Canada Post filibuster

125 posts / 0 new
Last post
Unionist

Polunatic2 wrote:
Another MP shot down the Con's "let CUPW members vote on the employers latest offer" rant by pointing out that the bargaining team has a mandate of 90+% while the Cons only have a mandate off 39%. Whether the public agrees with the NDP or not, they're seeing them stand up for what they believe and against the Cons regressive agenda and that'a always a good thing.

Yeah, that was good - but it could have been way better. I was shouting at the TV! Under the federal code, the goddam Minister of Labour has the right to force a vote, just once, on the employer's last offer!!!!! So the comeback could have been: "The union bosses aren't allowing the members to vote on the employer's wonderful offer? Why haven't you used your power under Section 108.1 of the Canada Labour Code to order that vote yourself? Oh, by the way, will you agree to respect the result of that vote???"

Here's the chapter and verse - and if the workers vote yes to the offer (as the Conservative dregs are suggesting they would), then the strike and lockout are automatically and instantly over and a new collective agreement is signed - no need for arbitration, mediation, final offer selection, nada:

Quote:

108.1 (1) Where notice to bargain collectively has been given under this Part, and the Minister is of the opinion that it is in the public interest that the employees in the affected bargaining unit be given the opportunity to accept or reject the offer of the employer last received by the trade union in respect of all matters remaining in dispute between the parties, the Minister may

(a) on such terms and conditions as the Minister considers appropriate, direct that a vote of the employees in the bargaining unit to accept or reject the offer be held as soon as possible; and

(b) designate the Board, or any other person or body, to be in charge of conducting that vote.

No effect on time limits or periods

(2) A direction under subsection (1) that a vote be held, or the holding of that vote, does not abridge or extend any time limit or period provided for in this Part, including those stipulated in section 89 for the acquisition of the right to lockout or strike.

Consequences of favourable vote

(3) Where the majority of the employees participating in the vote accept the employer’s last offer,

(athe parties are bound by that offer and shall, without delay, enter into a collective agreement that incorporates the terms of that offer; and

(bany lockout or strike not prohibited by this Part that is in progress when the Board or other person or body in charge of conducting the vote notifies the parties in writing of the employees’ acceptance shall cease forthwith.

Powers respecting vote

(4) The Board or other person or body in charge of conducting the vote shall determine any question that arises under this section, including any question relating to the conduct of the vote or the determination of its result.

Emphasis added. Can someone please ask the NDP to throw this in Lisa Raitt's smirking face and challenge her to order a vote?

Jacob de Zoet

Unionist, I hope that someone from the NDP caucus offices reads this, but assuming they are kind of busy at the moment, is there some one specific to whom you could email your suggestion?

Unionist

Jacob de Zoet wrote:

Unionist, I hope that someone from the NDP caucus offices reads this, but assuming they are kind of busy at the moment, is there some one specific to whom you could email your suggestion?

Done - sent it to Tom Mulcair (my MP) and cc'ed Jack Layton. Thanks for the suggestion.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Unionist/Jacob, any valid points you would like made by the NDP can be sent to:

Quote:
Those stories will help the MPs wage the filibuster as they will speak about them in the House of Commons. These letters/stories can be emailed to [email protected]

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
I had a chance to catch about an hour of the filibuster. I see the Harperites are into full redbaiting mode - now referring to the NDP as "the Socialist Party".

This is an excellent opportunity for the NDP to show the people whose side the socialists are on, and thus on whose side the Harpocrites are against.

Quote:
Ginny Sims gave a great speech...

Ginny Sims? Neat! Is there an Ish Kabibble in the caucus as well?

Quote:
In the time since I made that last post (#5) the SGEU caved and accepted the government's first and final offer of 5.5%, in the face of a big show trial in the legislature against the enemies of the people.

Uh oh.

That's my union. We're in contract limbo right now, and aren't even negotiating any more. Last February the negotiating team told us they were holding off on striking until the contracts of some of our brothers and sisters in other fields came up for negotiation, and then we'd all go out together. It looks as if that plan isn't going ahead.

By the way, I'm happy to see the NDP standing up for the Canadian working class with this filibuster.

6079_Smith_W

Actually they got a quarter perccent, My mistake. Bu tit is still not good. One consolation is that even though going out during the flood was a risky and not necessarily wise move, some of the media coverage I heard (murray and Stephanie) leaned heavier on Wall for losing his cool, and what seems to be a general policy of giving unions little room, and legislating them back to work. Both of them seemed to think recalling the legislature for this is a strategy that will backfire in the long run with other actions.

