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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

We Won

This gentleman's sign sums up the sentiments of the day. Most of the people I spoke to today feel that we won. Of course, that's without seeing the final agreement, and I understand that some of the techs are concerned about overtime provisions, and there are a few other concerns.

But I believe that we've won, and more than that, we just may have experienced something unique. Apparently we are the envy of the labour world. We're being studied to see why our communication strategies proved so effective, and why our morale was so high. I'm not sure that what we did right was necessarily the result of any great strategy on our part; I think it was simply the inevitable result of throwing 5500 of the most creative people in the country out on the street. But the Guild was absolutely right to foster the festive atmosphere on the picket line in Toronto. It made it fun, boosted morale exponentially, and I daresay there are elements of this lockout that I will actually miss, such as concerts in the park, and hanging out with old and new friends.

One person I spoke to feels that management probably believes that they won, and they may well believe that, because I believe that there's a huge gulf between our world view and theirs. When we get back inside, these two world views will collide, and it's going to make for a very interesting time. A very strained time.

Almost everybody I spoke to today had mixed feelings about the end of the lockout. Me too. We're happy to have our pay reinstated, but we're none too happy about going back to work for this dysfunctional Corporation. To those managers who might respond, "Well, if you don't like your jobs, go elsewhere" (and I have had a manager say that to me recently), I need only point out that that attitudes like that are a major part of the problem.

Look at this fellow on the left. Really... what is up with that? Is he looking for trouble? Sadly, the answer is probably "yes." A fellow picketer told me that Stursberg is considered a "provocateur." I glanced up this afternoon and spotted him about to enter the Broadcast Centre and snapped this shot as he was quickly surrounded by picketers hissing and booing him. Several challenged him with questions, such as was he happy with the deal, why did he initiate the lockout, etc. His answers were pat and uninformative. One picketer called him "a slippery duck, that one."

To any managers reading this, be advised that you that are going to have to treat us with kid gloves upon our return. You should probably not attempt to placate us with pizza and embarrassing platitudes. I would love to know what the high priced consultants are telling you. "Give them lots and lots of money, effect a few strategic resignations, and leave them the hell alone to do their work" would be my advice. Oh, and chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate. And/or beer.

Better hide any spare pens you've got kicking around, too. There's plenty of speculation as to exactly how many pens we'll have to steal to make up for our lost wages. Prepare for plenty of stress leave, there'll be a bit of that... oh, and don't try to argue that you were actually right in your contract demands and we've all just been fooled by Guild rhetoric. I promise you that that will NOT go over well.

Myself, I'm going to have a hard time talking to managers for a little while. I know that most middle managers weren't necessarily on senior management's side, but still... it's just how I feel right now. This whole thing is going to take some time.

Probably a lot of time.


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