Friday, October 02, 2020

New Blog "Assorted Nonsense"

I'm blogging at Assorted Nonsense now for any that are interested. Just got it up and running so it doesn't look that hot yet... give me a year or two. See ya...

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.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Fine Print

In an effort to save some much needed money, my wife decided to cancel her gym membership. The timing was right; the membership was for eighteen months, which ended at the beginning of September. We assumed that it would simply expire. Just to be sure, my wife asked me to check the Mastercard statement online to make sure that no more payments were coming out.

Payments were still coming out.

I got out the contract and noticed a clause we had overlooked. It said that the membership would not expire unless we contacted the gym (which, for the sake of this discussion, I shall simply refer to as BODY BOOMERS).

Fine. We phoned the gym (BODY BOOMERS, in case you were wondering) and they said that we had to stop by and tell them in person. My wife was annoyed, but she agreed. So later that afternoon we stopped by to tell them in person. I waited in the car with the kids while she went into the gym (which, as you might recall, I've decided for the purposes of this discussion simply to refer to as BODY BOOMERS.)

About two minutes later my normally quite reasonable wife came storming back to the car in what I believe is technically referred to as an "apoplectic fit." "You deal with them," she said, presumably to me, as opposed to one of the kids.

So I went in to deal with them. Thinking, we're gonna get this sorted out right away, and not give a cent more to this... this BODY BOOMERS than we have to, especially what with me being locked out of my job and all. A woman was at the counter talking to this big, hairy looking character, both of them sporting name tags, and they didn't look especially unfriendly, so I launched right in. "Look, I just want to get this settled right away, what do we have to do, is there some kind a form to fill out? 'Cause we'd like to sign it right now."

The woman said, quite reasonably, "There's no form for your wife to fill out right now. First she has to provide us with two months notice, then she has to make an appointment, then she has to come in, swallow a live wildebeest whole with the entire club looking on, and then, if she's lucky, and we're in a really really really good mood, then maybe, MAYBE we'll stop charging your Mastercard our ridiculously overpriced fees." (WARNING: the preceding dialogue may have contained some slightly fabricated elements.)

"Look," I said, in my best Clint Eastwood, which on a good day sounds rather more like a really good Don Knotts: "Just give me the damn form."

"Hey, don't get upset at us, pal," the hairy guy said, quite reasonably. "We're just employees here. And anyway, the whole wildebeest thing is right here in the contract, plain as day."

"Where?" I asked.

He got out a super duper high falutin' electron microscope thingie and we took a really good look at the contract. And right there, sure enough, in a perfectly legible font really quite a bit larger than several subatomic particles put together, I spied the offensive clause. No doubt about it, my wife and I were sunk.

"That's... open to interpretation," I huffed, and stormed out.

"What if they get collection agencies after us? It could get really nasty," my wife told me later, after I informed her of my nefarious plan just to cancel the Mastercard and let the chips fall where they may.

"Hmm," I said, after which I informed her of my revised plan, which consisted mainly of her giving BODY BOOMERS several months notice, making appointments with BODY BOOMERS representatives, and quite possibly swallowing whole a certain kind of antelope hailing from the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem of Tanzania (sometimes known as a "gnu").

Moral of the story: I'm sure I don't have to tell you, except to say that it involves fine print and gnus (sometimes known as "Wildebeests").

Friday, September 30, 2005

A Day in the Life

Tod Maffin in Simcoe Park

We all know where we sit in terms of negotiations, there's no use in belabouring that, so allow me to quickly dispense with today's latest rumour before getting on to the meat and potatoes part of this evening's post.

Today's latest rumour: Managers inside are saying the best case situation is that we'll be back to work in a week, and the worst case scenario is that we'll be back to work in two weeks.

Yes, I know... yawn! We've heard it all before.

So on with the post, which today features a day in the life of, well, me. I expect you'll find it not too different than a day in the life of, well, you. (Feel free to skip to another blog if this isn't your cup of tea.)