 

duncan cameron

Mulcair is replying to the Minister, this could be winding down, it sounds like a summation and the House is full. Parliamentary democracy is making a come back. I am waiting for him to cite Unionist.

Bärlüer

Mulcair is giving a barn-burner of a speech right now.

duncan cameron

How about Yvon Godin who just asked if parliament would agree to pay new MPs less than re-elected MPs? Brian Topp has piece:  http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/brian-topp/2011/06/we-finally-have-real-...

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

So what is the typical Hansard delay of publication to read all this at a slower pace?

Bärlüer

Apparently, the MPs are no longer taking the opportunity to debate for the sections subsequent to section 2, even though it is sections 3 through 6 that actually force the workers to go back to work.

Now unto amendments. First amendment to be considered, introduced by Yvon Godin, seeks to remove "final offer selection" from the parameters that would govern the arbitrator's mandate. (From what I understand.)

Ward

great,,,.. wage and price controls all around!  star ont. ndp

 

dacckon dacckon's picture
JeffWells

duncan cameron wrote:
How about Yvon Godin who just asked if parliament would agree to pay new MPs less than re-elected MPs? Brian Topp has piece that will shortly be on rabble.ca.
">http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/brian-topp/t...

Godin is showing himself to be a giant. Very impressed by him every time I've caught him on his feet.

 

Bärlüer

Lisa Raitt just said that the bill was aimed at serving the interests of "real Canadians"—or something of that ilk.

Apparently, Canadians who believe in (the constitutionally-protected right of) collective bargaining are "fake Canadians".

We now have our own Bachmann/Palin clone (cf. their "real Americans" comments)...

Jacob Richter

There should be a political struggle for a legislative (nay, constitutional) ban on employer lockouts in so-called "essential services."

Sean in Ottawa

Real Canadians are of course (in the view of the government):

1) those who vote conservative

2) those with incomes over $100k

3) those who own their own businesses (provided they vote Conservative and are not involved in the arts)

4) Those who hate unions

5) Those who vote Conservative

Oh yes and those who buy little Harper dolls for the kiddies along with games like "Stop the immigrants"  "Shoot the protester" and "Monopolies"

duncan cameron

The filibuster has wound up, but the NDP are making the 41st parliament a place for genuine debate and discussion of real issues. Having members debate what it means to work for a living when the employer is oppressive and the state is piling on is well worth extending parliament for three days non stop.

dacckon dacckon's picture

I find it hilarious that the shadow tories (other opposition) wants a compromise on rights... You can't compromise on a right, you can't split it in half.

Jacob de Zoet

duncan cameron wrote:
The filibuster has wound up, but the NDP are making the 41st parliament a place for genuine debate and discussion of real issues. Having members debate what it means to work for a living when the employer is oppressive and the state is piling on is well worth extending parliament for three days non stop.

The Tories intended for this act of strike-breaking to serve notice to working people that a majority Con govt has them in their sights, but in undertaking this filibuster the NDP has served the Tories notice as well, that majority or no majority it isn't going to be easy for them.  And, I think it serves the media notice too, that 1) an official opposition promising civility doesn't mean things are going to be boring, 2), an NDP official opposition is going to force the media, whether they like it or not, to cover working class issues, and, 3) an NDP official opposition is prepared to fight in a way the Liberals can't and won't . For the past three days, Rae and his crew have been utterly irrelevant, content to tsk,tsk for the sidelines.

Like some on this board, I too wish that the NDP had presented a more thoroughgoing analysis over the course of this debate, but overall, I'm pleased with what they have done.  There will still be days ahead when the NDP will disappoint, even gravely so, and when those days come around let's be ready to give them hell, but today we should give credit where it is due, especially to many of the rookie MPs, who acquitted themselves very well over the past three days.

 

Unionist

JeffWells wrote:

 

Godin is showing himself to be a giant. Very impressed by him every time I've caught him on his feet.

 

Well... he did say at one point this evening that if we didn't have this "democratic" parliament (those are my quote marks, not his), we'd be like those countries where we have to send our soldiers to bring them democracy. Other than that little lapse (which sounded, curiously, a little like the Harper govt's justification for anti-worker legislation), he's ok I guess.

 

JeffWells

Unionist wrote:

Well... he did say at one point this evening that if we didn't have this "democratic" parliament (those are my quote marks, not his), we'd be like those countries where we have to send our soldiers to bring them democracy.

Oh, geez. Missed that foolishness, or I would have tempered my praise.

It's been said before: domestically, they're right on point. Internationally, they're an embarrassing incoherence.

