Thursday, January 08, 2009

Surprise, surprise

The ATU vote's over, Mayor Larry. 75% said NO. That's three-quarters of the members*, Larry, after a month on strike.

What's your next move, genius?

For you folks in the general vicinity: let's not wait for this clown to make things even worse than he has already. Come to the rally tomorrow, themed thus:


When: Noon
Where: City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West (Marion Dewar Plaza)

Because here's what we're up against (besides an antic Mayor and a not-too-bright federal Minister of Labour, not to mention that well-known champion of workers' rights, the Canadian Industrial Relations Board):

Howard Levitz, a Toronto lawyer who has worked in labour law for 30 years, urged the city to stop negotiating and start looking into replacement workers - and offering financial incentives for ATU members to cross the picket line - as quickly as possible.

"They should replace (the union) as quickly as possible and continue to operate," he said. "That would break the union's power in a heartbeat. Generally when a few employees start crossing the line, the rest quickly follow."

He added that negotiating is the worst thing the city can do because it shows other unions that they can hold out for more pay or better benefits.

Want open class war, Levitz, as you squat there in your Toronto bunker sipping your martini? And you too, Larry? I think we can oblige, if it comes to that. There are more of us than there are of you, including any scabs the City is foolish enough to recruit.

"The future," said veteran civil rights campaigner Bayard Rustin, "lies in casting not just a ballot, what Thoreau called 'a piece of paper merely', but the total vote--the human person against injustice." And a lot of us who have been on the sidelines up to now, but increasingly disgusted by the bullying and union-busting tactics of the City of Ottawa corporation--not to mention the lengthy stoppage of public transport for which it is directly responsible--are ready to exercise our franchise.

*More accurately, it's three-quarters of the 2045 members who voted--an 87% turnout. The total membership of ATU 279 is 2353. That's why you'll hear the rabidly anti-union CFRA claim (as one commenter notes) that the vote was actually 64.4%. The latter figure is the one that appears on Mayor Larry's blog, too.

By this method of figgerin', Stephen Harper won his recent plurality with a 21.7% vote. A commenter over at ZeroMeansZero makes the same point about Larry's own election.

No comments: