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  • authored by siggy
  • published Tue, Nov 11, 2003

Questions for Ed

I can't believe it, one day after visiting the CLAC site (because of the Neilson dairy query) and listening to the clac promo Ed, you show up here. How'd you know it was me?

quote:


CLAC is often bad-mouthed as being pro-employer (the biggest insult in the union business) by competitor unions but the facts remain that CLAC collective agreements are good and its service excellent. It's one of the fastest-growing unions in Canada.


I do want to ask a couple questions of Ed (CLAC). I hate to admit it but when I visited the CLAC site I hesitated to enter all the way, I just listened to the promo and left. I guess because I'm a union member, it was a knee jerk reaction, afraid once I was in, I may not be able to get out eh.

Are CLAC contracts available on the website? And could you tell us how CLAC has become one of the fastest growing unions? Who do they organize, how do they grow the membership?

  • posted by CLAC
  • Wed, Nov 12, 2003 6:50am

I'd like to say that I posted my message in response to your visit to our site, but that's not really the case. A good coincidence, nevertheless.

I'm sorry you didn't have an opportunity to browse our site further. There's a lot of material there--for example, the full text of decisions in arbitration cases, press releases, and much more. And no matter how deep you get into the site, we always let you out!

Unfortunately, we don't yet have collective agreements up and running on the site. With almost 600 agreements across Canada, this is a fairly major undertaking, but I expect it will happen within the next few years.

Collective agreements are public documents, and in Ontario it is required that they be filed with the Ministry of Labour's Collective Agreements Library, from which the public can access them. However, if you are interested in a random sampling of agreements, or a specific agreement, I'd be happy to send them to you.

Why is CLAC such a fast-growing union? I'll try to keep the answer short. We place a very heavy emphasis on service, with an excellent ratio of staff representatives to members (about 1 to 500). We provide excellent training, in labour relations and job-related areas, to members. We know that mindless militancy is bad and so is being cooperative at all costs--we know when to be tough, and know when to walk softly. We spend union dues on representation, not on external causes--our members are our main focus and they're our "boss" too. We refuse to sign "no-raid pacts" with other unions, meaning that our members can leave if they want--which makes us work extra-hard.

A lot of this sounds like common sense, but many in the labour movement would disagree.

We grow largely by organizing the unorganized, though traditional organizing campaigns. In Ontario, the OLRB reports show that we're among the most active unions in organizing. We also frequently have to file charges against employers because of interference in our organizing campaigns. We are multi-sector and represent almost every type of workplace: retail, service, health, manufacturing, construction, transportation, volunteer firefighters, and more. In some instances (such as Neilson Dairy) we grow when approached by members of other unions.

I hope this info is helpful.

Ed

  • posted by NIGHTS 046
  • Wed, Nov 12, 2003 7:31am

CLAC
Thanks for having the internal fortitude to sign on Ed, I hope you have enough to stay with us, as I'm sure you will soon find out there are a lot of Union members on this site who have become very bitter with the way things seem to be spiraling downwards within unions today and tough questions are the order of the day.

  • posted by siggy
  • Wed, Nov 12, 2003 7:31am

I appreciate your signing on to the forum Ed (and using your real name) too bad other union officials don't see the value in open discussion.

quote:


We grow largely by organizing the unorganized, though traditional organizing campaigns.


I will re-visit the site, now I know I can get out.

What is CLAC's most recent non-union organize?

I'm not a fan of CLAC, pro'lly because I'm one of those mindless militant types, act now talk later and I believe the employers have earned it.

Considering the condition of Canadian service workers and especially those now stuck behind concessionary agreements, making minimum less dues, mindlessly militant might have had better results than the years of unsuccessful banter with greedy employers. Workers might now be moving ahead instead of playing cough-up and catch-up. IMO

The parting of ways may be in our definition of what a good contract is and what constitutes fair and livable wages for workers.

  • posted by robbie_dee
  • Wed, Nov 12, 2003 7:58am

A few more questions:

Are you elected to your current position, Ed? Which CLAC officers are elected, and how often?

What kind of representation does CLAC provide for people who are not Dutch or members of the Christian Reformed church? Does CLAC have any senior officials who are not Dutch or CR church members?

