Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Thursday, June 25, 2009

No More Strike BLOGs

I thought about stopping to write any more strike BLOGs.

What's the point? Eddie is going to Greece to put us on the world stage again, running off to Germany to get an update from Lufthansa when an email request would have worked as well and now has another secret deal he is working on that will bring us prosperity. No one will negotiate until he gets back.

Everyone knows we are in limbo anyway, waiting for the Province to legislate Toronto back to work. The expectation is that Windsor will be legislated back too but I have seen no movement to do that here. Everything is perfect in Windsor with the residents taking garbage to the dump and cutting City grass.

If this strike is not ended by the Province too, then expect that my CAW speculation re Eddie has scared Dwight and Sandra senseless!

Actually, if you take a look at the chorus in their song---The Spice Girls were right. It's the only way the strike will end. I'll let you figure out the song and the lyric.


Check out the AFI ads in the Star. They are the security company that the City is using. Check out the salaries too.
  • "Average Weekly Security Guard Wage: $1352.00 Average Weekly Investigator Wage Rate: $1560.00."
Since it is more than many CUPE workers make now, how many will submit their CVs. With all of the strikes going on, it could become a good long-term career!

Hmmmm, what if the money for security could have been used to settle the strike issues. Naw, that would have been too easy.


I noticed that Bombardier just settled with their Union:

  • "The talks had been held up on Bombardier’s request for concessions on the union’s long-term health benefits for its past and future retirees, and to increase the percentage of its temporary workers at its Downsview plant in Toronto to 20%.

    Neither are included in the new tentative agreement, according to Jerry Dias, assistant to the CAW president. "I’m very pleased," he said."

CUPE workers are being described as fat-cats who have no pressures on them to be realistic because they work for Government.

Isn't the City the fat-cat too? They have no profit pressure as private enterprise does. If they have a problem, then they just raise taxes and you, dear reader, have no choice but to pay!

Why can't anyone fight City Hall? Because the City can use taxpayer money to fight taxpayers!


Eddie wants the negotiations to start where they left off, which gives him the power to try to frame what the resolution will be.

Where did the City finish---as shown on their website:

  • "This web site contains the most recent offer that the Corporation had made to the Unions as of Tuesday, May 12, 2009."

What is the big deal about starting where something left off when the City states:

  • "Both the Employer and the Union have the right to alter, modify or delete their proposals at any time."

Here is the other absurdity. Let's assume that Jim Wood took PRBs off the table, (It looks like he was gamesplaying to flush out the City but that was a pretty dumb move if true) The Union members at their Friday meeting rejected that idea no matter what anyone says.

What is the point of starting at a point that will never happen! Just so the City can walk away again?


How dare the City think about going to someone 4-500 Kms away to have a decision imposed on us. Those Toronto people have no idea of our local circumstances.

For shame!

  • "The city has asked the province to rule on a request by CUPE to appoint an outside mediator in the bitter Windsor civic strike now in its 11th week with no end in sight.

    “We’re interested in having the Ministry of Labour determine if a new mediator is the right way to go,” said Helga Reidel, the city’s lead negotiator."

Hmmm, if it is good enough for the City, then why is it not good for arbitration?


  • "Local 82 president Jim Wood, representing outside workers, blamed the mayor for the impasse.

    “He has to have everything his way … it can’t always be his way,”

Here is what is bizarre, the City speaking out of both sides of its mouth. Whom is CUPE to believe?

  • "Mayor Eddie Francis said the city is against going outside the Ministry of Labour’s pool of mediators, especially with a private mediator recommended by the union.

  • “We’re already under the supervision of the Ministry of Labour, and we want to keep it that way,” said Reidel, adding that, although it doesn’t see the need, the city is not adverse to switching mediators."

Frankly, who cares. Mediators are NOT arbitrators and do not decide anything.

It's just another stall until Eddie gets back. He dare not have anything done while he is away as in Ottawa as Chris Schnurr Blogged:

  • "The agreement between the city and the ATU, that all future disagreements will settled by an arbitrator, is the second significant peace deal between council and organized labour in the absence of Mayor Larry O’Brien.

    O’Brien has taken an unpaid leave of absence while he stands trial, accused of influence peddling.

