I am recommending a "yes vote" on the Tentative Agreement. Here is the background and some of the best reasons for this decision:
Back in July, the chief shop steward for the WLPP, Jamie Ortiz, told us at the Toronto Exchange Office that the union would be going on strike in the middle of August because the mail volumes would be increasing then. He said there would be rotating strikes but when the Toronto Local went out they would stay out. This sounded like a good strategy towards getting a decent contract at the 11th hour.
* There would be no negotiating session extensions after Aug/18/03
* The MPs were on summer vacations and maximum pressure would be on Canada Post for concessions
* CUPW locals and the NEB were united on a strategy to get big gains for the membership
* On my staff, there seemed to be a high acceptance of this approach from the rank and file
As you may know, the solidarity on this plan disappeared when a tentative agreement seemed close later in July.
Most locals assumed a spectator role as the NEB acted unilaterally on the initial draft agreement.
What happened to the 11th hour timetable for August?
Like a hot potato, some locals fell out of solidarity with the NEB without mentioning the August deadline. Why? If solidarity of strategy and tactics were broken somewhere, then the members should know the details. Who's to blame?
Now the only game in town is the union fighting and weakening itself. CUPW suffers because of these splits because no one seems willing to find out the "real whys" and correct them. We've moved from "The strike smart position" to "the strike stupid position."
With the high union dues that we pay each month, we should demand smart successful tactics and strategies from local and national executives instead of enforced legislative settlements like in 1987, 1991 and 1997.
CUPW's National Website