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[Canadian Politics] Tommy used to work on the docks

124

Posts

  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    Just saw the headlines for the official GM statement (here in French). Seems they are closing three factories, the Oshawa one and two in the USA, for a total 14,700 jobs lost (so 2,500 in Canada and 12,200 in the USA).

    sig.gif
  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    Richy wrote: »
    Just saw the headlines for the official GM statement (here in French). Seems they are closing three factories, the Oshawa one and two in the USA, for a total 14,700 jobs lost (so 2,500 in Canada and 12,200 in the USA).

    15% cut to salaried workforce (engineers &c.) including 25% of executives.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/11/26/gm-lay-off-percent-salaried-workers-halt-production-five-plants-us-canada/

    Fencingsax
  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    edited November 26
    Looking at the CUPW wikipedia page and doing some googling, it looks like the last three CUPW strikes have all been ended with back to work legislation, with the ones under Chretien and Harper being forced back with lower wages than the deal the corporation offered.

    No, going by the history, it looks like the union is basically defanged, and the government is just railroading the postal workers. They are being forced by legislation to accept lower wages than even the corporation was offering. As punishment for striking? Not sure. But the message is pretty clear. Accept whatever deal you're offered, because if you strike, you'll get even less.

    This is pretty anti-labour. Not just anti-union, but anti-labour.

    Nova_C on
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  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    edited November 26
    shryke wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    This seems a lot like victim blaming, honestly. Like... the government wants to fuck you, workers, so you should know that and avoid being fucked involuntarily in this manner, by instead volunteering to be fucked in this other manner.

    Way to "overplay your hand" by not just taking the dicking people in power want to give you.

    Is there anything specific in particular about their strategy that should have been corrected? Is there any specific concession that they should have given in? Absent any actual specific corrections/changes proposed, this is just Monday morning quarterbacking someone for choosing a particular track in a poorly formulated trolley problem. They should have gone to binding arbitration! Kinda like what's basically happening now anyways with a jointly chosen mediator! OBVIOUSLY, they should have chosen the OTHER track!

    When the government's willing to pass possibly unconstitutional legislation to stop you... it's like... I dunno man, is that the "reality" you really want people to acquiesce too? That's like a thread's width away from just giving in to whatever injustice people who are more powerful than you want to perpetrate. You should just know beforehand that people will violate the law to abuse you, so, you know, transgendered Ontarians should just go right back in the closet rather than risk Ford's wrath; after all, why fight for their human rights when they know about the Notwithstanding Clause?

    I literally gave an idea at the start of this for what they could have done different based on recent news that's come out. It's difficult to nail down specifics without being fully privy to the negotiations but it should be pretty obvious to anyone that the government was not gonna let a major postal strike keep going during the holiday shopping season without trying to do something about it. And when governments "do something" about strikes in important services, that something is back-to-work legislation. It's entirely predictable. The strikers should have known this.

    The above? That's reality. You know it too. Shit, we've been down this kind of road before with this very union. I have no idea what the lot of you are actually trying to argue here.

    Frankly, many of you seem to have trouble differentiating analysis from support. Saying "it is totally predictable that the government will legislate postal workers back to work to stop them from striking during holiday shopping season" is not an endorsement of that action but merely an acknowledgement of a pretty obvious fact.


    Also, trying to bring "victim blaming" into this is hilarious. What is this shit? And now transgender rights apparently? Maybe talk about the postal strike instead of trying to drag unrelated issues into the discussion to prop up your argument.

    Your idea wasn't really a real idea. I mean... they're going to a binding arbitrator now, and your suggestion was that they should have gone to binding arbitration earlier. Like... their goal was to avoid binding arbitration. So. I mean. If you're gonna say that the conditions of binding arbitration now are going to be so much worse than the conditions of binding arbitration earlier, you're gonna really have to finesse this one with details.

    Dude, you aren't even trying.
    shryke wrote: »
    yes thats the point the corporation completely undermined the workers power and got exactly what they want because of the holidays

    it was a calculated play the government fell for

    Agreed but I think the union also misplayed it's hand. They recently turned down an offer to basically put the whole thing on hold till after the holidays and then slap an abitration deadline on the whole thing. They should have come back with yes to the hold, no to the deadline imo. A strike is playing politics, especially when you are a crown corporation. Take the pressure off the government to cave in and force you back to work and take up the fight afterwards. I think they got over-confident and thought that fucking up the holiday season would force management to come to the table faster and didn't take into account how the federal government would react.
    Literally the opposite of what I said. This is not anything like arguing in good faith yo.

