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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Pining for the Fjords...

Not completely dead yet...

Just a quick note to let people know that although soon I'll no longer be updating this blog, neither will I be deleting it. It will remain online as long as Blogger will allow it.

So there.

I'll post a link to my new blog as soon as I have it set up. In the meantime, you'll find me here.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


It's a lockout blog and the lockout is over. So I will be winding down this blog. I'll start another blog elsewhere soon, though. It'll be a more personal blog, dwelling rather more on fiction writing, which is the kind of writing I do when I'm not blogging every day. If you drop back later I'll have a link up. Hopefully. If I ever get around to it. Please feel free to drop by. Although I won't be offended if it's not your cup of tea.

This is my "farewell lockout post," and it goes something like this:

Congratulations to our negotiating team for their success. My admiration to all my fellow picketers for hanging in there, and prevailing. (Okay, this is going to start sounding like a credit roll...) Thank you Laurence for your encouragement and company on the line, also Ron for your excellent conversation and for buying me those fries, and Kent, whose wit I sometimes stole for the purposes of this blog. Kathy, it was great hanging out with you again, and John, and Carlos, and Ian, thanks for the use of your hat, and Dave the Picket Marshall, you were cool, and I know it's foolish to do this because you always leave someone out, and if I did, I apologize, feel free to curse at me in the comments section.

Aigle, you really are the coolest blogger (and Happy Birthday, by the way!), John Gushue, you had all the info when I needed it and thanks for the links. Ouimet, you are one of us, more than human (although if I find out you really are a cat I won't be the least bit surprised, you certainly have the necessary poise and dignity). Tessa, thanks for the encouragement via your reduxes, they kept me motivated. Drone, it pissed me off every time the subject of blogs came up on the line and yours was the first name out of everybody's mouth, but there's a reason for that, your posts never failed to be compelling. Robin, you da man, your posts rocked. Justin Beach, Cindy, Cold Feet, Tom, Jennifer, Shoot Both Sides, Philly, Dan, and on and on and on, it was great blogging with you all. And we all know Tod's a God... amen. Thanks Tod. Again, sorry if I left anybody out, feel free to curse at me in the comments section if I did.

Leaving you for last, Matt, you get special mention, because folks, Matt really spurred me on, it's hard keeping up with Matt quality wise because he's a funny, funny man and a damned good friend. Thanks Matt. You didn't have to hit the line but you did anyway. I'm looking forward to working with you again.

I gotta thank my wife and kids, too, for putting up with me on the computer all the time. It became an obsession, one that frankly I'm happy to let go for a bit.

Now (deep breath)... I feel that I have to take ownership of my words, that if I don't pin a name to them they'll mean little or nothing. I sincerely hope that they were a positive force in the universe, that they helped people, and our cause. I don't think I ever wrote anything mean-spirited, and if I was ever harsh or angry it's because, well, I was feeling harsh or angry, I take nothing back. If anybody holds anything against me as a result of this blog... well, I'm sorry you feel that way.

Let the chips fall where they may.

Best to you all.


Joe Mahoney
CBC Radio A&E

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.

Monday, October 03, 2005

It's Over (For Real)

(I keep expanding this post... my wife says, "Aren't you in a rush to get out picketing? She's right, of course. Nevertheless...)

Wow... I couldn't wait up last night so found out about it this morning. Course we still have to ratify this puppy and I've seen few of the details. I'm picketing today; should be an interesting day on the line.

Thanks to the mediators for helping bring this to a conclusion.

I appreciate that there must have been a lot of hard work involved in wrapping this up and I don't want to rain anybody's parade, but gee, folks, the fact that we have come to an agreement means that it was possible to come to an agreement all along. Surely we could have done so without all of this nonsense. Please let's remember that the next time round.

My wife says, shouldn't you just be happy? She's right of course (doesn't she ever get tired of being right? Guess not...) She says maybe there wouldn't have been an agreement without this action. That may be the sad truth; if you liken it to World War Two, few would deny that that action was necessary. Unfortunate in the extreme, but necessary.

I'll continue this blog until ratification, then probably post my last post the day it's ratified (if it's ratified). I MAY... I say MAY.... reveal my ultra secret identity at that time, for the two and a half people that give a rat's ass. I've always been a little ashamed of the anonymity.

Or maybe not. Have to see the forgive and forget clause in the agreement, first.

In the meantime... see you on the line.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Breaking News

Guild bargaining update - October 3, 2005
Talks between the Canadian Media Guild and CBC management went on until midnight Sunday on the two main remaining issues in the lockout: whether to reinstate free coffee from coast to coast and whether that coffee should or should not be decaffeinated. The two sides are resuming discussions this morning and indications are that talks will continue well into the year 2021. A 16 year “cone of silence” went into effect at 12:01am this morning, barring communication from either side with one another. Exactly how this will affect the talks remains unclear.

Well, that's what I'm expecting, anyway.

Hope I'm wrong.