Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

CUPE War Continues

Oh Annie (I hope you do not mind me calling you that. I feel I know you so well now after reading your columns). How could you? You helped sucker CUPE. The members really wanted it over. They were beat up so much. They wanted the war over and you helped fool them into thinking it would end.

Sorry Annie. The CUPE war is still on even though you wrote back in August:
  • It's time for us to move on

    Pardon me, I thought the municipal strike was over.

    Didn't city council vote almost two weeks ago -- unanimously -- to approve an agreement? Didn't 1,800 unionized employees follow the next day?

    The pickets are gone. The garbage collectors are back. The grass is being baled.

    But neither side will let it go...”

Heck Annie, that's what the outsourcing debate was all about. Part of the war to destroy public trade unions in Ontario and elsewhere:

  • "Ontario colleges looking to provoke province-wide strike: OPSEU
    November 12, 2009

    TORONTO - The Council representing community colleges in Ontario is refusing to negotiate in good faith in a move that could adversely affect the school year for 200,000 full-time students, says the union representing 9,000 faculty members.

    “Seldom in my experience as a labour activist have I witnessed such arbitrary, misleading and, frankly, undemocratic behaviour as exhibited by negotiators for community colleges,” said Ontario Public Service Employees Union president Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

    “In light of the Colleges’ refusal to bargain in good faith the union will have no alternative but to go to our membership and seek a strike mandate. We do not wish to disrupt the school year, but this is a ham-fisted attack on educators the likes of which this province has never seen before.”

Actually, it is the hardliners of which your Paper is a part that have to keep control of this issue or else a whole bunch of people won’t be re-elected, starting from Edgar on down! No wonder the Star could not afford to cover the Lewenza Ward meeting and did not mention a word about his Statement at Council!

Windsorites would have learned the truth otherwise.

Mini-Gord’s "reverse psychology" column was about the Grade 4 level. DUH, if he says they won’t do something, they will to prove him wrong by doing it:

  • Private sector trashed

    It became pretty clear Monday that Windsor taxpayers are not going to get the privatized garbage service they desire.

    Not from this city council.

    Some of the pickups might be contracted out,maybe.

    Council is likely to shift a token quantity of recyling or regular garbage or yard waste collections away from CUPE Local 83 -- just to silence the call for privatization.

    But taxpayers will probably never be able to escape from the garbage trap the public service union has the city in whenever its contracts expire…

    But most councillors made it abundantly clear they will never vote in favour of taking major work away from hard-working CUPE members and farming it out to the private sector just to make taxpayers happy.”

Annie, politics being what it is, the hardliners have nothing they can point at to justify being taken back by Windsorites. Everything they have touched is a mind’s eye vision or has failed miserably. All that they have going for them is beating up on CUPE. As mini-Gord wrote:

  • “But most councillors made it abundantly clear they will never vote in favour of taking major work away from hard-working CUPE members and farming it out to the private sector just to make taxpayers happy.

    Never mind that this is the perfect stars-in-alignment time to seize such an opportunity.

    The city needs the money, the public is furious at being held hostage by CUPE during its three-month strike this year.”

And by not disclosing the alternative argument, your employer is complicit as you well know. As are you! Don’t you think it is time for you to come out and to tell mini-Gord to stop his childishness. So he was caught with his hand in the cookie jar by Junior. I know he is mad at Junior but really, more names:

  • “Coun. Ken Lewenza Jr. lapsed, as usual, into union sloganeering. He railed against the private sector, the "race to the bottom," the evil of corporations, putting "profits" before "our children's legacy ... a fair day's work for a fair day's pay" and a few other attempts at Grapes of Wrath tear-jerkery.

    "How much more do we have to whip our employees?" he demanded to know.”

Don’t you find it odd that someone thinks going out for tender will accomplish something if Windsor’s garbage collectors are the second best in Canada as we kept being told ? Who can beat them? Why are we bothering?

If the issue is really not being held hostage, then there are ways to accomplish that by declaring garbage collection “essential” or reaching an Agreement with the Union that they said they are prepared to consider as was done for certain workers during the last strike.

Except the new CAO has to tell Council what are the risks in doing so but in camera. She has learned early how to play that game!

Can you imagine Annie, I was on the same page as the “softliners,” the three who argued against the Motion. Do you think Councillor Jones will invite me out for a soft drink now? We are almost buddies.

I must admit that I was surprised by Councillor Hatfield…he kept reversing himself so many times as he spoke that my neck hurt from being whiplashed. He knows that CUPE will win but wanted to go to tender to prove the point I guess. Heck, may as well waste money on that. We don’t have any better use for it.

It actually was a no-brainer at Council on outsourcing Annie. I am sure that you did not stay up to watch Council. After all, Edgar (aka Eddie) had received his instructions in Saturday’s Star Editorial:

  • “The debate should be about whether to keep garbage collection in the public sector or contract it out, and there's no way councillors can make an informed decision on Monday. They simply don't have the facts.

    A decision to outsource services can't be based on national averages and public works data that is more than 20 years old. Council has to put out a request for proposals to determine who would bid and what they would charge to take over garbage and recycling services in Windsor.

    Armed with true numbers from real bidders, councillors can then sit down to compare costs and service delivery.”

He carried out his mission beautifully.

Come on Annie. You know the truth. You know where decisions are really made in Windsor. You know who sets the agenda, frames the issues and who determines who will win or lose. Edgar is merely tolerated since he is needed. Decisions are clearly:

  • “developed and finalized in the Publisher's Office. They are developed in a group setting by a group usually composed of Publisher Jim Venney, Editor-in-Chief Marty Beneteau, Editorial Page Editor John Coleman and Karen Hall.”

The ignoring of the Lewenza Session was sheer naked power shown by the Star to terrorize the majority on Council.

My goodness, I wonder if Bill Marra has seen the light yet and will choose not to run for Mayor. Who else will dare confront the Star.

How else would you describe this ridiculous statement from "Council on Tap" other than inflammatory since it does not mention that Mr. Basse thinks the leak came from the City:

  • "2) Councillors are expected to officially receive a report by the Integrity Commissioner into an information leak in the summer that was blamed for torpedoing talks in the CUPE strike. The commissioner's probe into that leak revealed that "hundreds" of calls had been made by Coun. Ron Jones to CUPE leader Jean Fox during the strike. That information, presented to councillors in an in-camera session last week, made its way to the media via another unauthorized leak.

Anyway, Annie, all is right with the world. Mini-Gord saw the light, or maybe it was shown to him by "key Councillors" and reversed his position ("Privatized pickup likely") and Gord told Council what they must do in his Saturday column ("8-3 vote was 'historic turning point' for city").

We will have a test run of outsourcing as the next steps for outsourcing parking enforcement are taken at the November 30 Council meeting. That will show CUPE who is boss.

I know I gave it away years ago but not many took me seriously then. Perhaps now they will: BLOG October 11, 2005 “The Media Is The Government”

As I wrote then:

  • “Eddie knows now who is boss. I trust he now understands his role. Repeat after me: the media is the government, the media is the government, the media is the government. “