Although we were given ballots when we showed our union cards, we weren't allowed to vote until after the union meeting (We were running into enforced CUPW By-Laws doing "what is best for the membership".).
The meeting certainly illustrated the ideological differences between local president, Jane Marsh, and vice-president, Lyn Bue. Sister Bue realized that negotiations are discussions over various packages that may or may not be acceptable to most posties. There were pressures on both sides to make compromises. Canada Post, of course, has much to lose in a strike while CUPW has much to lose in an arbitrated settlement following a strike.
Jane Marsh's militant rant for continuing negotiations and confrontations boil down to this: "The Solidarity Of The Membership Will Drive Canada Post And The Government To Its Knees" and produce bigger gains. All we have to do is walk the picket line with signs saying "We Deserve Better" and everything will be ok.
Most of us have been in that "CUPW Fantasyland" during the strikes of 1987,91,97. Please check out my website ("CUPW Guy In CUPWLand") at www.cupw.info on what has been gained and losted in strikes.
There were less than 200 members there. I would say that 40% supported sister Marsh's position.
There's no doubt in my mind that if ballots were mailed out along with agruments for and against ratification, there would be greater participation by the membership. The last ratification vote is at The Toronto Convention Centre on Apr/22/07. Please attend if you can.
www.cupw.ca (The Domain Name Of The National Website)