Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

With Friends Like Mini-Gord...

Oh I understand perfectly well what mini-Gord's Saturday column was intended to do.

First, obviously, it is a continuation of his tiresome, anti-CUPE war using inflammatory language to work up the masses:
  • "But an outside contractor won't close children's pools, toss garbage at children in parks or stop issuing welfare cheques if its union doesn't get its way."

Nope, but they can go on strike for months and disrupt lives across the Province:

  • "In Ontario, driver examination services are delivered at DriveTest Centres, which are operated by Serco DES Inc. on behalf of the Ministry of Transportation (MTO).

    Effective August 21, 2009 unionized employees at Ontario’s DriveTest Centres are on strike and driver examination services are suspended until further notice...

    Driver examination services (i.e., written examinations, vision tests and road tests) are suspended until DriveTest Centres resume normal operations..

    Tests for current drivers... You will need to reschedule your test when services resume.

    Tests for new drivers: If you need a test to get your driver’s licence, you will need to schedule your test when services resume.

    Tests for drivers upgrading existing licences: If you are seeking to upgrade your licence, you will need to reschedule your test when services resume."

Mini-Gord can claim:

  • "The report, distributed to council on Friday, says the city could save between 10 per cent and 20 per cent of the $4 million it spends annually collecting household garbage and yard waste."

Absolutely incorrect.

It does not say this at all. Here is what it really says:

But it is more than that. Mini-Gord's column is designed to discredit CUPE's supposed Champion on Council, Ken Lewenza, mere days before Junior releases his Report that we know will show Edgar (aka Eddie) to be less than the hero that he has been portrayed to be. You see, as mini-Gord knows full well, the strike result was a failure for Edgar:

  • "Windsor's property tax hawks will be complaining bitterly today that city council flubbed the best chance in a generation to get labour costs under control. We had CUPE on the ropes, they'll howl, and they still get a 6.3 per cent wage increase? And they get all their vacation plus a signing bonus of two grand for nothing? Outrageous! They have a point. If a struggling corporation can't cut costs during bad times, when can it?"
No one really expected Junior to go this far and go after the Mayor, although being politically correct, Junior won't put it that way. Mini-Gord thought that he could bluff his way forever through this:
  • "But taxpayers should thank their councillors today -- well, most of them, anyway -- for sticking to their guns during a strike that turned into a nerve-racking staredown for both sides.

    There isn't a shadow of a doubt taxpayers won this strike, even if they didn't get the wage and job cuts so many of them think were deserved in CUPE's case.

    Windsor's 15-week municipal strike was very likely a historic marker for the city -- the turning point at which the community decided to change the course of its destiny.

    An overwhelming majority of the city's residents decided they had had enough of perennial tax increases driven by the rising costs of their so-called servants, and ordered local politicians to fix the problem -- or else."

Now mini-Gord knows full well that the jig is up. The truth will come out. So now it is damage-control time. Who the heck is going to listen to Junior when mini-Gord fumes:

  • "Garbage collection is bargaining leverage, pure and simple. It allowed CUPE to hold taxpayers hostage for over three months this year, so it's also about who controls the city budget. The leaders of CUPE spent the summer telling us they do -- they even have the union bumper stickers on every city vehicle to prove it. (Why the heck did they agree to that anyway -- was it the threat of a garbage strike?)"

Of course, the report gives an easy answer to stop that practice which mini-Gord forgot to tell his readers, the few that remain anyway:

But adding that would have hurt his argument now wouldn't it!

Can you imagine this from today's Star. Poor mini-Gord:

  • CUPE open to no-strike deal
    Trash could be essential service

    At least one city councillor says it's time to either contract out garbage collection or have it declared an essential service -- an idea a CUPE union leader suggests is possible...

    "I'd be more than willing to sit down with them if they want to talk about essential services," said Jim Wood, president of Canadian Union of Public Employees union Local 82, which represents outside workers at the city."

Wow, talking to your Unions, not bashing them, might actually accomplish something.

The problem with mini-Gord is that he really does not understand the consequences of what he is writing. The result of his column is sometimes almost exactly opposite to that which he wants to achieve.

Take the Saturday column. Please.

He sets out all of the negotiations between the City and CUPE over the years that have resulted in significant productivity savings and cost reductions. The City Report identifies all of this in gory detail.

Continuous improvement for over 30 years! This work area would probably have earned ISO 9000 certification easily had the City applied for it with this record.

DUH. Doesn't mini-Gord get it? Doesn't he realize all of this was achieved WITHOUT a strike! It was done through "negotiations," a word that he and certain hardliners on Council do not seem to understand!

What he has just done is confirmed that our Mayor was incapable of providing leadership to prevent a strike by talking to his key Unions. Mini-Gord substantiates my theory that the strike was purely political not labour negotiating. We all were put through hell for reasons unknown yet but which should come out during the OLRB hearings if the Mayor is cross-examined properly.

Here is the stupidity of mini-Gord's position which again he does not disclose. Even the C.D. Howe Institute article that was used in the Report said:

What mini-Gord seems unable to comprehend and which you, dear reader, should is that what was suggested is exactly what has been taking place in Windsor for over 30 years!

Isn't it odd that WUC, Enwin and I hear the Transit Commission now could all settle without a strike but not the City? Aren't members of Council on their Boards too? Makes me wonder!