Canada Post filibuster

125 posts / 0 new
Last post
Uncle John

Out of the parliamentary frying pan and into the jackboot fire...

duncan cameron

The battle for public opinion is important. Otherwise why would corporate financial capital do everything in its power to control debate? As the economic crisis deepens, and states squeeze workers harder to no avail, those with dissenting views on the economy are going to try and make themselves heard. The House of Commons can be an important tribune. Voices such as NDP member Mathieu Ravignat should not be dismissed simply because he is an NDP MP. He is smart, knowledgable, and articulate. When he gets media attention he will be speaking to a lot of people, and likely making more sense than the Cons for more and more people. As an MP he has a better chance of making himself heard.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I'd love to see some of the 60% of the electorate who did not not vote for the Cons out in the streets or perhaps taking part in a general strike across the country. That will get Harper's attention.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

In a cold climate country, that's difficult in the summer. Winnipegers, for example, consider it their duty to get out and soak up some sunshine once the May long weekend rolls along. The turnout in support for CUPW was, therefore, all the more encouraging.

Even a kettle takes time to boil.

6079_Smith_W

Another question is why the anger was not directed at those who actually prevented the mail from moving - Canada Post.

As far as I am concerned that is a missed opportunity. 

 

janfromthebruce

One should not assume that 60% of the electorate who didn't vote Cons but voted Liberal and/or Green would be interested in supporting a general strike across the country.

 

Boom Boom wrote:

I'd love to see some of the 60% of the electorate who did not not vote for the Cons out in the streets or perhaps taking part in a general strike across the country. That will get Harper's attention.

______________________________________________________________________________________ Our kids live together and play together in their communities, let's have them learn together too!

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

6079_Smith_W ...

The conduct of Canada Post points to the regime that appoints its managers and then pretends to act at arm's length to the corporation. In this particular case it's really obvious because the government has intervened to the point of imposing a collective agreement WORSE than the one on "offer" by Canada Post.

In any case, it's completely correct to draw attention to the (Conservative) regime pulling the strings. And it's been this way for a very, very long time. The obstinate stupidity of Canada Post's routine rejection of all and every proposal to improve revenue and services from CUPW has been going on for decades. Back in the late 1980's, there were upwards of 50,000 to 100,000 back grievances at this workplace. And so on. Governments have made it their business to pay special and hostile attention to the workers and their union at Canada Post.

6079_Smith_W

@ N. Beltov

Yes, they are hand in glove, and I didn't expect Harper to blame them. I am more wondering about the media and the public not catching on to who actually shut the door.

Polunatic2

The (not so new) Conservative playbook can't work without enemies. What better target for the Cons than CUPW which has a long reputation for breaking new ground and standing up for itself. The wage "rollback" outlined in the legislation is a form of punishment for CUPW having launched rotating strikes. While I've always supported mass action, we shouldn't have any illusions that Harper is going to listen to the public any more than to the opposition. The stakes will have to be a lot higher than a filibuster, demos or even work stoppages (which don't appear to be on labour's agenda). The RepubliciCons thrive by having enemies. 

jas

Bärlüer wrote:

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)...

Silver lining...

dacckon dacckon's picture

I think the NDP did the right thing, but did they do the strategic thing? The media is not on side with even fairly displaying both sides of the argument. The NDP must focus on arousing public interest over parlimentary battles, that is the path to victory. The cons accepted no amendments, pressure in parliment is simply not enough.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ N. Beltov

Yes, they are hand in glove, and I didn't expect Harper to blame them. I am more wondering about the media and the public not catching on to who actually shut the door.

In politics, those in power sometimes have a box inside a box inside a box inside a box. When they want to hide what`s going on, this is particularly the case. It takes some effort to see what`s going on and `look inside the box`.

