workers, who have become accustomed to this treatment and often accept it instead of going after their lost wages.

This type of community organizing is finding success in many cities. It is in a “solidarity” mentality that community members can find security and continuity, investing in future support actions for themselves and friends.  In other parts of Canada, folks are starting to organize themselves in coffee shops and other service industry jobs, using these “solidarity network” tactics. It is just a matter of time before this practice becomes the standard for workers dealing with bosses.  It is definitely more effective than dealing with the Employment Standards Branch and navigating impossible legal bureaucracies.

20
Jun
12

About VanSol

Vancouver Solidarity Network (Vansol) is a volunteer network of people who believe in standing up for our rights. Our goal is to support our fellow workers’ strikes and struggles, build solidarity, and organize to deal with specific job, housing, and other problems caused by the greed of the rich and powerful.

How?
We use the IWW’s organizing model (“A-E-I-O-U”), because it’s a good one.

Agitate = Ask questions to find out what someone’s key problem/issue is. Get them to tell us the story about how this problem affects their life.

Educate = Help them understand—using examples from other fights—how we can solve the problem through collective action.

Inoculate = Prepare them for what the other side (or others) might do or say.

Organize = Develop a strategy and tactics for escalating collective actions.

Unite = Mobilize a large group of people (our flying squad) to the first action (presentation of demand), and to subsequent escalating actions. Keep up the fight until it’s won!

Why?
Every one of us has suffered unjust treatment at the hands of employers, landlords, or other people who hold power. It is their role in this capitalist society to exploit workers and renters. To take a stand as an individual does not usually produce results, and more often than not leads to more exploitation, frustration, and despair. But in coming together in solidarity, we can defend our rights and demand fair treatment. Standing together we empower each other.

Join us!  Let’s fight to win.

vansolnet@gmail.com

13
Dec
11

Vansol Flyer

Free to print and distribute!

For two sided printable version,  click on the following link: Vansol flyer

02
Nov
11

Workshop on Direct Unionism

31
Jul
11

Check this out!

Check out this awesome example of cross-country solidarity actions!  Seattle Solidarity Network organized solidarity pickets with workers in Minneapolis and San Francisco whose employers were trying to bust their unions.

05
Jul
11

23
Mar
11

More to Come!

Hello all, we’re just getting started so bare with us while we get things off the ground.

Please send us an email if you have any questions or are interested in getting involved.

vansolnet@gmail.com




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