I hit the line about 10:45am and signed in. I was about to write down "10:45am" when someone said, "Ten forty five!" as if I had been on the verge of lying about my start time and he bloody well knew it. Now, to be honest, I had briefly considered writing 10:30am, thus buying me more time, because I was flirting with the idea of signing out at some point and seeing a movie. But my conscience managed to beat the stern man hovering before me; I had already decided to be honest. Damn that pesky conscience!

I said, "What, don't you trust me?" The fellow mumbled something resembling an explanation for his gruffness, and then asked me if I would be a picket captain. Slightly irked, I said I would think about it.

Straight away, I ran into a television journalist with whom I had both attended High School and worked at two private radio stations before both of us joined the CBC within a couple of years of each other. He told me amusing stories about the writer Tom Wolfe (..."he gets so worked up about deadlines that he sometimes writes on the toilet") and then we parted ways when I ran into a retired producer who had just popped down to say hello.

These days conversations on the line don't often relate to the lockout. My producer friend and I discussed child rearing. "Used to be the mother would threaten misbehaving children with, 'Just wait 'til your father gets home!' Nowadays the father threatens the children with, 'Let's see what your mother thinks about that!' It's been quite a generational shift."

A few more laps and then it was time for Tod Maffin, delivering his Future of the CBC speech live in Simcoe park. It's a good speech, replete with lots of Penguin Cafe Orchestra music and good thoughts on our future. I didn't agree with absolutely everything Tod said, but it's a welcome addition to a valuable conversation by an intelligent, passionate advocate for public broadcasting. And my quibbles are just that, quibbles.

Afterward I did a few laps with the talented Laurence Stevenson...

...shown here with radio producer Steve Wadhams explaining our situation to a couple of interested young men. I was trying to get a picture of Steve and Laurence alone but these guys must have talked for... well, I don't know, really, I got impatient and left after about three hours (okay, maybe it just felt like three hours). It had been my intention to get a picture for a post entitled "Steve and his personal walkman, Laurence..."

Because, you see, walking with Laurence is like having your own human walkman with you, as he strums on his (I forget what the thing's called, but it looks like a large ukelele) as you picket around the building. It's quite pleasant; I highly recommend it.

Soon it was time for a break. I take my breaks here:

I try not to buy anything, because (obviously) I can't afford it these days. I'm not always successful.

Later, someone told me about a secret manager entrance... one of those places they sneak into to avoid the picket line. Feeling intrepid, I went for a look:

I found one here, on level one of the parking garage. Just for fun I snapped a shot of the security guards as they snapped one of me snapping one of them snapping one of me... or something like that. "I smiled for you, now you smile for me," one of them said to me.

Countless laps later, my brain was reduced to trying to figure out what used to be at this corner, the one where the condominiums now sit:

I'm sure it was a parking lot, but somebody told me it wasn't, it was something else.

It was a parking lot, dammit, stop screwing with my brain!

And wait a minute... is that... could it be... trees up there?

That's just bizarre.

Well, I would go on, but it's late and you get the gist. A day on the line, much like any other.

Allow me to finish with:

"D'uhhh... d'uhhh... d'uhhh? D'uhhh?"

A cheap shot, I know, but I just couldn't resist. Hey, he started it! ...umm...

Oh great, now I sound like my kids.

One of us needs a time out.

Outta Here

Okay, off to picket, so no new posts 'til tonight... or tomorrow.

In the meantime, check out Matt's latest... thank God for Matt or I don't think I would have survived this thing.

What do you mean you've already seen it? What do you mean you check out his blog before mine?!

Ah, it's okay.

I always check out his blog first too. :-)

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Tod Speaks

On the 1% chance you haven't read about this on Tod's Blog or elsewhere:

Hey folks!

Tomorrow at Simcoe Park in Toronto at 2 pm, Tod Maffin is going to be giving a brief talk featuring some really exciting ideas about how the CBC could potentially work in the future. Tod has worked tirelessly to help the nation's broadcaster. He's given a lot of his time, developed a website and blog to make sure we all have a place across the country to check in and see how our brothers and sisters in arms are faring. PLEASE if you can, come on down and support Tod, bring everyone you can, and even more importantly, let management see how much we all believe in creating a vibrant national broadcaster. He's got some amazing ideas.