The other side of this is that when ordinary people have some sort of victory due to putting pressure on a repressive regime, that regime will often want to deny that the public pressure had ANYTHING to do with a change in policy, etc. If you read legal history in Canada, for example, then you might find yourself believing that public pressure never succeeds in changing anything. But that is only a prejudice of lawyers and those who get a legal education. They would have you believe that every social advancement is the result of the enlightened views of those in power. lol. On the contrary. Every social advancement is, typically, the result of struggle right to the last second, with those in power not giving an inch, to the last second, and then claiming credit for what they had, hitherto, opposed with all their might.

Just look at the resistance to the kinds of social advancements that CUPW is associated with: tech change protection for workers, paid maternity and parental leave, no layoff clauses, and so on. Long strikes preceded every victory. And then, later, many others get the same deal. Great unions clear the way ahead for great masses of people the way great soldiers cleared Normandy beach and made way for others. Honour them.

 

Stargazer

Boom Boom wrote:

I'd love to see some of the 60% of the electorate who did not not vote for the Cons out in the streets or perhaps taking part in a general strike across the country. That will get Harper's attention.

 

I'd love to see this happen too, but even if it did, it would not matter. Reading the comments and posts from the 60 percent of people who voted for someone besides the Cons is to wade into a steaming pool of stupidity. People don't care about public employees. They see them as the enemy (thanks to the media and the politicians). They would rather throw all union members under the bus and see the unions destroyed. They simply do not care and do not see the relevance to their daily working lives or they simply do not care.

I remember another time when the people of Ontario were essentially nasty and mean-spirited, greedy and selfish and all about me, me me and that was when Mike Harris was running this place.

Imagine now that we have an entire country that is, every day, being fed anti-union propaganda, and there is virtually no other side to this story. None (in the MSM anyway)

 

The Cons have just started and they are no where near finished. By the time they are done we will be back to the brutal days pre-unions and pre workers rights. Given that the majority of the population doesn't give a rat's ass, I can't see how we can recover from this mess.

 

knownothing knownothing's picture

Mathieu Ravignat, future of the NDP!

Stargazer

Do you have something against Charles and David Koch, seems to me they have created a lot of employment in their very successful business. Fred and Bill were/are the whack jobs. Bill sued for everything under the sun and Fred well he spent lots of time in Amsterdam with young male prostitutes. Charles worked 7 days a week until he was like 70.
Working for Koch was the best business education a person could get. Nothing but respect for a guy who was handed a nice business and built an empire. Charles actually has a rigid code of conduct for every employee and has fired more than a few that have stepped out of bounds. Charles was the one who made sure I and other employees got treated properly when Koch sold most of the Canadian operations.

----------------------------------------------------------

This is an example of the idiocy of people these days. It gets far far worse. The above is a comment on Globe and Mail with this article:

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/americas/outspoken-congresswom...

Sean in Ottawa

Someone should make "we support the union and collectiv bargaining" stickers to put on mail going through Canada Post

SRB

dacckon wrote:

I think the NDP did the right thing, but did they do the strategic thing? The media is not on side with even fairly displaying both sides of the argument. The NDP must focus on arousing public interest over parlimentary battles, that is the path to victory. The cons accepted no amendments, pressure in parliment is simply not enough.

It was strategic enough that the NDP ended the filibuster as soon as it became apparent that the Conservatives were going to concede nothing, and before people could legitimately complain that mail was being stopped by the NDP (since most of it was carried out on a weekend).  Of course the Conservatives claimed this anyway, but that is typical of their mendacity.  It could have dragged on throughout the coming week, but what would be the point of that?

Even if they were fighting a losing battle, it was heartening to hear the strong arguments and convictions of the NDP members on this topic. Sure, the analysis could have been a little sharper in places, but it was still often powerful.  Standouts for me were Jack's initial speech, as well as the statements by Godin, Ravignat, Beclef, Cullen, Harris, Ashton, Allen, Sitsabaiesan, Sims -- but everyone had something good to say. Our new MPs in particular acquitted themselves very well.

