CAPE Members and Striking Union Members

December 11, 2012 Members of CAPE contact the National Office on occasion to ask how they can express support for union members when a strike occurs outside of their workplace. For example, some elementary teachers in Ontario have announced a one-day strike during the week of December 10. The Association recommends the following measures if you want to show support for the striking employees.
Common sense and respect
We ask that you show sympathy and respect to those people who are on strike. Please accept in a courteous manner any buttons, stickers or leaflets they are distributing. Remember they have a right to inform you.
It is in everyone's interest that the process of picketing be peaceful and orderly. Do not under any circumstances attempt to push through a picket line, as such action could jeopardize safety or lead to physical contact that is illegal. If you must access the building targeted by the strike, we suggest that you speak with the picketers or the individual strike captain managing the picket line and ask how you may enter the building.
Supporting the strikers, respecting their work
If you don’t know why the union members are on strike, take a moment on the picket line to discuss with them what the issues at stake are. As supporting measures, you can march with the strikers during a few minutes before entering the building, or before leaving if you have decided not to cross their picket line. You can also ask the people on strike what you can do to show your support.
Finally, as a union, we can’t agree with the fact that our members would do the work of striking employees. In the case of the elementary teachers’ strike, replacing them as a volunteer during the lunch hour or during after-school activities is the same as performing the work of employees on strike.