Question about scabs and truth in reporting

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boomerbsg
Question about scabs and truth in reporting

The Toronto Star is reporting that 520 CUPE workers have crossed the picket line to return to work for the City of Toronto. First question is do we believe this number as it seems quite high.

Second question is: If these numbers are true are these workers scabs or do they have permission from the union to return to work. 

Third and final question: If they are scabs what should and what can be done to stop them.

I'm sorta new to unions and would like some clarification.

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/664791

Even keel

As I understand it, 500 out of approximately 30,000-40,000 workers really isn't that much.   And while they had to go through some application to go back to work - they are definitely considered scabs.

There are people much better versed that I in union stuff, and I'm sure they'll be on soon to answer your question.

Unionist

boomerbsg wrote:

The Toronto Star is reporting that 520 CUPE workers have crossed the picket line to return to work for the City of Toronto.

 

Nowhere does the story say that 520 CUPE members have actually returned to work. Nor does the story provide any source for this allegation or this number. Here's what it says:

Quote:
Exactly which workers – inside or outside, full-time or part-time – have crossed the lines is unclear. Also unclear is how many of their requests to return to work have been granted. A city spokesperson declined to comment, and Daley said the union does not keep track.

Until further notice, I consider this to be the idle ravings of a lazy reporter who threw out some rumour and got a "no comment" from everyone in return.

 

boomerbsg

The article does say "more than 520 striking city employees have decided to cross their own picket lines and go back to work, city officials say." so then I am to assume that the city is lying. Good god I can hardly believe that David Miller belongs to the NDP.

First negotiating in public and now this blatant encouraging of scabs is appalling. Why have we not heard from people like Adma Giambrone condemning this behaviour. He used to be a CUPE shop steward at the ROM for god sakes. What the hell is going on here???

In a time where unions are being demonised across this country and all we hear is bupkis. I might not know a lot about the inner workings of unions and negotiations but I do know that unions are good for me. How hard is that to defend?

Michelle

Tell me about it, boomerbsg.  It's really quite disgusting.  Miller is using the same nasty tactics that neo-con business types use against public service unions.

It's unbelievable.  I don't know what I'm going to do in the next municipal election.

boomerbsg

 don't live in Toronto so can't vote but I feel sorry for your choice. John Tory who will screw you and David Miller who has screwed you. Yikes!

Unionist

boomerbsg wrote:

The article does say "more than 520 striking city employees have decided to cross their own picket lines and go back to work, city officials say."

It doesn't name the "city officials", so it's the usual unsubstantiated crap.

Quote:
so then I am to assume that the city is lying.

City's don't talk. You can assume the Toronto Star reporter couldn't find anyone to quote so she just wrote stuff to meet her deadline.

Quote:
Good god I can hardly believe that David Miller belongs to the NDP.

You'd be correct there. He left the NDP in [url=http://www.thestar.com/News/article/204293]April 2007[/url].

 

boomerbsg

I'm sorry unionist but I don't buy the line that the reporter just made up the facts. Unattributed sources are common in reporting, the reporter also had to have had confirmation of the facts from another source before any editor would publish a story.

The City does talk by the way. It's called communications and people make a good living at it. Therefore I think this story was planted either by the city i.e. Miller's office or a right wing councillor looking to make trouble. But seeing that the Mayor released details of the contract and is starting to negotiate in public (like he did on CP24 this morning) I have my suspicions who did.

Unionist

boomerbsg wrote:

I'm sorry unionist but I don't buy the line that the reporter just made up the facts.

You're not reading carefully. I never said she just made up the facts. But it kind of devalues the worth of the information if no one will take responsibility for it, don't you think? What if another reporter wants to test those "facts" - where can she go?

Quote:
Unattributed sources are common in reporting, the reporter also had to have had confirmation of the facts from another source before any editor would publish a story.

So, she had two sources that wouldn't give their names? Can you suggest why the city would give out data like this anonymously? What sense does that make?

Quote:
Therefore I think this story was planted either by the city i.e. Miller's office or a right wing councillor looking to make trouble. But seeing that the Mayor released details of the contract and is starting to negotiate in public (like he did on CP24 this morning) I have my suspicions who did.

You see, that's pure speculation on your part, but I can't blame you - the anonymous gossipy nature of the story can only be met by speculation, as there's no possibility of verification.

All I know for sure is that there is one self-important ass who demanded that the government intervene to crush the strike. He was quite open about it and gave his name, to his credit. I don't know if he is one of the "520" who asked to return to work. I don't know where that number came from. I don't know what form their request to scab may have taken. I don't know what answer they received. And neither do you.