 

 

vaudree

There are a couple of tweets by Charlie Angus on the purpose of the Filibuster:
. We pushed for dbate this weekend to raise public awareness of harper's attack on pblc service pensions-wages.
. Getting set for the 6am shift. 48 hours til monday. The cons can compromise or argue round the clock.
. Delmaestro blames union thugs in ptbrgh. C alexander calls us commies-moscow. Surprised?

And, in a day or two, this very very long "Thursday" will be up on line (some of it already is):

http://www.parl.gc.ca/housechamberbusiness/chambersittings.aspx?View=H&P...

 

 

Bacchus
nicky

After watching several hours of the postal debate I would like to make a few general comments.
1. The new NDP MPs equipped themselves very well. They made valid points quite eloquently and kept their cool in the face of some shameless red-baiting from the government benches. I think the initial perception that they are a bunch of placeholders will have to be re-assessed by the media who will have to acknowledge that there is some real talent there.
2. The low level of debate, both in content and delivery, from the Conservative back bench really surprised me. I would have thought, confident in their majority, they would have simply let the opposition talk itself out. Instead they were consistently shallow, mendacious, insulting and rude. It is hard to count the number of cheap slurs: comrades, socialists, union bosses, union thugs, undemocratic. These guys are real knuckle-draggers. No wonder Harper kept them gagged during the election. It is puzzling why he allowed them off the leash during this debate. They are just not house-trained.
3. Some individual NDP MPs were real stand-outs. Angus, Godin and Mulcair in particular. I can’t remember anyone who can dominate the House when he is on his feet as much as Mulcair. He is fully capable of stepping into Jack’s shoes and then some.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

nicky wrote:
2. The low level of debate, both in content and delivery, from the Conservative back bench really surprised me. ... Instead they were consistently shallow, mendacious, insulting and rude. It is hard to count the number of cheap slurs: comrades, socialists, union bosses, union thugs, undemocratic.

Of course, "socialist" or "comrade" are not slurs at all but terms of respect. The Conservative knuckle-draggers are powerless to fill these words with new meaning overnight.

writer writer's picture

Here's hoping the NDP have figured that out with this exercise, N.Beltov. Rather than running away from those words, they can represent the  meaning if them.

Loretta
Jacob de Zoet

I hope that the opposition and its allies outside the House in this fight reach out to other potential allies to strategize and prepare for the battles to come; we all know that this is just the beginning of the thug majority's assault on working people and the labour movement that makes some semblance of a decent middle class existence still possible for so many people.   What they learned from this exercise, the good suggestions that they received from outside parliament - both the ones the MPs acted in the House this time, as well as the ones they did, either because there wasn't time or will this time out - are not only not lost but in fact sharpened and calibrated for greater effectiveness down the road.  To that end, I hope all of us will take some time to analyze the events of the past few days and, when we've reached some measure of clarity, offer constructive comments and suggestions the NDP caucus.   As good as some of the new - and veteran - MPs were this time out, the NDP opposition as an institutional entity will only be as progressive and determined as we demand that it be.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Well, yeah, they have to be pushed (from the left). But it seems like they ARE being pushed and, as you say, they deserve some credit for doing some pushing of their own. I'm gonna look at some of the Hansard contributions - even the shallow and mendacious Conservative ones -  once I can browse them all at once.

I've often wondered how Hansard read when some of the fundamentalist Conservatives blathered on - in what sounded like "tongues" - at the time that the House passed Bill C-38 (Civil or same sex marriage) in 2005. I can't imagine the clerks would have had an easy time translating that Conservative gibberish into English. lol.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

I wish this was the start of the fight.  BC Building Trades 1980's, HEU and BCFMWU 2003, USWA, Local 6500.

That is a short list of the struggles my family and friends have been directly involved in.  Harper is not new.  Bennett was new with his out right attacks on unions.  Campbell was vicious and corrupt in his anti-unionism.  Harper, from my perspective, is just continuing on in a two decades old tradition.   

We need new strategies but lets start with real history.  Every single one of the above had rallies and speakers and the support of the NDP.  In the end once the government ruled that the unions lost the support evaporated.  In BC we have been waiting over 9 years for relief from the nastiest neo-con government in the country.  The powers that be in the union conference rooms and NDP headquarters have been preaching defeat them at the polls, while our most marginalized citizens literally live on the streets.  BC has had the worst poverty of any province in the country for a decade straight. Waving the flag and then furling it on the issuance of a court order has not done anything for at least 20 years so anyone got any new ideas. 