  • posted by Slaveway Dave
  • Wed, Nov 12, 2003 9:30am

Could we get a link to the CLAC site? Thanks.

  • posted by CLAC
  • Wed, Nov 12, 2003 1:11pm

Thanks, Nights. Don't give up on unionism--there are lots of good things going on out there as well.

Siggy, some recent (and fairly high profile) CLAC organizing successes in Ontario deal with volunteer firefighters. Over the past year, almost 500 of them have joined CLAC, including those employed by the amalgamated City of Hamilton, the City of Belleville, and, most recently, the City of Quinte West (Trenton area). None of these were displacements of existing unions.

We may not disagree as much as you think. I'm not opposed to militancy in all situations. But there are different kinds of militancy. Some unions would describe themselves as militant--the rock-throwing, name-calling kind of militant. But are they militant in aggressively following up the concerns of the little guy? CLAC is in fact quite militant in insisting that workplace concerns be dealt with (read the many arbitration cases on our website). And, despite much misinformation to the contrary, CLAC supports the right to strike and has exercised that right.

How do you define fair and liveable wages, and what constitutes a good contract?

To Robbie Dee: one might be forgiven for concluding that you're trying to make a statement (albeit an inaccurate one) in the guise of a question. Some facts, anyway: CLAC's National Convention (consisting largely of delegates from locals) elects its National Board. The National Board oversees the hiring of staff, including my position. Each local also elects its own board, to which hired staff answer as well.

CLAC does not hire staff or represent members based on ethnic background or church denomination. CLAC is not affiliated with any church, denomination, or religious group.

CLAC's staff and senior management come from a wide variety of backgrounds. I am a proud Canadian, as were my parents, as were my grandparents... You get the drift. As for religious affiliation--obviously we don't hire based on church attendance or lack thereof, nor do we keep statistics on that.

Our members reflect the mosaic that is Canadian society. People from many faith backgrounds--or no faith background at all--can appreciate a progressive approach to labour relations.

Slaveway Dave: you can visit our site at www.clac.ca. We'd appreciate your feedback on it.

Ed Bosveld
Provincial Director
CLAC

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Wed, Nov 12, 2003 1:41pm

That is:

www.clac.ca
There is no period after the 'ca'

I question if you have no church/religion/or connotations of religion - why utilize the word 'christian'?

  • posted by robbie_dee
  • Wed, Nov 12, 2003 1:46pm

quote:


To Robbie Dee: one might be forgiven for concluding that you're trying to make a statement (albeit an inaccurate one) in the guise of a question.


I guess what I am doing is raising certain points of contention that have been alleged about CLAC in the past from various sources, including former members and other unions. I thought, though, since you've been open enough to visit this site, that it would be more polite of me to raise these points in the form of questions, rather than accusations.

If you're going to participate in an open forum like this, though, I hope you are prepared to address some of the concerns that various people have raised about your union in the past. If these concerns are inaccurate, then prove it. Such discourse and debate can be more challenging than, say, just suing your critics. If you are now prepared to do this, I say welcome. And I'd also like to ask you a few more questions. You wrote:

quote:


Some facts, anyway: CLAC's National Convention (consisting largely of delegates from locals) elects its National Board. The National Board oversees the hiring of staff, including my position. Each local also elects its own board, to which hired staff answer as well.

CLAC does not hire staff or represent members based on ethnic background or church denomination. CLAC is not affiliated with any church, denomination, or religious group.

CLAC's staff and senior management come from a wide variety of backgrounds. I am a proud Canadian, as were my parents, as were my grandparents... You get the drift. As for religious affiliation--obviously we don't hire based on church attendance or lack thereof, nor do we keep statistics on that.


This sounds very good. I'd like to know, though, if you can give me any examples to back it up. Have there in fact been any present or past senior officials in CLAC who were not members of the Christian Reformed church? Please understand I have nothing against the Christian Reformed church, per se. But if it just so happens that your union has never elected, hired, or promoted non CR members to high office, then I think that may cast some doubt on your claims that the union is non-denominational. If I were a worker who was not Dutch and not a Christian Reformed church member, (or even, not a Christian at all), and I was looking to join your union, I would need more than a mere platitude to convince me that I would really be welcome in it.