 

boomerbsg

As Even keel said 520 is not that many people in a strike of 30,000 that's a bit over 0.1%. Considering the economy i think it shows amazing solidarity. I don't doubt the number as that probably includes summer part timers who have nothing invested. As for the Star, whoever leaked this story I am sure had the paper to back it up.

What worries me is that the city is leaking like a sieve and all the leaks are against the union. This, to me, looks coordinated and the fact that one can not verify it IS the issue. Again I will say there is bupkis being said about it. Other than CUPE nobody has condemned these reports or demanded to find the source.

If the now Liberal Bob Rae had a do over of his term this is, i think, how it wood look. Give money to the cops to placate the right and then dump it on day-care workers and public health nurses to pay for it all. sheesh makes you wonder if David Miller has become a not so secret Liberal.

Fidel

boomerbsg wrote:

 don't live in Toronto so can't vote but I feel sorry for your choice. John Tory who will screw you and David Miller who has screwed you. Yikes!

Youre supposed to vote for undeclared Liberal (or Tory) candidates for mayor and council next time. Just so long as they are loyal to one or both of the two old line parties, is what youre supposed to know. That's what McGuinty and Harpers are trying to tell Torontonians since abandoning them and people like Omar Khadr to free market forces, US kangaroo military law etc - unlike their pals on Bay Street and the richest people in this country who are generally treated like royalty and first class citizens. The two old line parties can be a vindictive bunch-o-bastards when it comes to punishing the electorate for not voting correctly.

Unionist

.

Fidel

Oops I did it again. Sorry, U!

Sineed

Michelle wrote:

Tell me about it, boomerbsg.  It's really quite disgusting.  Miller is using the same nasty tactics that neo-con business types use against public service unions.

It's unbelievable.  I don't know what I'm going to do in the next municipal election.

But...if you support some fringe candidate, then a right-wing candidate will get in, and that person will (I'm saying WILL, not MAY) privatize garbage services, like the old city of Etobicoke.  According to a poll in the Globe this wkend (too lazy to google...) most Torontonians favour privatized garbage services.

It's all the progressives turning their backs on Bob Rae that brought us Mike Harris.

Speaking of Mike Harris, I blame him for this.  Dalton's partly to blame, because he didn't reverse the downloading of social services that has resulted in Toronto's empty coffers.  But Mike's the direct cause, and the city may be in a position where they can't give in.  Our infrastructure is crumbling, there are more homeless people and people on welfare than ever, the Toronto Jail is packed to the rafters...this place is falling apart.

However, maybe if city counsel rolled back the 3% raise for the counsellors that they gave themselves earlier in the year, it would possibly go some way towards fostering goodwill with lower-wage city workers.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

However, maybe if city counsel rolled back the 3% raise for the counsellors that they gave themselves earlier in the year, it would possibly go some way towards fostering goodwill with lower-wage city workers.

 

Many have voluntarily refused it, but it's not a "raise", it's a cost of living adustment. Without it, their real-value salary goes down. Also, they didn't "give themselves" the raise ("Who wants more money? So it's unanimous, then!!!"). It was part of an agreement made in 2006 to index councillors' salaries to inflation, and as I understand it, part of doing that was exactly so it WOULDN'T look as though council just sits around approving more and more money for themselves.

If there's a grave injustice in here somewhere, could someone point it out?

Unionist

Snert wrote:

If there's a grave injustice in here somewhere, could someone point it out?

Aren't they offering the workers less than they gave themselves (after one cuts through your verbiage)? It's not a grave injustice, but maybe a minor irony.

 

ezstein

this strike is turning into a horrible mess... i'm proud of all the CUPE members who are sticking to their guns and fighting for their rights. miller hasnt made it easy for them, but they've done a good job.

As for that poll in the globe, i think once the strike is over and things return to normal people won't be so hasty.

genstrike

Sineed wrote:
It's all the progressives turning their backs on Bob Rae that brought us Mike Harris.

Yeah, those damn municipal workers!  Miller was being perfectly nice and trying to take away their benefits, but these damn workers are being jerks to him for some reason!

It goes both ways.  Bob Rae turned his back on progressives.  And now Miller is turning his back on municipal workers and their supporters.

Maybe if you don't want progressives to turn their backs on politicians, self-described progressive politicians shouldn't turn their backs on progressives.  Until then, I don't want to hear any whining that lefties aren't supporting the assclowns who constantly turn their backs on us, or anyone threatening that you have to vote for us even though we're fucking you over because the big bad other guy will fuck you harder.