Please come,


Cathi Bond

I'll be there, lurking anonymously amongst the crowd...

Blue Collar Blues

A teacher friend of mine was involved in a labour dispute a few years ago, out on strike for two, maybe three weeks. I recall hearing about it and thinking that I really should give him a call, offer my support. At the time I'd already been on a picket line at least once, perhaps twice. But time went by and I never picked up the phone. Too busy; they settled before I could call.

I try to remember this when I think of all the people that I haven't heard from during the lockout. Most of my family have checked in (except one sister, and I forgive her because, well, that's just her). This lockout is more public than the CEP labour disputes I've been involved in; as a result I've heard from a lot more people than ever before. Often it is the first thing out of people's mouths when I see them. But there are a lot that haven't checked in, and I can't say as I really blame them, having dropped the ball myself on that score.

There is, however, one batch of people that do have me feeling a little irked. And that's the people with whom I have a professional relationship, that are only too happy to lean on me when I'm gainfully employed. I can think of several writers, musicians, actors, freelance producers and more, all of whom have made money as a result of their relationship with me, some of whom have made a lot of money and furthered their careers, not to mention realized a dream or two, thanks to our professional relationship. And with the exception of two, I have not heard from any of these people during the lockout. You can bet your derriere I'll hear from them when I get back inside.

Of course, they live busy lives just like the rest of us, so I know that I will feel a little miffed for awhile and then forget about it. I'm confident that the two that I'm in touch with now really mean it when they ask me how I'm doing; I suppose if the others did the same it would represent no more than a mercenary gesture, designed to procure more work once I'm back inside.

Just the same, I plan to redouble my efforts to be supportive in the future when someone I know is out on the line.

Speaking of which, I wonder what giving 5500 broadcasters/journalists a taste of the picket line will do for the future of the labour movement in this country. For starters, I'm guessing a whole lot of blue collar workers might just have found themselves a bunch of new friends.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Latest Offer

Well, I've taken a good look at this much vaunted latest offer, studied it closely for a good two, three seconds, and the verdict is...

... hell if I know. That's what negotiating committees are for. They've spent months and months studying this thing and I expect they can tell at a glance if it's what we're looking for.

If it isn't a good contract, then we must stay the course. I haven't picketed for the last seven weeks for a lousy deal. We've won the public relations war hands down, now we need only hang in there.

For what it's worth, the negotiating team has the complete support of this blogger. I would like to see them secure a deal that will leave me feeling like the last few weeks have meant something. Something other than anxiety attacks and blistered feet. I know we'll never make up the lost income. But it sure would be nice to go back inside with the kind of warm, rosy glow that accompanies having drunk just a bit too much of your favourite single malt scotch. That, and the sure and certain knowledge that you've made some bastard pay for screwing you around.


It's starting to get a little chilly at night, and I've heard some people talking about setting up those old oil barrels around the Broadcast Centre. For the love of God, don't do it! For the following reasons:

1. I'm already slowly dying from having breathed the creosote soaked wood burned the last two times out.

2. They stink.

3. From what I understand, the man largely responsible for procuring them last time is now a manager on the inside

4. They stink, they really do, you'll have to throw your jackets and clothes out afterward, trust me on this one

5. You can achieve the same effect by simply dressing warmly (yeah, I know I'm a smart ass)

Mind you, if you can find some "artificial" oil barrels (like those artificial gas fireplaces) then be my guest. If they don't exist, perhaps somebody ought to invent them.

Just Plain Bizarre

Just plain bizarre, from our man back East, John Gushue...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A Human Face

Thanks to the On The Line newsletter people for changing the advertisement. I apologize for my crankiness... and thanks for the newsletter, it's informative and a much appreciated read both "on the line" and at home.

A fellow blogger took a few potshots at some of the security staff recently. I understand the impulse behind the potshots (especially if one is feeling cranky) but I feel the need to point out a few things. Number one, the security staff aren't our enemies, and this lot is positively friendly compared to the batch we encountered the last time out (except for Lucky... anybody remember Lucky? Lucky was all right).