    That wasn't on the table. You can't just... create offers that don't exist and say they should have accepted them.

    They offered something that was like what you'd want. Go back with a modified version of the offer. You know, negotiate. Like I literally already said.

    I mean, I actually quoted the post you are pretending says the opposite of what it says and you are still pulling this schtick. Just silly goosery.

    You don't know anything about labour relations. It is not goosery to point out that you do not, and that your ideas are about as fantastical as the union building a spaceship to take them to Mars. You claim to be thinking more strategically than CUPW is, but frankly, your idea that the union should give up all its leverage at the point that it's the strongest, so that it can prolong the strike when they're at their weakest is some of the most horrid labour negotiating strategy I've ever heard. "Sure, we'll do our job when you need us the most, and then go back on strike when you don't need us as much! Cuz that's how strikes work!"

    The deal offered by Canada Post was, "Die or die." Saying, "Oh, we'll take the first die, if you throw in a hundred bucks," isn't negotiating and it isn't a strategy; it's suicide.

    My schtick is that I know something about labour negotiations and you do not. It is not silly goosery. It's being informed and educated from having gone through this before, from having talked to lawyers and union strategists and done research. If that's silly goosery, then I'm a silly goose and proud of it. And relieved not to be the guy who's just yelling, "Why don't unions just do THIS? It's so obvious! Unions R dum."

    Right, see, here's the problem. Their leverage isn't at it's strongest now. The whole issue with your argument is you are making the exact same mistake as they did here: you think the holiday shopping season puts pressure on management. It doesn't. Because the government will legislate you back to work to keep mail service going for christmas shopping, it's the opposite. It puts pressure on the union. Their position is weak right now. They can't push too hard or the very predictable outcome we just saw happen will happen.

    Like, you keep repeating the same argument but no matter how many words you use, none of them change reality. We know how this goes: you get sent back to work by the government if you try and disrupt holiday shopping. This is both a predictable outcome and the one that literally actually happened.

    On top of that, this whole "Well striking the rest of the year wasn't getting anything done" attitude is equally silly. Because yeah, the previous tactics weren't as effective as they wanted. This is true. But they weren't getting legislated back to work either. So, like, how has their situation improved? The unstated assumption of this idea that nothing they were doing before was working is that clearly they need to try something different. When that something different gets you a worse (and entirely predictable) outcome, maybe it was a bad idea.

    Being on strike is bad. It's not an enjoyable experience and it puts workers at financial risk.

    Long strikes favour the employer, for various reasons. If an employer can ride out the initial disruption, all of it just becomes sunk costs. See the CTV article I linked:
    According to Howard Levitt, a labour lawyer based in Toronto, back-to-work legislation isn't always beneficial to management. In fact, he said that the government's involvement could actually work in favour of the unions.

    "The real problem is that management is not acting in its own interest," Levitt said in an email to CTV.ca.

    "Here is a perfect opportunity for these employers to beat their unions, who have no public support and essentially impose terms."

    Levitt said that the public has little sympathy for both the Air Canada and Canada Post unions, and Canadians would likely allow the strikes to go on indefinitely. In such long-term disruptions, management gains the upper hand, said Levitt.

    "This provides both employers an unprecedented opportunity to permanently weaken the union and impose contracts on their terms," he said.

    "Instead, they are seeking return-to-work legislation, which will result in the normally union-friendly terms imposed by most arbitrators."

    Also, again, you are engaging in results-oriented thinking. Your last sentence is LITERALLY the epitome of results-oriented thinking. Any competitive game player would tell you that you committing a fallacy when you do so. CUPW took their shot. They got back-to-work-ed, which isn't great, but it's a lot better than being on an interminable strike that reduces their own morale, financial position, and future leverage, and probably better than never taking their shot and possibly dying a slow interminable death.

    And again, in your whole post, you don't demonstrate any actual knowledge of what's going on with unions nowadays. It's just... it sounds like this is all just fanciful fanwankery to you. It's not. There are a lot of union locals in Canada. A lot of them have been on strike in the past couple of decades. There is established knowledge about how this works. Your description of this situation is shallow as all hell and doesn't seem to even capture the basics of labour bargaining, like "long strikes are bad" and "getting back-to-work-ed isn't the worst possible outcome" and "sometimes you take a shot and you lose but that doesn't mean the shot was bad."

