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Friday, 9 March 2007
Movie Review 114: 300 Spartans
Mood:  a-ok

The original movie that inspired Frank Miller's comic book and film, "300" stands up well today.

The emphasis of the story was on Spartan battle tactics and the heroism of 300 soldiers who fought valiantly against overwhelming odds.

Richard Egan played a cool, dedicated King Leonidas who sacrificed himself and his men to slow down the Persian hordes. "There was no retreat. There was no surrender."

The "Battle Of Thermopylae" was exciting to watch as a realistic moment of actual history. The only knock against the movie was that the battle scenes should have been bigger than they were.

Today, it might be classified as a docudrama. Three stars.

 Reviews Of 300_Spartans

The History Behind The Battle Of Thermopylae

 


Posted by qualteam at 10:31 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 9 March 2007 10:56 PM EST
Wednesday, 7 March 2007
Understanding The Corporate Team Incentive Better
  1. Regular full-time and part-time employees represented by CUPW are joining an existing incentive program.
  2. There is one CTI plan. Targets are national and the same for all eligible employees within the Corporation.
  3. 2006 targets are related to delivery performance, customer value index, employee engagement and financial performance.
  4. The incentive potential is the same for all regular employees represented by CUPW and it is set at three percent. This means a PO5 in Montreal will get the same percentage as a PO5 in Vancouver, a relief LC in Calgary or a relief LC in Halifax.
  5. An average annual payment would be in the range of $1,200 to $1,500.
  6. Payment of the incentive can still be made when targets are short of the 100% level and can be higher when targets are exceeded.
  7. For example, the 2006 preliminary results show the CTI will be paid out at 128.5%. If employees represented by CUPW had been participants, this would have meant a 3.86% payout(3% multiplied by 128.5%)
  8. CTI payouts are pensionable earnings.
  9. This incentive has been in place for some time for other unionized and management employees. Unionized participants include: PSAC/UPSE members, APOC members, CPAA members.

It should be noted that Canada Post did have an extra payout system which was given to retiring workers. This was the "Severance Package" which was discontinued in 2003. 

I've tried to bring back a similar type of severance/longevity pay based on a bonus system on profits and unused sick leave, but this hasn't happened. The closest we can get at this time is the Corporate Team Incentive(CTI).

Thousands of other companies have similar bonus programs. It's basically profit sharing. If a CUPW member doesn't want his CTI bonus, he/she can always give it to charity.

Other Company Bonus Programs In Canada


Posted by qualteam at 11:04 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 9 March 2007 11:03 PM EST
Tuesday, 6 March 2007
Arsenic And Old Lace: Movie Review 113
Mood:  a-ok

Frank Capra's hilarious dark comedy still stands up today. I found myself laughing at the same scenes as I did when I was a kid (I saw it orginally on TV in the 60s).

Gary Grant, Raymond Massey and Peter Lorre lead the cast in weird story about a family of nutcases, murderers and maniacs. Four stars and it's ok for preteens.

Reviews Of Arsenic And Old Lace

 


Posted by qualteam at 7:02 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 6 March 2007 7:05 PM EST
Sunday, 4 March 2007
The Debate Continues On The CUPW/Canada Post Tentative Agreement
Mood:  loud

Recently a Canada Post letter carrier left this message on one of my recent blog entries.

"The corporate team incentive plan (cti) means more work and less money for letter carriers. We may not see a nickel of the bonus,since canada post sets arbitrary profit and revenue targets in 4 different parts of their business! With this new contract overtime will be limited to 3 hours a week over a 20 day work period. Check the numbers brothers and sisters we're getting shafted."

"Arbitrary targets" was also a concern of my mine. I sent my concerns to Canada Post President, Moya Greene. Here's how she answered me: "Targets have to be reasonably achievable or the whole purpose of a bonus becomes meaningless".

"Reasonably Achievable Targets" have resulted in millions of dollars of bonus money to APOC supervisors. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Ms Greene has went on record with regards to profit and revenue targets. CUPW must hold her to her word.

An incentive program only provides an incentive if it actually pays out for real.

I believe in hard work and I believe that hard/smart work should be rewarded.

The debate on the tentative agreement continues on Cape Breton Local's website. Just about anybody who's anybody in CUPW is posting on this message board. Check it out.

The CUPW Debate On The Tentative Agreement


Posted by qualteam at 8:44 PM EST
Saturday, 3 March 2007
The Mythology Of Rock And Roll
Mood:  on fire

My two favourite rock and roll movies of all time are "Phantom Of The Paradise" and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show". In the "Phantom", there's a supernatural link to rock and roll and in "The Rocky Horror", there's an alien link.

It's like this music was a deep dark evil secret until some powerful force unleashed it on planet Earth.

Rock often tracks the romantic and sexual problems of teenagers. The positive and negative feelings of youth seem to become exaggerated in the present of this high energy music.

Rock and roll didn't start in the fifties. It started in our subconscious and stimulated not only memories of our happy childhoods, but memories of death and destruction (e.g. Heavy metal bands, punk, etc.).

I've written a great deal about "Rock and Roll" and it's beginning on another planet called "Graceworld". 

The Phantom Of The Paradise Video

The Rocky Horror Show Video

The Phantom Of The Paradise Reviewed

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Reviewed

More On Graceworld


Posted by qualteam at 11:19 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 3 March 2007 11:34 PM EST
Friday, 2 March 2007
March Comes In Like A Lion


Yesterday, Brampton and the surrounding area were hit with a storm that produced scenes like the above. Over 60,000 residences in Ontario are without power because of it and many streets look like duck ponds.

Because we have only one car in our family, I took the bus home at 3:30 P.M. yesterday from the Post Office in Mississauga. I got home at 9:30 P.M. with my socks and shoes soaked.