Caissa

slight thread drift/ I remember a meeting with Richard SAllen, MCU under Rae. He suggested funding increases of 1-1-1 for pse when it was already horribly underfunded. I was gobsmacked. Later they floated the idea of income contingent student loans, another "progressive" idea. Whta happens when our "friends" get in power?/ end slight thread drift.

Fidel

Quote:

It goes both ways.  Bob Rae turned his back on progressives.  And now Miller is turning his back on municipal workers and their supporters.

Ah! "both ways." We can't  forget that there really does exist a top-down neoliberal agenda in Canada. It's not as if provinces were given money hand-over-fist from the feds all these years. Some people think that if only premiers like Bob Rae and Gary Doer would have loosened their grip on "the purse strings", everything would be beautiful in Canada. Except that provincial governments have no pull in Ottawa, and especially not provincial NDP governments. Provinces just dont have the ability to collect tax revenues like the feds are able to.

The neoliberal agenda for strangling public funding of social programs and infrastructure has to have full cooperation from Ottawa, or it doesnt work. Canadian provinces can race to the bottom a lot more easily than any one province can set the pace for corporate and other taxes. This is the neoliberal agenda for breaking nationalism. And provincial governments have very little control over the national economy as a whole. They can tweak taxes a little and create a few public service jobs as long as they dont expand public services to the point that privateering corporations in the US would issue a NAFTA challenge against something like public auto insurance.

Federal tax revenues in Ottawa are well below the OECD average since the 1980's and 90's.  Does that affect provincial ability to properly fund social programs and infrastructure? Sure it does. Bob Rae's NDP couldnt have done much more than they did do during the recession of the 1990's. I really don't understand where the Bob Rae and Gary Doer are guilty crowd are coming from. They always retreat to condemning the Rae Days manouver for saving money in Ontario. And now look how many permanent days off have been handed to workers across the country. And another 100,000 job losses expected by end of summer.

How does everyone like the neoliberal economy in Canada now?

Sineed

genstrike wrote:

Sineed wrote:
It's all the progressives turning their backs on Bob Rae that brought us Mike Harris.

Yeah, those damn municipal workers!  Miller was being perfectly nice and trying to take away their benefits, but these damn workers are being jerks to him for some reason!

It goes both ways.  Bob Rae turned his back on progressives.  And now Miller is turning his back on municipal workers and their supporters.

Maybe if you don't want progressives to turn their backs on politicians, self-described progressive politicians shouldn't turn their backs on progressives.  Until then, I don't want to hear any whining that lefties aren't supporting the assclowns who constantly turn their backs on us, or anyone threatening that you have to vote for us even though we're fucking you over because the big bad other guy will fuck you harder.

Until we have proportional representation, this POV is not realistic.  

I work in the Ontario public sector.  Tons of my workmates felt betrayed by Bob Rae so they voted for Mike Harris.  So...instead of getting Rae days, some of them got Mike Harris days: 365 of them in a year.

Your points are well-taken.  But progressives who turn their backs on politicians who are the very imperfect best we've got are only fucking themselves.

Idealism is good, but reality is what we have.

Stargazer

Report from a union worker friend of mine who was striking down at Birchmount and Kingston Rd. Some one driving a mini van (so typical!) decided he was pissed off enough to run over the strike captain. Obviously the strike captain was upset and broke the guys side mirror. Police were called and the strike captain was told he can charge the man with running him over but they (the minivan driver) would counter charge with breaking the side mirror. Loads of angry and abusive people with vans full of garbage. Upset at the workers and now showing their true, horrible colours.

Any one who was stupid enough to vote for Mike Harris deserves exactly what they get. Sorry but I have zero pity for the idiots who voted that asshat into office. None whatsoever.

Edited to add: I asked my friend about the so-called 500 plus union members who went back to work. He doesn't have any idea who they are and said the claims are unsubstantiated. I asked him who was telling the press this story. He said he had no idea. An "unnamed city councillor" or something. I smell a lie here.

 

boomerbsg

Sineed union bashing is at an all time high and we are expected to roll over and take it because it could be worse? Whatever happened to principles? What is the point of supporting politicians with time, effort and donations when it comes time for them to stand up for our values they run and hide in a corner telling us "now is not the time to make a fuss".

Might as well vote for a Liberal.