    And the fact that you're doing this without knowing any details about the bargaining process is just... when my amateur-ass local went on strike, we dissected the shit out of employer offers and negotiation table tactics. You're just speaking entirely from ignorance here and you're proud of it.

    hippofant on
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  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    edited November 26
    3) The point of a strike (as I understand it) is to inflict harm on the company to the point that it becomes financially beneficial for management to offer better terms. As Canada Post is basically a legally-enforced monopoly in one aspect of its business, and also not specifically a profit-driven organization, the normal rules don't really apply. Barring legislative action, CUPW could go on strike for years, and CP would continue to exist without much difficulty and wouldn't permanently lose any of its letter delivery market share to another company. While its package delivery revenue would ultimately suffer long-term damage, from a managerial standpoint that doesn't matter since they have no shareholders to satisfy and no growth targets to meet. The people who really suffer are those who rely on CP's services, and that's why a strike was never going to work in this case: It's hitting the wrong target. Now, the general public could go after the management for bargaining in bad faith, but (a) They don't know, and (b) People tend to retaliate against who's fucking them the most directly, which is why in the case of a lockout, public sentiment is often somewhat different.

    Yep. This is part of why back-to-work legislation is so attractive right now. What managers do have to worry about is incurring the wrath of their superiors. Soooo why negotiate? Why settle? If I refuse to budge long enough, my bosses are going to come in and resolve this deadlock for me.
    4) Is it unfair that striking is not a viable negotiation tactic for the people in these organizations? Yes. Is everyone who works at these places aware that striking's not viable? If they're not, they should be. This isn't a new development. They're going to have to come up with something else.

    See how CUPW was using rotating strikes. My local tried to use social media and public engagement. The TTC used a wildcat strike. Ontario teachers used work-to-rule.

    Unions are trying different things. They've had to in these times. None of them have found a magic bullet yet. Trying to find a space to achieve "disrupt organization enough to force a settlement" in between "don't disrupt the public so we get back-to-work-ed" and "run an interminable strike that crushes us" is very hard, maybe even impossible nowadays. Especially when many of these organizations are themselves financially strangled by austerity policies, and are basically settled in to wait for back-to-work legislation right from the start.

    Nova_C wrote: »
    Looking at the CUPW wikipedia page and doing some googling, it looks like the last three CUPW strikes have all been ended with back to work legislation, with the ones under Chretien and Harper being forced back with lower wages than the deal the corporation offered.

    No, going by the history, it looks like the union is basically defanged, and the government is just railroading the postal workers. They are being forced by legislation to accept lower wages than even the corporation was offering. As punishment for striking? Not sure. But the message is pretty clear. Accept whatever deal you're offered, because if you strike, you'll get even less.

    This is pretty anti-labour. Not just anti-union, but anti-labour.

    If CUPW members were to say that their union/jobs are doomed, and just cave in every three years... I could respect that.

    But if they're going to go down fighting, I definitely respect that more.

    (And to be fair to CUPW's position, I think both those previous times, the legislation was later ruled to be unconstitutional, and the government was forced to compensate CUPW. But I can't find any information about the compensation after, which is yet another reason why governments are so keen to use back-to-work legislation: they might end up paying, but they pay later when nobody's paying attention any more, and meanwhile they get to trumpet how much money they saved, how many services they preserved, etc..)

    hippofant on
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  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    I rather enjoyed reading about a Japanese transit strike. Bus operators continued to run their routes, but refused to accept any fares.

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  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    I rather enjoyed reading about a Japanese transit strike. Bus operators continued to run their routes, but refused to accept any fares.

    Imagine: all your Christmas packages mailed for free.

    We'll see how long this blog lasts
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  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    Jerry Dias was raining down fire and brimstone on GM on behalf of the union. Won't do down without a fight, close this plant over my dead body kinda stuff (not actual quotes). He's doing his job.

    I don't think it will do any good, but it sounded good on the radio as I was driving around this afternoon.

  • Disco11Disco11 Registered User regular
    Steelhawk wrote: »
    Jerry Dias was raining down fire and brimstone on GM on behalf of the union. Won't do down without a fight, close this plant over my dead body kinda stuff (not actual quotes). He's doing his job.

    I don't think it will do any good, but it sounded good on the radio as I was driving around this afternoon.