And that is why the attacks from the MSM or the elites which are now emerging have not been directed at the weaknesses of the NDP team but against  the money (supposedly) wasted, the NDP's renewed socialism, etc and other side matters.   People like Rosemary Barton musing on twitter about what if anything the NDP achieved by this, and others in the press warning that the NDP risks alienating large swaths of voters by standing on its convictions all suggest that the MSM is starting to worry that the NDP is getting a little too effective in communication.  That's probably also why this ridiculous piece ("So just how inexperienced is Layton's team of MPs"? -- http://tinyurl.com/3e3t96y) appeared in the Globe this morning with its specious and stupid arguments implying the NDP will never be experienced enough. I'm pleased to see the NDP making some people at the Globe nervous enough about its excellent MPs that they trot out Grenier to try to marginalize them again (which is all that article, quite transparently, existed to do).

Jacob de Zoet

duncan cameron wrote:

The battle for public opinion is important. Otherwise why would corporate financial capital do everything in its power to control debate? As the economic crisis deepens, and states squeeze workers harder to no avail, those with dissenting views on the economy are going to try and make themselves heard. The House of Commons can be an important tribune. Voices such as NDP member Mathieu Ravignat should not be dismissed simply because he is an NDP MP. He is smart, knowledgable, and articulate. When he gets media attention he will be speaking to a lot of people, and likely making more sense than the Cons for more and more people. As an MP he has a better chance of making himself heard.

 

 

i agree, and it's not about winning the weekly news cycle either; it's about the long-haul struggle to consolidate and activate a progressive majority.    In that fight, the NDP MPs are not the be all and end all, but they occupy crucial positions; their capacity to focus attention and give voice in the highest political body in the land to views that would otherwise be ignored, supressed, and denigrated is invaluable.

So, never mind the shots they're taking from the right-wing mouthpieces in the media right now, they will have new talking points by next week, but just imagine what they would be saying about not only the NDP but also the labor movement if Layton and his caucus had taken a pass on mounting a filibuster.   No one could reasonably expect that the filibuster was going to succeed in stopping the Harper Thugs this time out - I think the fact that the NDP waited until quite late in the debate to try to formally put forward amendments was simply acknowledgement of the reality that no amendment that actually meant anything was going to accepted by Harper and Co. - those crog-mags  are in full post-election triumphalist mode at the moment - keeping the legislation bottled up in the House long enough to force a public debate was the realistic end - and a valid and valuable one insofar as the sense of an parliamentary opposition that will fight is what will stick with people and portions of the public that either didn't give a shit or sided with the Tories this time around may yet remember that when the Harperites get around to screwing _them_.  People may be apathetic, or even out-and-out hostile to the rights and aspirations of their fellow citizens, but as the Tories get more and more extreme that may change.

Unionist

SRB wrote:
Standouts for me were Jack's initial speech, as well as the statements by Godin, Ravignat, Beclef, Cullen, Harris, Ashton, Allen, Sitsabaiesan, Sims -- but everyone had something good to say. Our new MPs in particular acquitted themselves very well.

Here is the link to [url=http://parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Pub=hansard&Languag...'s ringing speech[/url] that someone asked for earlier. I'd love to cite the whole thing, but this will do for now:

Mathieu Ravignat wrote:
We should also realize that this legislation is not an accident. The fact that the first great labour battle with the government is with CUPW is not an accident. I, for one, salute the great work postal workers have done in the past to ensure social progress in our country. They have been at the forefront of many progressive struggles.

    CUPW was the first Canadian union to pass a boycott resolution against South African apartheid. It has also taken stances against the Iraq war, as well as against NAFTA and FTAA. CUPW is also a major reason why we have maternity leave benefits in our country.

    If the government is neutral, as it repeats ad nauseam, as if repeating it will make it true, why impose a lower wage than offered by the management of Canada Post in the bill. This goes against the entire principle of collective bargaining. We call for this section of the bill to be removed immediately.