We are not talking idealism we are talking about a core philosophy that the public sector is the most equitable and progressive way of delivering services. Right now we are trash talking every public sector job from garbage to EMS paramedics. Yet no one is standing up to defend them. Do you want to work 25 years picking up other people's garbage in 35C heat to -30C cold day in and day out? Do you want to be a first responder during the next SARS outbreak or flu pandemic? I don't and I am grateful to the men and women who do.

I am proud and extraordinarily frustrated that CUPE is fighting this fight alone. I heard their new adds on 1010AM today and was genuinely moved by the personal stories that they are telling. Honestly how hard is it to stand shoulder to shoulder with these workers and say we are behind you a 100% because you are behind us every day doing the jobs we depend on.

It might be a cliche but we do the right things because they are right not because they are easy.

 

Unionist

Bravo, boomerbsg.

 

boomerbsg

I just red that Smitherman is doing his best to stick his nose into this strike by organising a "clean up day" this weekend. I can't tell you how much this pisses me off. We are going to get another wave of smug bastards telling us how "easy" a garbage persons job is. As if an hour picking up some garbage on your way to the tennis club really counts. Try doing it for 8 hours when the mercury touches 35C and the humidex makes it feel like it's over 40C. Then tell me how "easy" the job is then!

Post Article

Any idea if there is going to be a demonstration against this self serving mayor wana be? If there is sign me up!

Sineed

boomerbsg wrote:

Any idea if there is going to be a demonstration against this self serving mayor wana be? If there is sign me up!

You hit the nail on the head with this one - George is getting in a little pre-election campaigning by getting himself photographed picking up garbage.  The progressives will turn their backs on Miller, maybe voting for one of the several dozen lost-cause fringe candidates that always run, and so we'll get George Smitherman for our next mayor.  Though there are worse choices.  He's not hard-right; I don't think he'd privatize garbage services unless there was a lot of pressure from the electorate to do that.

Though maybe George and Miller will split the vote, and a hard-right candidate will win - they're making lots of political hay out of this.  And hey, good luck to them.  Everybody knows the best way to solve homelessness is through tax cuts.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Sineed wrote:
But progressives who turn their backs on politicians who are the very imperfect best we've got are only fucking themselves.

Idealism is good, but reality is what we have.

There's a job waiting for you in the Ignatieff election campaign headquarters.

Unionist

That's uncalled for, Spector.

 

Sineed

M. Spector wrote:

Sineed wrote:
But progressives who turn their backs on politicians who are the very imperfect best we've got are only fucking themselves.

Idealism is good, but reality is what we have.

There's a job waiting for you in the Ignatieff election campaign headquarters.

I don't think I could work for him - his eyebrows scare me.

Okay Toronto people - who would be more progressive than mayor Miller AND actually stand a chance of being elected?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Sineed wrote:
I don't think I could work for him - his eyebrows scare me.

So you'd vote for an anti-labour mayor because it's the "very imperfect best we've got", but you draw the line at voting for someone with scary eyebrows, even if he's the "very imperfect best" alternative to Harper?

Gee, I guess even lesser-evil politics has its limits. Who knew?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Unionist wrote:

That's uncalled for, Spector.

Really? Then I apologize to Ignatieff.

Here I was thinking his campaign strategy was going to include trying to persuade Canadian progressives that if they don't vote for him as the imperfect best we've got they are simply "idealists" who are helping to keep Harper in power, thereby fucking themselves. My bad.

Unionist

M. Spector wrote:

Unionist wrote:

That's uncalled for, Spector.

Really? Then I apologize to Ignatieff.

Here I was thinking his campaign strategy was going to include trying to persuade Canadian progressives that if they don't vote for him as the imperfect best we've got they are simply "idealists" who are helping to keep Harper in power, thereby fucking themselves. My bad.

Sineed is a progressive and thoughtful and principled babbler who doesn't deserve to be your scapegoat for attacking "strategic voting" this evening. You know how there are some posters here that you can't possibly read to the end of their post? Sineed is quite the opposite. There is logic and thought behind every word. We know exactly how you felt about the "coalition", but you weren't able to convince a majority around here. Cool off and make some [on-topic] logical arguments, and who knows.

 

boomerbsg

i don't know if this is the place to talk about it but here goes. Is there any talk of a rally in support of the striking workers and if not why not.

We have some of the highest unemployment in over 20 years and if you look at the real unemployment rate we are well over 10%. It's at times like these that the NDP and labour has to stand up for Canadians and remind us of how far we have come and how much better we can be.

So how about it any ideas out the