    There is literally nothing the union can do when they are closing the plant.

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  • The Cow KingThe Cow King Walls of Jakiro Registered User regular
    The best they can hope for are buyouts

    My dad feels pretty bad for all the young people and those with like 10 years this fucking sucks for them

    Im worried about his pension, hell be fine but im going to be so so sp angry if the shitty company hes given 35 years of work to fucks him in his retirement

    icGJy2C.png
  • GaddezGaddez Registered User regular
    The one thing I'd kind of hoped for with regards to oshawa (as thoroughly unrealistic as it would be), would be for GM to sell the plant to another auto manufaturer as a way of making sure that the city which basically grew around the plant (seriously oshawa used to be smaller then my home town of whitby), did a lot of good work for them over the past 40 years and doesn't really have anything else going for it outside of the college at the north end isn't completely screwed when they pull out.

    Richy wrote: »
    But I think the resistance I’m getting more has to do with “rawr! Loklar said it! Rage!” than anything else.

    No, it has to do with the fact that you're done nothing but throw lies, blatant flasehoods, and downright dumb statements at us so far.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    The best they can hope for are buyouts

    My dad feels pretty bad for all the young people and those with like 10 years this fucking sucks for them

    Im worried about his pension, hell be fine but im going to be so so sp angry if the shitty company hes given 35 years of work to fucks him in his retirement

    Company pensions seem like a terrible idea in retrospect. Should have it administered by the government.

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  • CorporateGoonCorporateGoon Registered User regular
    daveNYC wrote: »
    4) Is it unfair that striking is not a viable negotiation tactic for the people in these organizations? Yes. Is everyone who works at these places aware that striking's not viable? If they're not, they should be. This isn't a new development. They're going to have to come up with something else.

    Like workplace sabotage or slowdowns? There's not a lot of options available for labor to put pressure on management. You take away their ability to strike and things either get ugly or the union effectively loses the ability to extract concessions from management.
    hippofant wrote: »
    See how CUPW was using rotating strikes. My local tried to use social media and public engagement. The TTC used a wildcat strike. Ontario teachers used work-to-rule.

    Unions are trying different things. They've had to in these times. None of them have found a magic bullet yet. Trying to find a space to achieve "disrupt organization enough to force a settlement" in between "don't disrupt the public so we get back-to-work-ed" and "run an interminable strike that crushes us" is very hard, maybe even impossible nowadays. Especially when many of these organizations are themselves financially strangled by austerity policies, and are basically settled in to wait for back-to-work legislation right from the start.

    In these sorts of cases, I don't know if they have any good options. Something like a big, long-term (and we're probably talking years here) PR campaign would be helpful. Eventually, once the public's on their side, the politicians would have to follow, lest they get voted out. But it would probably have to be a concerted effort between multiple public and quasi-public sector unions, because one strike could sour the populace on the whole thing.

  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    People hate unions, though. They think they're bad and abusive and the cause of things like the Oshawa plant closure. They think unions are a dinosaur and completely unnecessary.

    People are idiots, and there's no changing that.

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  • The Cow KingThe Cow King Walls of Jakiro Registered User regular
    in our time on convenience and a service economy being slightly inconvenienced or waiting a slight minute for service is like the worst thing in the world I guess, least that is how people always react to union strikes it is some how about them!

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  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    I have a bunch of packages I'm waiting for and whatever.

    I am 100% behind the union on this.

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  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    Nova_C wrote: »
    I have a bunch of packages I'm waiting for and whatever.

    I am 100% behind the union on this.

    Yea, I have 3 international packages without updates for 1-2 weeks now as, I presume, they're sitting in the import stockpile waiting for Canada Post to start up international mail again.

    We'll see how long this blog lasts
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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Nova_C wrote: »
    People hate unions, though. They think they're bad and abusive and the cause of things like the Oshawa plant closure. They think unions are a dinosaur and completely unnecessary.

    People are idiots, and there's no changing that.

    Not really. Even just 5 years back (I've seen others but that's the easiest one I could verify this second) unions enjoy good support among the canadian public. Here's a link to one poll from 2013: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/12/20/unions-canada-poll_n_4479321.html The numbers are good for unions in general. Like, 70:30 good.

    I think sometimes we forget, given media and politics crossover, that we aren't the US.

