gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Why demonstrating at the ATU 279 vote at Lansdowne Park is a bad idea

January 08, 2009 @ 07:57 By: gordon Category: Current affairs, Transit strike

There have been suggestions that people should show up at Lansdowne Park today to demonstrate outside where the ATU 279 members are voting on the latest offer from the city. At least one Facebook group has been set up and I’ve seen entries on other blogs to this effect. While at first glance this sounds like a good idea, I actually think it’s a very bad idea.

Right now, the union members are being encouraged by their executive to vote “no” on the City’s offer. Cornellier said at one point that the mandatory vote was bad because it would split the union over an issue that only affects a relatively small number of union members. One way to interpret this is that Cornellier suspects that he does not enjoy the near unanimous support of his membership on this issue he’s been saying he has and that he fears a majority might actually like the City’s offer, which would be a good thing for most people except for Cornellier and the ATU 279 executive.

Demonstrating outside Lansdowne Park might make some of the members who are prepared to vote to accept the offer change their minds out of spite, particularly if they feel intimidated/harassed/threatened by the demonstrators.

So, if you’re thinking of showing up at Lansdowne Park to express your feelings on the strike to the union members heading in to vote, please reconsider. This vote is going to be a difficult decision for some union members who are being pressured by their peers to vote “no” when they want to vote “yes” – we don’t want to change their minds on this issue and cause them to vote “no”.

2 Responses to “Why demonstrating at the ATU 279 vote at Lansdowne Park is a bad idea”

  1. R McNally says:

    I believe that the public needs to hear the truth.Andre is acting and voicing the Members position not his own. The City of Ottawa is operating under the assumption that they know what they are doing.If in fact they do ! Why did it take until Dec 10th to act and freeze the buses when they could have pushed harder in the summer when the negotiations were to be complete?
    Seems Mr.O’Brian is playing a poker and went all in! As a former driver I am in full support of Andre and the members.

  2. gordon says:

    Cornellier froze the buses, not the City. Why did he only negotiate for 7 days unlike the previous union president who successfully negotiated a contact after spending more time at the table?

    It seems to me that Cornellier wanted to strike from the beginning and it was just a matter of how he was going to achieve this.

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