Having done a few stints as a Picket Captain, and having spoken to other Picket Captains, I know that this bunch of security guards has come to our aid on several occasions. They've even spouted our party line to passersby (they know it off by heart, having heard it often enough). They have complimented our picket line for its restraint and our good sense. Many of the security guards are in transition, on their way to becoming firemen, police officers.

One (figured prominently in my fellow blogger's photos) is a fellow who has completely turned his life around after kicking drugs several years ago, and is now raising an adopted two year old girl by himself, after rescuing her from a Bad Scene. This man has my respect.

I'm not completely naive... I know that they would knock some of our heads should we attempt to storm the building or do something equally foolish. But that's not going to happen on this picket line.

So let's keep our focus on the people responsible for this mess.

I'll give you a hint... it ain't the security guards.

Stursberg Invited to Film Festival... Not!

This morning I received an e-mail from a friend who has been working overseas for an international film festival. He asked me how the lockout was going, asked me if I was affected by it, and then confessed that he was contacting me on behalf of a colleague seeking contact information for one "Richard Stursberg, Executive VP of English Television, CBC."

I wrote back that yes, thanks to the likes of Richard Stursberg, I am affected by the lockout. "I must know," I wrote, "what could your colleague possibly want with Stursberg? If it's to tar and feather him, then I would love to help in any way I can."

My friend promptly replied:

"(We're) supposed to be inviting him to attend the film fest.

But now, we’re all thinking, hmmmm, maybe (the boss) is not in tune with the goings on back home. I suggested that my colleague go back to the boss and say “Can’t find an email address for him, but we did receive one request to have him tarred and feathered!”

Your words have brought much amusement to the gang here.

Keep up the good fight."

Hopefully he will not be invited after all. I suggested that my friend have his colleagues invite me instead.

Still waiting to hear back on that one.

Tar and Feathers

On the line today I got to thinking about Rabinovitch, and Stursberg, and yes, our old pal Smith too (you know, the guy from the Matrix), and my thoughts wondered, as they are wont to do whilst circling buildings ad infinitum on cold, blustery days, and I thought, gee, here we are just politely picketing, writing, advocating, bus riding, demonstrating and so on while they continue to stick it to us (and the Canadian public) day after day.

A couple of hundred years ago we would have just run them out of town. But not before a good ol' fashioned tar and featherin'.

Here's what Wikepedia has to say on the matter of tarring and feathering:

"Tarring and feathering was a typical punishment used to enforce justice in feudal Europe and its colonies, as well as the early American frontier. Both tar used in construction and feathers from edible fowl sources (e.g. chicken) were plentiful in the middle and western United States where the practice primarily flourished. The idea was to hurt and humiliate a person enough so they would leave town and cause no more mischief. Hot tar was either poured or painted on to a criminal while he (rarely she) was immobilized. If the tar is hot enough to burn the skin, it is a regular form of corporal punishment, otherwise it mainly falls into the category public humiliation."

Now, I'm not saying that we should (necessarily) resort to such means to deal with the aforementioned nincompoops, I'm just saying that the concept crossed my mind whilst thinking about them, sort of a "word association" type thing:

"What pops into your mind when I say Rabinovitch?"


"How 'bout Stursberg?"



"Tar AND Feathers."

Were the practice still in vogue today we would simply have tarred and feathered the bastards by week three and have been done with it. With few if any problems with subsequent senior managers, I would imagine.

Although one cannot help but yearn for the halcyon days of tarring and feathering, we live in a civilized age now (frequent genocides and a curious dearth of binding arbitration notwithstanding) and must perforce devise civilized means to settle our disputes (lest we wind up serving time in some other Canadian institution...)

So I'm thinkin' corn syrup and Rice Krispies instead.

Who's in?

Monday, September 26, 2005

Open the Door, and Let Us In

Ten hours on the line today, and ten more tomorrow.

Ye Gods.

What did we learn today? That we may not get paid until three weeks after we're back inside. That we will have to picket right up to the bitter end, because the bylaws state that in order to get lockout pay, we have to picket, and it looks like we'll sure need that money to tide us through.