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  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    I support the Union but I also have my street parking permit somewhere lost in limbo and my current permit expires at the end of the month. So I'm looking at $50 a day in tickets (they're ruthless in my area). They also ignore notes/proof of payment/receipts left on the dash. Luckily I can dispute and have won in the past (like last year when my license plate stickers took 3 weeks to arrive, yay for being born in December), but it's a real pain in the ass and takes like 4 months.

    I should probably renew my plate stickers now...

  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    edited November 26
    shryke wrote: »
    Nova_C wrote: »
    People hate unions, though. They think they're bad and abusive and the cause of things like the Oshawa plant closure. They think unions are a dinosaur and completely unnecessary.

    People are idiots, and there's no changing that.

    Not really. Even just 5 years back (I've seen others but that's the easiest one I could verify this second) unions enjoy good support among the canadian public. Here's a link to one poll from 2013: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/12/20/unions-canada-poll_n_4479321.html The numbers are good for unions in general. Like, 70:30 good.

    I think sometimes we forget, given media and politics crossover, that we aren't the US.

    I think Canadians like to say they support unions when asked, but then when a union's job action starts impacting them personally, say, when a postal strike goes on into Christmas, those same people....

    hippofant on
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  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    edited November 26
    Richy wrote: »
    Just saw the headlines for the official GM statement (here in French). Seems they are closing three factories, the Oshawa one and two in the USA, for a total 14,700 jobs lost (so 2,500 in Canada and 12,200 in the USA).

    Someone convince me that it's a bad idea for me to want the Canadian government to start just jailing GM executives and major GM stockholders.

    They had a deal with Unifor. They got a bailout from the Canadian government. And I'm just at a loss as to what could possibly be done now. Clearly financial incentives and support don't work. And financial penalties, they just fold that into their cost calculations, so... I dunno, what recourse is there still to try?

    Yeah yeah, slippery slope, once the government starts jailing executives, they'll start jailing us little people next, but....

    hippofant on
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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    hippofant wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    Just saw the headlines for the official GM statement (here in French). Seems they are closing three factories, the Oshawa one and two in the USA, for a total 14,700 jobs lost (so 2,500 in Canada and 12,200 in the USA).

    Someone convince me that it's a bad idea for me to want the Canadian government to start just jailing GM executives and major GM stockholders.

    They had a deal with Unifor. They got a bailout from the Canadian government. And I'm just at a loss as to what could possibly be done now. Clearly financial incentives and support don't work. And financial penalties, they just fold that into their cost calculations, so... I dunno, what recourse is there still to try?

    Yeah yeah, slippery slope, once the government starts jailing executives, they'll start jailing us little people next, but....

    The slippery slope would probably actually be scaring off future investment.

    We need more strings attached to any deals we give companies to come to Canada though.

    AridholGnome-Interruptus
  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    hippofant wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Nova_C wrote: »
    People hate unions, though. They think they're bad and abusive and the cause of things like the Oshawa plant closure. They think unions are a dinosaur and completely unnecessary.

    People are idiots, and there's no changing that.

    Not really. Even just 5 years back (I've seen others but that's the easiest one I could verify this second) unions enjoy good support among the canadian public. Here's a link to one poll from 2013: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/12/20/unions-canada-poll_n_4479321.html The numbers are good for unions in general. Like, 70:30 good.

    I think sometimes we forget, given media and politics crossover, that we aren't the US.

    I think Canadians like to say they support unions when asked, but then when a union's job action starts impacting them personally, say, when a postal strike goes on into Christmas, those same people....

    I'm in a union, and other members are supporting the back to work legislation.

    Like, I just don't get it. Look at the difference in what it takes to make enough to buy a home these days compared to a generation ago. And a generation before that. Labour is worse off than it has been in decades. We need to be pushing back against the slow walk back to the days when people were used up and thrown away. We're not.

    At least not enough.

    LordSolarMachariusGnome-Interruptus
  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    Just saw the headlines for the official GM statement (here in French). Seems they are closing three factories, the Oshawa one and two in the USA, for a total 14,700 jobs lost (so 2,500 in Canada and 12,200 in the USA).

    Someone convince me that it's a bad idea for me to want the Canadian government to start just jailing GM executives and major GM stockholders.

    They had a deal with Unifor. They got a bailout from the Canadian government. And I'm just at a loss as to what could possibly be done now. Clearly financial incentives and support don't work. And financial penalties, they just fold that into their cost calculations, so... I dunno, what recourse is there still to try?

