Sunday, 16 March 2014

Port of Vancouver: Ignorant, yes, but am I stupid too?

How can a faithful report on labour strife at the Port of Vancouver skip over the Hells Angels and the Indo-Canadian mafia?  A dispute about trucking rates probably has nothing to do with this but I'd like that clarified before taking reports at face value.

Since the port truckers are almost all Sikhs, there must be gatekeeper rules.  My brain is telling me this is a job you get by knowing somebody, not by resum√©.  You don't expect all barbers to be Presbyterians and yet we have entire truck-and-cab businesses full of Sikh drivers.  I'd like to know who the gate keepers are and whether ties of birth and power determine who gets in and who negotiates the contracts.

And what about crime groups?  Past reports suggest several dozen affiliates of the Hells Angels work within the Port Authority.  There's no contract with the Hells Angels who apparently influence the flow of drugs through the port but the name is like a hum in the background of the story that never goes away.   There's also no contract with the Indo-Canadian mafia  but they too have their fingers in Vancouver area drugs and crime.  This sympathetic story on the Vancouver Sikh community is quite apologetic towards the end discussing a significant minority of young males who disregard the law and Canadian politicians who make nice to avoid conflict with Sikh voters.  That's another humming sound in my ear.

It's impolitic and perhaps dangerous to ask but it is unwise not to know.

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