Thats not to say I didn't stand with the posties in this fight or that I think they don't need support, it is just what is the support going to look like once the Harper government uses the law to chain them well.  If a call to elect a different government arises and nothing else it will ring extremely hollow to my ear.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The ignorant shitheads on CTV's Question Period say Layton lost because he sided with "big labour" and thus will lose the following of ordinary workers and small businesses. I kid you not. Thank God that ignorant boob Jane Tabor is leaving - I wish Bob Fife would leave too, because he's such an ignorant jackass.  Craig Oliver is the only one who occasionally sides with Layton.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

The NDP is supposed to stand with the workers so good for them.  Thumbs up. 

Under the heading of unintended consequences, they seem to be having a hard time getting around the Duty to Protect the economy argument being preached in the MSM as justification for bombing the posties evil collective agreement that is oppressing the taxpayer.

Red Tory Tea Girl

Ah, I do love when the NDP are properly in their wheelhouse. The focus needs to be brought to economics and class politics if the current government is ever going to fall.

Lefauve

Iread post on cbc and radio-canada.

People have no clue of the implication of the deal

duncan cameron

It is very disappointing to see this type of biased coverage from Canadian Press.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/ndp-drops-postal-filibuster-1245...

Postmedia News did much better. They pointed out that the union asked the NDP to drop the filibuster (it had served its purpose). CP reports the NDP threw in the towel. Really.

http://www.canada.com/business/Back+work+legislation+saga+moves+Senate/5...

The CBC on line poll favours the Cons, mostly providing an indication of how the media covered the story.

Doug

Northern Shoveler wrote:

The NDP is supposed to stand with the workers so good for them.  Thumbs up. 

Under the heading of unintended consequences, they seem to be having a hard time the un getting around the Duty to Protect the economy argument being preached in the MSM as justification for bombing the posties evil collective agreement that is oppressing the taxpayer.

 

That might be cause to impose an agreement by legislation if negotiations were going nowhere after weeks but I think almost anyone can be made to understand that it was unfair to do so immediately as well as having that agreement be worse than what was in discussion at the time of the lockout.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The government of Harper wants to be seen as 'standing tough' on unions, and I guess is sending out a message with this action of legislating lower wages than offered by the employer, and the MSM is going along with this BS. Especially CTV.

JeffWells

 

[url=http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode... has a good portion of the speeches up now.[/url] It's a joy to read the intelligence and depth of the New Democrats' arguments, and a revelation to see the paucity of the Conservatives'. If only the media did its job conveying this to the public.

For instance, Mattieu Ravignat:

Quote:

I have listened closely to the debate over the past 18 or 20 hours and have come to the conclusion that it is a debate about the role of government in civil society. On that issue, I believe this government must be reminded of the history it seems so easily to disregard. That is odd for a conservative party.

 

The 19th century proved that unbridled capitalism was unrealistic. We have learned that we cannot rely on the good faith of big business and management when it comes to workers' conditions. There are good reasons why we have unions. I would remind the government that the higher the degree of capitalism, the more abuses there are. Sometimes the “big bosses” decided all issues for workers, sometimes even life and death matters.

 

The work week in the 19th century varied from 60 to 70 hours. It was 60 hours in the secondary sector and 70 hours in the tertiary sector. Fifteen-hour days were not unusual. Workers generally did not even have enough time to eat. Children made up 8% of the labour force in Quebec in 1891 and were such cheap labour that demand exceeded supply. They worked to the point of exhaustion in unsanitary conditions, exposed to all risks and without supervision. It was in those extremely difficult conditions that workers established unions to protect themselves from the vagaries of the new, impersonal labour market.

 

Although the first unions were small, local organizations, they immediately triggered hostile reactions from governments and employers. Governments in fact declared the unions illegal. Union movement sympathizers were blacklisted and constantly subjected to intimidation. That is why legislation was introduced to protect workers. Despite the strength of this opposition, the poor wages and the dangerous working conditions, strikes and protests increased, and the unions became established. It is a heroic story, I think.

 

The government often played a negative role in this story, and we have learned a great deal about the nature of government thanks to the union movement. The dark hours in the history of the union movement show that the role of the state should be to protect its citizens and to remain neutral in labour-management disputes, but, instead of remaining neutral, this government shows contempt for workers and their hard-won rights.

 

The truth is that the workers of this country and of the world, the ancestors of the vast majority of us, have bled for the right to organize and protect themselves.

...

And a little later, Conservative Chris Alexander, following Olivia Chow:

Quote:
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the member from Trinity-Spadina for her lecture on why, in her opinion, the class war continues in Canada.