    Yeah yeah, slippery slope, once the government starts jailing executives, they'll start jailing us little people next, but....

    The slippery slope would probably actually be scaring off future investment.

    We need more strings attached to any deals we give companies to come to Canada though.

    But what do the strings matter if they can't be enforced anyways? (See also: US Steel.)

  • The Cow KingThe Cow King Walls of Jakiro Registered User regular
    GM just doesnt want to continue paying the wages. Theres no way to convince them. Theyll take the incentives slowly downsize more and continue to hold production "promises" over the union to make more and more workers temporary.

    Its whats been happening for years and now its just cheaper to stop.

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  • AridholAridhol Registered User regular
    edited November 27
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/senate-canada-post-debate-1.4920494


    Senators pass back-to-work legislation to end rotating postal strike

    Aridhol on
  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited November 27
    I wonder if we're going to end up with overtime in December to handle the mail backlog Canada Post probably has stockpiled in Toronto.

    It's going to be an interesting couple of weeks/month.

    Aegis on
    We'll see how long this blog lasts
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  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    hippofant wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Nova_C wrote: »
    People hate unions, though. They think they're bad and abusive and the cause of things like the Oshawa plant closure. They think unions are a dinosaur and completely unnecessary.

    People are idiots, and there's no changing that.

    Not really. Even just 5 years back (I've seen others but that's the easiest one I could verify this second) unions enjoy good support among the canadian public. Here's a link to one poll from 2013: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/12/20/unions-canada-poll_n_4479321.html The numbers are good for unions in general. Like, 70:30 good.

    I think sometimes we forget, given media and politics crossover, that we aren't the US.

    I think Canadians like to say they support unions when asked, but then when a union's job action starts impacting them personally, say, when a postal strike goes on into Christmas, those same people....

    Hard to say for sure, but this tracks with my experience. Abstractly there is positive sentiment, but when they have to make concrete sacrifices, many people will feel much less pro-union.

    I think a lot of this is just that many people don't understand unions and labour politics (I'm including myself here; I don't know the mechanics very well despite being pro-union!) but there's also plenty of "love me love me love me I'm a liberal" kind of stuff

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    daveNYC wrote: »
    4) Is it unfair that striking is not a viable negotiation tactic for the people in these organizations? Yes. Is everyone who works at these places aware that striking's not viable? If they're not, they should be. This isn't a new development. They're going to have to come up with something else.

    Like workplace sabotage or slowdowns? There's not a lot of options available for labor to put pressure on management. You take away their ability to strike and things either get ugly or the union effectively loses the ability to extract concessions from management.
    hippofant wrote: »
    See how CUPW was using rotating strikes. My local tried to use social media and public engagement. The TTC used a wildcat strike. Ontario teachers used work-to-rule.

    Unions are trying different things. They've had to in these times. None of them have found a magic bullet yet. Trying to find a space to achieve "disrupt organization enough to force a settlement" in between "don't disrupt the public so we get back-to-work-ed" and "run an interminable strike that crushes us" is very hard, maybe even impossible nowadays. Especially when many of these organizations are themselves financially strangled by austerity policies, and are basically settled in to wait for back-to-work legislation right from the start.

    In these sorts of cases, I don't know if they have any good options. Something like a big, long-term (and we're probably talking years here) PR campaign would be helpful. Eventually, once the public's on their side, the politicians would have to follow, lest they get voted out. But it would probably have to be a concerted effort between multiple public and quasi-public sector unions, because one strike could sour the populace on the whole thing.

    Roughly speaking, there are no 'good' options here. If you have a strike at a car company the public doesn't really feel the impact. The workers don't get paid and the company will be facing a revenue hit when their inventory depletes, but the pain is contained to the participants. Maybe the new model of whatever isn't available, but there's other cars out there and you probably don't need to buy that new car right that minute. A strike at something as ubiquitous as the post office or public schools or transportation has a direct impact on the general public, and shockedface.gif it turns out that the general public doesn't like being impacted.

    |So what you have is a situation where the union can knuckle under and accept whatever worse deal the company offers, or they can strike and get a law passed at them to force them to work. There's a third option where the public and government support labor rights enough to let the situation play out, but that's obviously not happening here.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    hippofant wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Nova_C wrote: »
    People hate unions, though. They think they're bad and abusive and the cause of things like the Oshawa plant closure. They think unions are a dinosaur and completely unnecessary.