    Finally, I will add my voice to that of my colleagues. Take the locks off and give Canada Post workers a decent wage, decent pensions and dignity.



Wow.

M. Godin, on the other hand, said this:

Quote:
I hope all Canadians are proud of us. The day we cease to have a Parliament, our country will become like those to which we send our soldiers to bring democracy.


Oh well.

Manic Wombat Manic Wombat's picture

Anyone have any literary resources which give good information on the subject of unions? Maybe that's a doltish, vague question ...

People in this thread have spoken about the common anti-union sentiment that seems so common even amongst non-Con voters. It's totally true. I'm in a position where I understand the basic fact that unions are the only existing intermediary between employees/employers and without them, combined with a dictatorial conservative government in power, employees really have no means of recourse when being screwed over.

BUT ... I am unable to form solid coherent arguements and address each of the talking points the flock of aggressive, vocal anti-union bandwagoners put forth. I would very much like to be able to crush them, perhaps even make them look foolish.

Please ... book recommendations would be especially appreciated as I read a ton. Help give me the tools to fend off the propagandistic gibberings of the ravenous right! PUH-LEASE AND FANK YOU!

Doug

When public unions can successfully link their contract issues to issues about the quality of the service they provide, they often get somewhere. Teachers and health unions are often good at this. Otherwise it looks like whining about having to be efficient. Since that's something workers in the private sector are often pressured much more intensively about, it doesn't elicit much sympathy.

Aristotleded24

Doug wrote:
When public unions can successfully link their contract issues to issues about the quality of the service they provide, they often get somewhere. Teachers and health unions are often good at this. Otherwise it looks like whining about having to be efficient. Since that's something workers in the private sector are often pressured much more intensively about, it doesn't elicit much sympathy.

That's why private sector unions need to step up their game. If a public union leader is asked why "average" workers should accept that government workers are well treated, the answer should be along the following lines:

"We agree that the gap between public and private sector workers is unfair. That is why we are working with our colleagues in private sector unions to improve living standards for all workers by fighting for improved wages both at the workplace level and for public policy that encourages high quality jobs. Living standards of all workers are under assault, and we believe we must resist this assault by protecting the current standards to which public employees are held and raising private sector employees to that standard, not by tearing workers down and dividing one segment of workers against another."

michemj

I have not posted here in years. I am a CUPW member, most of my recent internet usage has been on facebook, following CUPW groups and/or watching CPAC, between picket duty.I do follow rabble religiously, though. I was curious as i was involved in the CUPW struggles of 1987 and 1991, and remember our fightbacks against the Mulroney government. I also know a bit of history of my great union. Yesterday before our final picket party to celebrate our solidarity, i decided to google who was prime minister in 1965 when our union was formed from a management run association at the time. I didn't double check my facts for lack of time, but this is what i posted on facebook. At least i and a few others found it interesting."

Today i was pondering my 30 year career at Canada Post. Our nastiest times were the strikes of 1987 and 1991, and this year's lockout. The Prime minister's for those years were conservatives, Brian Mulroney and Stephen Harper, its like whence in power attack CUPW,known as an anti establishment socialist style union.I also went back in history to the roots of my union CUPW 1965. Twas a very good year- Lester Pearson (lib) had a minority government, with the help of the NDP(ccf) and social credit parties, came the advent of the autopact,Canada pension plan, socialized medicine, the Canadian flag was adopted and the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and the former Letter carriers union of Canada were formed and won the right to strike. 2011, Conservative government, no more autopact, healthcare in crises, Canada pension plan in crises, and collective bargaining rights destroyed. perhaps 2015 can be like 1965 if we want it bad enough."

btw NDP Joe Comartin made it back to town to attend our rally and speak to our members,kudos

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Thanks michemj! What a great post to end this long thread on. Please feel free to open another.

Pages

Topic locked