Sunday, June 26, 2011

Getting Political

There has been a Canada Post rotating strike going on for several weeks here in Canada.  Then last week CP management locked out all its unionized workers, claiming the rotating strikes were costing them millions.
[This makes no sense.  Losing money how?  And how does locking the union out solve the alleged cost issue???]
Today the Conservative party of Canada, led by the illustrious Stephen Harper, had a marathon parlaimentary sitting to push through legislation to force Canada Post unionized workers back to work.  This was a last minute push through before they break for summer.

On the one hand, its a small mercy the mail will not be stalled ALL SUMMER while The Government goes on summer vacay.

ON THE OTHER HAND, WHAT THE FUCK?!  The last time I checked, Canada wasn't A FASCIST STATE!

Do you know what the ONLY sticking point was during negotiations?  Nope, it wasn't wages.  It was staffing.  Canada Post has too much work loaded on too few people, and the union is calling for more positions to be created to deal with the overload.  And what was the Conservative response?


[Here's an article about it]

This is a disturbing trend: wasn't it last year and a bit that the Ambulance Paramedics were legislated [read: forced in silence to accept an inadequate contract be shoved down their throats] back to work in a similar manner?
In our most recent election (the third in too few years, since reshuffling parlaiment is apparently something the taxpayers LOVE to pay for: now children, SHARE THE SANDBOX NICELY, they do it well in India where there is ALWAYS a minority government and people have to learn to work together) the reshuffling resulted in an actual visceral change!  A united, strong, NDP opposition party to balance the Conservatives who actually won a majority this time around.  Likely only because so many Liberals defected because who in their right mind could picture Ignatieff as Prime Minister?  Even the liberal voters can't.
[My apologies to Mr. Ignatieff, I've heard that you are actually an intelligent and articulate man.  Just lacking so much in the charisma department.  Which I've heard is pretty important in leadership these days]

Anyways, I applauded this lineup, because finally a strong united NDP opposition to balance the fiscally realistic Conservative party.  But the symbol of any socialist minded party like the NDP is union negotiations, and today they lost a big one.  HUGE.  I cannot believe this passed, and I'm disgusted and outraged enough to blog about politics, which I don't generally do.

The best way to come to agreements is to TALK, work together, find common ground, build creative, positive solutions which reflect the civil society we're so proud of, which embraces differences and tolerates diversity with pride, and takes care of people.  How is it taking care of people to weigh them down with too much work to complete in too short of time, and then slam the door in their faces when it comes to negotiating contracts with them?



Anonymous said...

When they were doing the rotating strikes, all the postal workers except those actually striking that day were getting paid. But mail was still being disrupted because it wasn't flowing through every area. Now that they're all locked out, they're not having to pay anyone. I do day care for a postal worker and know several others and they're all pissed as hell that the NDP has filibustered the Conservatives motion to order them back to work. None of them want to be striking.
It's not every postal worker who is overworked. Most of them start at 8 am and are done working by lunch time. Or close to that. And mail is a dying thing. Most of what mailcarriers deliver is junk mail which only costs pennies to send (as opposed to letter mail and parcels which create much more money). Canada Post wants change how they do things to adjust to the changing face of mail.

Everything I know about the strike, I've learned from mail carriers. I *know* that they have to vote in order to strike and that there must be some postal workers (a majority?) who don't feel this way, but here in Langley, a lot of them seem to want this door slammed.

melissa said...

There are always union members who disagree with the majority vote, but I have a hard time believing that the ONE sticking point in negotiations was staffing, and that there is no staffing problem.

One could argue that, since ambulance calls all eventually get done, that there is no shortage of paramedics in BC but that would be grossly misrepresentational.

In my opinion it is not okay to legislate unions to accept 'agreements.' It's like getting married (creating unions and a negotiative contract process) and then forcing a spouse to have sex every once in awhile because 'we couldn't come to an agreement' on how often we should have sex (legislating acceptance of agreements). Either you negotiate or you don't.

literal mama said...

Just wait, the teachers are next. We did our strike vote on Friday. Negotiations are at a stand still (again, not about only wages) and we will have no choice but to strike. And we will be legislated back to work by our illustrious premier. Facism, at it's best.

melissa said...

eeeeeeeeexactly! I want a Stop Campbell sign to go with my Stop Harper sign, this is gross. Good luck to you teachers! xo