    People are idiots, and there's no changing that.

    Not really. Even just 5 years back (I've seen others but that's the easiest one I could verify this second) unions enjoy good support among the canadian public. Here's a link to one poll from 2013: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/12/20/unions-canada-poll_n_4479321.html The numbers are good for unions in general. Like, 70:30 good.

    I think sometimes we forget, given media and politics crossover, that we aren't the US.

    I think Canadians like to say they support unions when asked, but then when a union's job action starts impacting them personally, say, when a postal strike goes on into Christmas, those same people....

    Hard to say for sure, but this tracks with my experience. Abstractly there is positive sentiment, but when they have to make concrete sacrifices, many people will feel much less pro-union.

    I think a lot of this is just that many people don't understand unions and labour politics (I'm including myself here; I don't know the mechanics very well despite being pro-union!) but there's also plenty of "love me love me love me I'm a liberal" kind of stuff

    It's more that people just really don't like to be inconvenienced.

  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    hippofant wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Nova_C wrote: »
    People hate unions, though. They think they're bad and abusive and the cause of things like the Oshawa plant closure. They think unions are a dinosaur and completely unnecessary.

    People are idiots, and there's no changing that.

    Not really. Even just 5 years back (I've seen others but that's the easiest one I could verify this second) unions enjoy good support among the canadian public. Here's a link to one poll from 2013: https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/12/20/unions-canada-poll_n_4479321.html The numbers are good for unions in general. Like, 70:30 good.

    I think sometimes we forget, given media and politics crossover, that we aren't the US.

    I think Canadians like to say they support unions when asked, but then when a union's job action starts impacting them personally, say, when a postal strike goes on into Christmas, those same people....

    Hard to say for sure, but this tracks with my experience. Abstractly there is positive sentiment, but when they have to make concrete sacrifices, many people will feel much less pro-union.

    I think a lot of this is just that many people don't understand unions and labour politics (I'm including myself here; I don't know the mechanics very well despite being pro-union!) but there's also plenty of "love me love me love me I'm a liberal" kind of stuff

    It's more that people just really don't like to be inconvenienced.

    'I support X... unless it impacts me.' is the life motto of the average Face Eating Leopards Party voter. No idea what to do about it, because for public(ish) sector unions basically any union job action is going to impact people.

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  • The WolfmanThe Wolfman Registered User regular
    I dunno, it's not a contradiction to say "I support the workers and hope they get what they want" and at the same time think "It's really fucking annoying I'm not getting mail and parcels, especially when they're of a time sensitive nature". I mean what exactly do you want people to do? People who still use and rely on their bills coming through the mail, or who are waiting on important parcels? Are you really going to scream at grandma for not doing internet banking?

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  • daveNYCdaveNYC Why universe hate Waspinator? Registered User regular
    I dunno, it's not a contradiction to say "I support the workers and hope they get what they want" and at the same time think "It's really fucking annoying I'm not getting mail and parcels, especially when they're of a time sensitive nature". I mean what exactly do you want people to do? People who still use and rely on their bills coming through the mail, or who are waiting on important parcels? Are you really going to scream at grandma for not doing internet banking?

    Unfortunately the alternative to yelling at grandma for not keeping up with the times is that the government effectively takes away the union's right to strike (and given that right-to-work bills hitting the postal workers seems to be a recurring theme, that's what has happened) and the union loses its best tool for extracting concessions. Being annoyed at an inconvenience does not mean that the cause of that inconvenience should be (effectively) outlawed, especially when doing so will cause a massive imbalance between labor and management.

    One thing: Grandma does her banking through the mail year round, so in as far as using her as the excuse to break the strike goes the specific timing of the strike by the union is irrelevant. And that was even part of the government's argument.
    During debate, Harder told senators that failure to speedily pass Bill C-89 would have severe consequences for those who rely on stable mail delivery service, including the elderly, residents in rural and remote areas and, most especially, retailers who use Canada Post to deliver online purchases.
    So while striking around Christmas added to the motivation for the government to break the strike, I don't think striking at different time would have had a much better outcome. They'd just trot out some stories about Little Timmy not getting his bonitis medicine and pass the same law.