In light of this and for other good reasons, we should be insisting that management let us in as soon as an agreement is reached, with ratification to come later. It's not unprecedented and it's an opportunity for management to show a little goodwill. For us to be picketing after an agreement is reached (well, anytime actually) is a waste of time and resources. And management has their work cut out for them restoring amicable relations; if I were them I'd leap on this opportunity to get a head start. Mind you, it wouldn't placate everybody (far from it), but it would be a major step in the right direction.

We don't have to do absolutely EVERYTHING the hard way.


Another quick note before I pack it in:

The newsletter On The Line has a bit (on page three of Saturday's edition) which says: "Tired of some of the questionable content in some of the Lockout Blogs?" and then goes on to promote a site which presumably has less questionable content.

Myself, I find this offensive. The blogs are not perfect but they are what they are and people know to take them with a grain of salt. And there are some damned fine lockout blogs out there.
The remark taints all the lockout blogs without acknowledging the good ones. It's bad form to promote your own material by denigrating that of others, folks.

Please change the advertisement.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

A Neutral Country

The CBC Credit Union in the Broadcast Centre has become a bit of a neutral zone. Locked out workers can enter from John St, and managers can enter from the orange elevator hallway. Inside, it is not possible to mingle, as the two areas are separate, but workers and managers can speak over the counter to one another. And apparently there have been a few heated exchanges.

As a result, staff in the credit union have begun locking the managers' door. If a manager shows up, they check to see who's standing on the locked-out side. If the locked out worker is a known hothead, and the manager is a known hothead, the door remains locked, and never the twain shall meet.

It is the managers who have to wait, though, not the locked out workers.

Note to managers:

Don't complain about being broke.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

More Ratification Questions

It just occurred to me (based on past experience, which I've largely blocked out of my memory) that there should be no picketing once an agreement is reached, and during the ratification process. So the downside is we still don't get full pay 'til we're back inside, but the plus is we should continue to get picket duty pay, but without having to picket.

Again, this is merely speculation on my part; I'd really like someone in the know (in an official capacity) to chime in on how it will work exactly. I suppose there might be some reluctance on CMG's part to contribute to such a discussion, as it might serve only to get people's hopes ups only to be dashed when this latest Knight in Shining Armour stumbles and falls off his horse. But it will all have to be sorted out eventually, so we may as well know now.

I imagine also that (as anonymous indicated earlier) neither side knows exactly how it will work until they sort it out amongst themselves. But surely some stuff (such as do we get paid for not picketing during the ratification process) must already be known.

Anton from Toronto, where art thou?


As I mentioned before, my gut feeling tells me that we'll be looking at ratification in a couple of weeks. (Of course, my gut feeling told me this lockout would never happen in the first place...)

So how will ratification work and how long will it take? Robin Rowland posted on the subject a while back:

"Both sides, management and union have to ratify an agreement. There have been cases in Canada where management, not the union, has rejected an agreement that was reached at the negotiating table. Given the sad record of Senior Management at CBC this could be a possiblity in our case."

And here's what one correspondent says on the subject:

"This is a difficult question because this is not a strike. At any point the CBC can unlock the doors. I understand that the CBC will not do this. Once there is a deal, it would have to be printed (maybe translated) in some form. Printing won't take long, but translating could.

Then there must be meetings everywhere to explain the deal and a secret ballot. Let's try to estimate: d-day the contract is done; d-day plus 1 it is ready and on its way to the members. Say day 2-5 for meetings (it could be longer); Day 6 & 7 for the vote; Day 8 and 9 to count. There would have to be a return to work deal as well. For example what shows will be on the different networks (remember this is traditionally season change, patricularly in TV).

In units that don't work 9-5, who works what shift? Remember all the schedulers are also out. Say day 10 & 11 for that.So it could be a while. Of course the CBC could make it go quicker if they accept the bargaining committee's recomendation to accept the deal and open the door. But don't hold your breath for that!"

If anybody else has any thoughts on the matter, I'd love to hear them.