    In O’Brien’s absence, city council not only engineered a three year deal with its biggest union, CUPE Local 503, but now it has found middle ground with ATU Local 279, just months after the longest transit strike in the city’s history."


I think that there is a huge failure to communicate.

  • "The striking workers had encouraged residents to dump their garbage at their picket site and they created a situation at one of our central trash depots," he said. "They decided to call the garbage pile, name it after me; they called it Mount Francis. That's how much garbage was there."

Doesn't Eddie understand that they were giving him an idea about how to get the Winter children's games here by creating an "elevation." They even came up with the idea of naming it for posterity in his honour.

Why is he so rude about it now when he took their idea?


Citizens who cut the grass may have been completely misled. In fact, it looks like they were part of a secret public opinion poll that they knew nothing about:

  • "According to Mayor Eddie Francis, citizens frustrated by the striking union are tacitly supporting the city by managing their own garbage, paying to dump bags of trash at private sites, and in some cases even mowing weed-strewn parks that have been abandoned by striking staff."

Remember how it was put before:

  • "Ignoring warnings and caution expressed earlier by Windsor's mayor and its striking workers, citizens across the city took to neglected parks and playgrounds Saturday to battle garbage, weeds and knee-high grass...

    "It's about our children...

    "I think it's wrong to take a summer away from the kids"

It is disturbing to me that the pollster did not add in this comment as well:

  • "I'm not happy with how CUPE is handling this, and I'm not happy that Eddie (Francis, the mayor) is not talking - it's sad it's come this far."

So much for it being about the kids!

I am told that a new poll has been taken. The results show that CUPE support has increased dramatically. Jackson Park has not been cut. Moreover, at Forest Glade Optimist Park

  • "no one showed up with a lawn mower."

Eddie is losing badly now. Why won't the Star and other media publicize these poll results?


Pollsters are questioning as well the Mayor's numbers for public support of picking up trash. Here is what the Mayor said first:

  • "Approximately 75 per cent of the city's garbage has been accounted for at transfer stations"

Then almost immediately thereafter he claimed:

  • "Mr. Francis cited a "tremendous result," saying the city has been able to account for nearly 80% of all garbage."

And then another number for City news to be very precise:

  • " Nearly 76 percent or 75 percent of the garbage has been accounted for."

If "citizens are not faced with the prospect of trash-strewn, foul-smelling streets," then why is there the panic to threaten people with $5,000 fines or to take trash home on fireworks night? I wonder if some of the trash was taken away by front-end loaders in the middle of the night especially in the Red Bull area.

Could that skew the results?


I hope-a that Percy is smarter next time around so he could have replaced the Mayor in Athens as he did in Whistler. Next time he won't blame Eddie about what the Mayor did:

  • "I think that's bad faith bargaining,"

Next time, Percy just better say "Yia sas."


A Toronto Star Editorial stated:

  • "In lamenting the municipal employees' strike now disrupting Toronto, Mayor David Miller correctly argues that public sector unions shouldn't expect pay raises and concession-free contracts when private sector workers – and taxpayers – are facing layoffs, plant closings, and rollbacks of their pay and benefits...

    Regrettably, Miller and his hand-picked executive committee undermined that sound argument earlier this year in allowing city councillors to pocket a 2.4 per cent raise, boosting their annual salaries from $96,805 to $99,153. Few would disagree now that this was a mistake. It can, and should, be corrected...

    There are no such excuses for city council's ill-judged 2.4 per cent pay increase, which came earlier this year, after the economy had already begun its precipitous decline. The pay raise represents a failure of Miller's leadership.

    To be sure, Miller himself declined to accept the raise, but he didn't seek to impose the same restraint on the rest of council. That oversight is now providing ammunition to the union leaders, who insist their members are being unfairly singled out for austerity measures."

Eddie's Motion attempt to play games with PRBs failed miserably as at least one Councillor admitted he voted in his self-interest so he he would not have a benefit taken away from him.

If Council is serious, then they should all give up the thousands of dollars in fees they receive each year that bolsters their salaries, such as the new airport fees, and more importantly their pensions down the road.

How much does that cost taxpayers in pension contributions?