Dick Hunt's Blog

January 25, 2012

Streak on the Floor etc.

Filed under: Current — Dick Hunt's Blog @ 9:10 pm

Streak on the Floor etc.
by Dick Hunt, January 25th, 2012.

Anybody’s floor will do, as long as it is hard surface.The floor that triggered this story was observed in a care home, months ago. It was made by a shoe with a black sole and is a common problem everywhere. I have mentioned it to the maintenance people often but they have said it doesn’t respond to their cleaning products. No blame to the staff. They use what is supplied. I have tried to be allowed to remove the streak with my brand of cleaner but have not been allowed to do it as it is not my job. I have given a sample of my cleaner to a staff member but it has disappeared, but the black streak hasn’t disappeared. I am certain that mine will quickly work but I am not permitted to demonstrate. I am frustrated. Various Unions are involved in the facility and they cannot cross Union barriers.

In 1940, I was being given a tour of downtown Vancouver by a relative. We were on West Hastings and just passing a large building which was under construction. He pointed to the sixth floor area and said the job had been shut down for several months because of a dispute between the Carpenters Union and The Electrical Union. The problem arose because in order to proceed with the electricians contract, a hole had to be bored through a large beam to allow a heavy Electrical cable to be fed through to the adjoining area. Since no carpenter could be located, an electrician bored the hole.That is a no – no and the job came to a stop. Both sides dug in and stopped the whole job from proceeding. I am not against Unions but sometimes they are enemies of progress.
What they have done well is insist on safety measures in the workplace and that is an ongoing deep need in the construction industry. They have also been good for the whole industry by insisting on high standards of labour skills and services and making provision for keeping the standards high. Having spent a good part of my life in a variety of construction and technical work, I know how important it is to maintain high standards. I have never been faulted on the job for cutting corners but have been accused on occasion of being too meticulous in my work and “giving too good a deal to the Contractor”. Our two sons are Journeyman Carpenters and I taught them a lot of their skills and attitudes and their conscientious work on the job shows their honesty.

I admit to being very critical regarding the attitudes of both unions and management in the dragged out negotiations which are constantly going on. Many innocent citizens are seriously hampered and frustrated when caught between the two sides. One of the union stands is “catch up”, as though that is a standard that is of greatest benefit to the greatest number. But there is no such thing as “catch up” for the average citizen and especially for people with fixed incomes, substandard housing, poor families, etc. Having been in the Ministry for over half a century, I am aware of the struggles of many people who have little access to advocates who can and will help them to solve their problems. My wife and I constantly dipped into our small income to help people with food to get them over the humps. But I always helped them spend the funds we supplied as very often they were unable to choose wisely for their families and leaned heavily to junk foods as their preferences. I tried to coach them wisely for the good of their children.

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