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    I dunno, it's not a contradiction to say "I support the workers and hope they get what they want" and at the same time think "It's really fucking annoying I'm not getting mail and parcels, especially when they're of a time sensitive nature". I mean what exactly do you want people to do? People who still use and rely on their bills coming through the mail, or who are waiting on important parcels? Are you really going to scream at grandma for not doing internet banking?

    You could blame management for the strike rather than labor. Contracts take two parties.

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  • SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Registered User regular
    hippofant wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    Just saw the headlines for the official GM statement (here in French). Seems they are closing three factories, the Oshawa one and two in the USA, for a total 14,700 jobs lost (so 2,500 in Canada and 12,200 in the USA).

    Someone convince me that it's a bad idea for me to want the Canadian government to start just jailing GM executives and major GM stockholders.

    They had a deal with Unifor. They got a bailout from the Canadian government. And I'm just at a loss as to what could possibly be done now. Clearly financial incentives and support don't work. And financial penalties, they just fold that into their cost calculations, so... I dunno, what recourse is there still to try?

    Yeah yeah, slippery slope, once the government starts jailing executives, they'll start jailing us little people next, but....

    Jailed for what? The term of the agreement was 15 years and that term is up.
    This sucks but the writing was on the wall. People aren't buying the kinds of cars this plant was manufacturing. The best case scenario this whole time was that the plant would shut down for 6 months to a year for retooling but that was honestly always a pipedream.

    If we start jailing execs and shareholders once we're outside of contracted terms we can say goodbye to any foreign investment in our economy.

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  • The WolfmanThe Wolfman Registered User regular
    moniker wrote: »
    I dunno, it's not a contradiction to say "I support the workers and hope they get what they want" and at the same time think "It's really fucking annoying I'm not getting mail and parcels, especially when they're of a time sensitive nature". I mean what exactly do you want people to do? People who still use and rely on their bills coming through the mail, or who are waiting on important parcels? Are you really going to scream at grandma for not doing internet banking?

    You could blame management for the strike rather than labor. Contracts take two parties.

    Who says I don't? I would think "support the workers" would be enough of a clue. But since I guess it needs to be explicitly spelled out:

    It's not a contradiction to say "I support the workers and hope they get what they want", "I blame management for the strike", and "It's really fucking annoying I'm not getting mail and parcels, especially when they're of a time sensitive nature".

    To be hyper specific, saying anything along the lines of "I'm annoyed by the strike" is NOT a defacto "fuck labor" stance.

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  • SteelhawkSteelhawk Registered User regular
    The thread title is great. :)

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  • CanadianWolverineCanadianWolverine Registered User regular
    You're not wrong but it is a weak stance, it lacks conviction to stand in solidarity with your fellow workers. Especially if you aren't in a union, as unions are champions of this country's labour acts. All our working conditions get worse the more the unions get shit on.

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  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited December 10
    If we want to get super specific, "I'm annoyed by the strike" is... the goal. Like, that's the point; to affect people. That's the strike working as intended, to apply pressure (or it was, until the rug got pulled out from under them).

    If it wasn't having an impact, nobody would care. If a hundred people go stand in the middle of a random field, dozens of km away from anyone who might remotely care or be bothered, it's not a very effective form of protest or leverage.

    Ideally the *threat* of striking should be incentive enough to stand in its place, but apparently it was't. It's not like a contract negotiation coming up is impossible to predict, so unless the union was demanding something absurd like quadrupling everyone's wages and a whole herd of ponies, my initial reaction (no matter how inconvenienced I may or may not be) is to side with the workers, to be clear.

    Forar on
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  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    edited November 27
    You're not wrong but it is a weak stance, it lacks conviction to stand in solidarity with your fellow workers. Especially if you aren't in a union, as unions are champions of this country's labour acts. All our working conditions get worse the more the unions get shit on.

    One plausible explanation as to why wage growth is depressed is because unions are weak. They're not bargaining for wage increases, instead for structural issues like job security, blocking outsourcing, protecting seniority, etc.. Since unions aren't bargaining for wage increases, they're not getting wage increases, and so wage growth in the overall job market is depressed because there's no growth driver on wages.

    And then people ask, wait why are our employers allowed to do this to us, and they go begging the government to enact protections, except then the government gets thrown out and replaced by conservatives running on anti-union platforms, so all those protections get rolled back, and now we all get fucked.

    As it turns out, nothing in this world is free. Sometimes, the immediate inconvenience you face today isn't the most important thing in the world. I'd rather my packages be late.

    hippofant on
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