The Negotiating Atmosphere Has Been Poisoned
No matter what position you take on the CUPE strike, Eddie Francis single-handedly has made settlement of the strike an impossibility.
The issue that damaged him fatally is the Back To Work Protocol. He is just such too clever for words. Say something in the Star, say something in a covering letter but do NOT put in any language in the legal Agreement saying:
- “No bargaining unit employee is going to be fired because of strike-related activities."
Why not...there are precedents all over the internet for language if his outside lawyer did not have the appropriate words.
Speaking of George King, he completely undermined Francis:
- "City lawyer George King said the mediator had contacted the city on Wednesday saying the union was seeking such a document in advance of today’s vote.
Francis said after waiting for the union’s document until late afternoon, the city decided to send its own version to the CUPE leadership at 5 p.m."
Why was the City doing nothing until the last minute--waiting for a CUPE document-- when the mediator asked the City to prepare it? Isn't this how Eddie acted with Councillors in the canal matter. Give them the documents at the last minute?
Sowing “unfounded fear”---I would have thought that saying one thing and doing another is a pretty good reason to be afraid! I think it is well-founded.
Please try and convince me that this was not a deliberate effort on the part of the City to make the workers vote NO. Having management at the session was nothing more than inflammatory:
- "Jim Wood, president of Local 82 said, “I approached Mr. Sadler. I told him I was pissed off. I am at my wit’s end.”
Wood said Sadler told him he had been sent to the club by “upper management, my boss.”
“Well his boss is Mr. Mayor, Eddie Francis. Shame on the mayor,” said Wood.
“If this whole thing falls apart right now, which I have a very good feeling it is, it is the mayor’s fault.”
Obviously, the City wants the workers to be in the position of voting NO so that they can pull out their next trick to try and break the Union.
I wonder what the Councillors knew. Did they know of the Protocol? From my inside sources, I was told that it had not been sent to them. Could that possibly be true?
If that is true, how do they feel after it was issued? Supportive? Or disgusted? Is that in Councillor Marra's terms the way:
- "to give the city’s offer “genuine and serious consideration” so that the city can begin the difficult process of healing and moving forward. He said it was imperative city services be restored and vital that workers get back on the job and on with their lives."
I do not think so and neither should you, dear reader.
Eddie Francis has lost any respect that anyone should give him in the management of this file. The shabby handling of the Protocol is nothing more than a disgrace. To be direct, who can work with him now?
Council must call a Special Council meeting immediately and in public. The Councillors have no choice now but to remove the Mayor as their lead if they truly want a strike resolution.
If they do not do so, then they are no better than he.
It is NOT an issue of who is right or who is wrong in the strike any more. It is an issue of running the City in an open, transparent and honest manner. Once Eddie is removed then people who want to build consensus not make confrontation can take over.
If the two Ward 2 Councillors, Junior, Councillor Hatfield, the self-interested Councillor Halberstadt and his other Three Blind Mice colleagues (or are they the Rat pack now) have any respect for themselves and their fellow citizens, then it is time for Management to act fairly. That cannot be done with Francis in charge! He must be removed forthwith.
Oh, one other matter. While Eddie did not protect workers from being fired in his Protocol, I heard that one of the items the City wanted was the bad faith negotiating claim withdrawn or dismissed, I am not sure what term was used.
My view...CUPE ought to be talking to their lawyers to see if new ones can be added and demand a hearing forthwith!