Fortunately, these storms don't happen very often in the winter. Barrie, north of us and Buffalo south of us get much more snow.

In Newfoundland, it's common to have storms that drop 100 cm on a regular basis during the winter.

I'm glad we live in the Greater Toronto Area where we get changing weather every few days, but no hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes or tsunamis.

Lion And Lamb Weather


Posted by qualteam at 11:11 PM EST
Wednesday, 28 February 2007
Movie Review 112: The Departed

The Departed is Martin Scorsese at his self-indulgent best. The acting and the story was good, but the pacing and the scenes were drawn out too long. So much time was spent on character development and relationships, that the story slowed down and became difficult to follow.

The film could have been used at least 45 minutes of editing to speed it up.

This was Leonardo DiCaprio's best role yet and Jack Nicholson was great as the bad guy.

The ending was weak, unsatisfying and contrived. With me, this movie only rates two and half stars.

More Reviews Of "The Departed"


Posted by qualteam at 10:21 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2007 10:26 PM EST
Tuesday, 27 February 2007
What Wrong With CUPW?
Over the last 13 years, I've seen local presidents and locals throw their hands up
in the air on the National Executive Board's "Tentative Agreements". Locals appeared like they were being excluded from negotiations and agreements were being made without consultation of local executives. This has been going on for a long time and many National Conventions have come and gone without this problem being addressed.
There seems to be two unions. One at the national level going one way and one at the local level going another. This is discord. This is lack of unity. This is weakness.
These directional differences have been going on a long time. You can't have two different  unions negotiating with Canada Post. Surely, at National Conventions, ways could have been suggested to clear up local discord before anything becomes a "tentative deal".
We all know in any negotiating round, the union can only make so many gains before the big hammer of Government gets activated.
Usually negotiations go down to the eleventh hour before a deal is reached.
However, the fact still remains that the negotiating committee decides if more can be achieved from further negotiating and/or a strike.
If the local unions are in communication with the NEB, they can see progress or not. However, I can't see how they're participating or how local CUPW members are participating. Is there anyway to give feedback or do a poll on an issue?? No, it doesn't happen in CUPW.
There's no way the locals can fire the present negotiating committee and get another one.
I don't remember any tentative agreement being turned down.
If the National President tells CUPW members that's all they can get from Canada Post, how can we not believe her? From many years of experience, CPC doesn't negotiated further at a certain point and waits until a government arbitrator decides what's in the new contract and what isn't.
Again, this is a failure to solve these problems in the CUPW constitution and the negotiation process. The NEB has complete control to accept "tentative agreements" without the approval of a majority of locals.
Next, there's the divided vote from the membership, some agreeing with some locals that we can get more out of further negotiations and/or a strike and some agreeing with the NEB that we can't.
If CUPW is now fighting amongst itself about what can be achieved and what can't,
it's in a weakened state and I wouldn't send conflicted negotiators back to the negotiating table.
We can't really get good deals with CPC or Government arbitration if we're battling with each other. Conflicts must be resolved before a tentative agreement is reached.
I've waited 13 years for the NEB and locals to resolve these negotiating/solidarity problems. Nothing has changed. The struggle continues between CUPW members.

Posted by qualteam at 12:12 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007 12:16 PM EST
Sunday, 25 February 2007
What Is Blogging About?

Today, while reading the Toronto Star, I came upon this moving article: "At 93, Donald Crowdis is not only writing about his approaching demise, he's doing it on a blog at www.dontoearth.blogspot.com. and attracting young fans in the process.

When I reached the point where Don was facing his own death and protesting his lack of time, tears flooded my eyes. This is something that I might be writing about in my blog 40 years from now.  "There are numerous notes and letters I must write," he wrote in the post entitled, "It Bothers Me That I Have To Go."

One of the 250 comments on this blog entry was equally as moving: "I am, quite literally half your age, but your post today reminds that I should not take my time on Earth for granted, that I should make it a point to do the things I want to do."

Don handwrites his entries and gives it to a relative to post on his blog. He remembers things like the Halifax Explosion in 1917 which killed 2000 people.

Don's real life drama and experiences beats the Oscar experience any day.

Donald Crowdis's Blog  

Tuesday With Morrie


Posted by qualteam at 10:49 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 25 February 2007 10:57 AM EST
Friday, 23 February 2007
I Won't Miss The Toronto CUPW Local When I Retire

The Toronto Local has a reputation for fighting amongst itself. This infighting has poisioned some former executives from continued participation in the union.

It should also be noted that the Toronto Local hasn't agreed with any negotiated settlement from the CUPW National Executive Board over the last 13 years.

Back in 2003, former local president, Steve Killey launched a campaign against the tentative agreement and the National Exective. While there was some support for his views and weaknesses in the tentative agreement at the time, he was not able to marshal support against the agreement outside of Toronto, Sudbury and St. John's Newfoundland. The agreement was carried by a fairly large margin of 62%. Later on, Killey failed to unseat Deborah Bourque as National President or hold onto his local president's job in Toronto. He was defeated by Jane Marsh.

Again, the Toronto Local is fighting over the NEB's "2007 Tentative Agreement". This appears to be a strictly negative action, because the Toronto Local hasn't come up with any alternate prosposal which could be widely accepted by other CUPW locals.

The Toronto Local had an opportunity to get more local participation into the "Collective Bargaining Process" at the last National CUPW convention, but it failed there as well.

Again, the Toronto Local is content to go it alone and fight against anyone who opposes its viewpoint. 

Luckily, I won't have to put up with these endless confrontations, very long.

 


Posted by qualteam at 1:20 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 23 February 2007 2:45 PM EST

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