 

Before that, we had the member for Pontiac who has unfortunately departed, giving us...his version of an address to the 15th plenum of the communist party of some country. I have never heard an attack so absolutely outrageous and bombastic against capitalism. He called our system of market economy “savage capitalism”. It takes me back to my days in Moscow.

Bravo, New Democrats, for the stark dividing line down the middle of the House. May it carry over into foreign affairs as well.

dacckon dacckon's picture

Is Chris Alexander defending child labour and union busting?

 

LOL.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Doug wrote:

That might be cause to impose an agreement by legislation if negotiations were going nowhere after weeks but I think almost anyone can be made to understand that it was unfair to do so immediately as well as having that agreement be worse than what was in discussion at the time of the lockout.

That was exactly what I thought of Libya and NATO. That almost anyone would agree that bombing the crap out of a country could not be good for its citizens. Strangely the NDP would have been on the side of the majority of voters if they had opposed Libya and they aren't with their intelligent and valiant parliamentary defence against the government for screwing the posties not out of couple of bucks an hour but out of their right to bargain freely with their employer.

It does not matter what stand the NDP takes on any issue they will be attacked unless like in the Libyan debate they just fit the party into the dialogue box provided by the MSM.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

You could perhaps note that Libyans don't vote in Canadian elections and, therefore, Canadian political parties couldn't give a shit about them.

Bacchus

Boom Boom wrote:

The government of Harper wants to be seen as 'standing tough' on unions, and I guess is sending out a message with this action of legislating lower wages than offered by the employer, and the MSM is going along with this BS. Especially CTV.

 

This should scare the employer too since if their desire shifts, they could easily take the workers side on a given industry for the PR points too

JeffWells

This is the best analysis I've seen:

Quote:
[url=http://www.thestar.com/article/1015371--tim-harper-ndp-stood-up-to-bulld... Harper: NDP stood up to bulldozer without getting crushed[/url]

...

Today, all Canadians care about is that their mail will be delivered again.

After the longest filibuster in Canadian history over back-to-work legislation, they will be getting it.

But while they weren’t looking, as the House of Commons calendar stopped at Thursday — even as it became Friday, then Saturday, then Saturday night — Canadians missed something extraordinary.

Real debate broke out in the House of Commons.

...

The federal New Democrats stood with workers in this country and they did so knowing full well that — according to one public sounding last week — seven of 10 Canadians backed Harper and just wanted their mail.

But Layton’s caucus did something that a Conservative majority allows them to do.

They stood on principle, without having to factor in the minority mindset about what this might do to them in a campaign that could break out at any time.

...

Jacob de Zoet

dacckon wrote:

Is Chris Alexander defending child labour and union busting?

 

LOL.

 

He's supposed to be one of their brighter ones too, supposedly one of the new wave urbane tory that they can use to distract us from all the mouth-breathers and knuckle-draggers filling out the rest of the govt benches, but that's mostly according to a media that tends to confuse expensive haircuts, prominent teeth, and nice tailoring with intellect, and moral fibre.  One can hope that Alexander managed to represent Canada with a bit more subtleness and grace when he was a diplomat than he demonstrated in this debate, but don't bet real money on that.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Bacchus wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:

The government of Harper wants to be seen as 'standing tough' on unions, and I guess is sending out a message with this action of legislating lower wages than offered by the employer, and the MSM is going along with this BS. Especially CTV.

 

This should scare the employer too since if their desire shifts, they could easily take the workers side on a given industry for the PR points too

 

LMAOROF

In what world do you live.  I have been involved in union politics for my whole adult life.  Pigs will fly before employers' desires shift and they stand with the workers for PR points. Give your head a shake.

Uncle John

Manufacturing Dissent

The NDP seem to be an effective "Pressure Valve" for working class dissent. NDP members stand up in the House of Commons and make eloquent and passionate speeches on workers' rights and the history of the union movement. Union bureaucrats clap their hands and coo at how wonderful their parliamentary NDP supporters are.

The net result was that the draconian back-to-work legislation against the postal workers passed on Saturday night rather than Thursday. I am not sure if the NDP deserves even savagely critical support, as the Sparts would say. In the end, the CUPW workers got screwed bigtime, NDP or no NDP.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

You might ask yourself if what the NDP did was so meaningless, then where were the Liberals to oppose even in this modest way?

The answer, of course, is nowhere to be found.

Uncle John

The Liberals were largely irrelevant in all of this. They will probably not be needed by our rulers for a few years.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

This is how it will be for the next four years at least - the NDP can drag discussions on, but in the end these extreme right Cons with their majority will win on every issue. Taking it to the streets looks better and better.

Pages

Topic locked