Mood: don't ask
My last fax to CUPW's National Executive Board is reproduced below. My local(i.e. Toronto)votes tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes.
THE ROAD TO A TENTATIVE AGREEMENT
I don't believe that many members are aware of the different phases that negotiations go through to reach a settlement. At some points, there are few concessions from the employer and at other points, there are quite a few concessions. It is necessary to make this process come alive so the members can see it for themselves.
WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOESN'T?
There is also the militant myth that the only way a union can get a decent contract is by going on strike for a long time and forcing the company into concessions by uncompromising confrontations. Without a doubt, brother Killy and sister Susan Kolompar came from this school. (It's motto is: "No Retreat And No Surrender.")
As you know, when CPC faces militant CUPW positions, it will ask the Government to step in and solve the dispute through binding arbitration.
1. With the strike, negotiations turn into a confrontation and few or no further gains are obtained by the members. The results are there in black and white from the enforced settlements of 87, 91, and 97.
2. Binding arbitration as in the 97 strike can mean losses for the membership
3. Each new negotiating session can have more ROLLBACKS that the negotiators have to handle. This is "The CPC Negotiating Style" and can cause the union a great deal of trouble.
4. CPC complains to the press and the Government that CUPW is trying to bankrupt them. This can create "bad press and enemies for the union
KILLY, THE NAME SUITS HIM
From a discussion with Steve Killy(Toronto Local President)on the Sudbury Message Board on this matter, he is willing to accumulate losses in the above scenario for "principle." To him, it's ok for the membership to have lots of pain and no gain. Are we all supposed to get martyred together? This is crazy and I'm sure that most CUPW members agree.
Why doesn't Killy be honest with everyone and admit that he doesn't go for "the package deal method of negotiating?" He wants uncompromising confrontations where he can rant and rave at CPC. It doesn't matter if the union losses. It's the fight that counts. Mr. Killy should have been a boxer or terrorist instead of a union president.
OTHER "NO LOCALS"
Does the "no side" have a consensus as to what is an acceptable "package" for a tentative agreement? Did they get together and work something out? I don't think so. Local presidents are like most members. They look rather than act.
They react rather than plan. They wonder how negotiations work and think they can do better without really knowing how.
The weakness of the union lies with the passive non-participating locals who are still in mystery as to how collective bargaining works with Canada Post.
Reminding them to what produces gains for the membership and what doesn't is important.
CUPW's National Website
The Toronto Local's Website