Also, as for the specific process of electing your board and holding a national convention - is this spelled out in your constitution? Is there a copy of your constitution available online? This is not an accusation, I did not find it when I was looking around your site, but I may well have missed it.

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Wed, Nov 12, 2003 3:29pm

Yes, one might want to look towards the heavens...

IMO, ya'll must take a very close look at the 'heavenly' body floating in...I don't believe it would be the angel you are looking for...

  • posted by CLAC
  • Wed, Nov 12, 2003 7:15pm

Yankee--we use the word "Christian" because it reflects our philosophy and approach. (Every union has an operating philosophy; some are more open about it than others.) In some parts of the the world Christian Democratic political parties are common; they are not FOR Christians specifically, but advocate certain principles. (Think about this discussion next time you pass a YMCA )

Robbie Dee--you're welcome to raise any points of contention you wish, whether in the form of a question or an accusation. However, you should be aware that I will be pleased to answer questions about CLAC, but I cannot cross certain lines in answering personal questions about CLAC staff. It's not only that I don't know every CLAC staffer's religious affiliation or lack thereof; even if we kept such records, I wouldn't be able to share that info with you, any more than I would share their home addresses, names of family members, or musical preferences. I'm curious why it is so important to you where or whether our staff attend church.

In an attempt to answer the gist of your question anyway, without compromising privacy, I can tell you this: I have personal knowledge that church affiliation/background has nothing to do with being a senior official in CLAC. Among those senior staff where I do know something about their beliefs, I know of those who attend Catholic churches, Mennonite churches, and those who attend no church at all.

I expect this is more information than you'll get out of any other union on the religious background of their staff (though do give it a try!) and it's certainly as far as I can go.

Again, although we don't keep such records, it's my educated opinion that the vast majority of our members are not Christian. I have personally organized many workers who are Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Muslim, and atheist.

By the way, whether you're convinced or not, we have no trouble convincing non-Christians to join CLAC. Surely you don't think that the workers of Georgetown's dairy, or of Hamilton's volunteer fire department, joined CLAC because they've all suddenly converted to Christianity?

Re: national board and convention--yes, these are requirements of our constitution. Like our collective agreements, the constitution is not yet on-line, but I hope that it will be soon.

And, finally, we certainly prefer debate to libel lawsuits. Regrettably, some of our critics only "debate" us when we're not around and can't respond, and this sometimes leads to well-justified libel action.

I commend you on being forthright in directing your questions/criticisms at us. Keep the questions coming!

  • posted by siggy
  • Wed, Nov 12, 2003 10:26pm

quote:


But are they militant in aggressively following up the concerns of the little guy?


"Little guy"?... can you expand?

quote:


How do you define fair and liveable wages, and what constitutes a good contract?


I asked you first.

quote:


(Think about this discussion next time you pass a YMCA


You're not serious, you're comparing CLAC to YMCA? More on point, you want us to compare CLAC to YMCA? CLAC is a union assosiation which represents members. YMCA is a charitable organization. Could you tell us where you draw your comparison? More on point, tell us where/why you think we should draw the comparison?

quote:


And, finally, we certainly prefer debate to libel lawsuits.


One last thing. I couldn't find an open forum on the CLAC site. Open forums are excellent vehicles for debate, is there a reason the CLAC website doesn't have one?

  • posted by NIGHTS 046
  • Thu, Nov 13, 2003 6:36am

CLAC can't say you were not warned !

quote:


tough questions are the order of the day.


Your in the hornets nest now and they are beginning to swarm.

  • posted by robbie_dee
  • Thu, Nov 13, 2003 7:31am

[EDITED: I'm going to come back to this thread when I have a little more time.]

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Thu, Nov 13, 2003 12:39pm

With reference to the YMCA - I agree with Siggy, how can you compare CLAC to the YMCA? Where I reside we do not have a YMCA so I will not have the opportunity to think about 'this' discussion. In actual fact, about the closest I can get to a YMCA is by song. If my memory serves me correct there was a disco 'error' song 'YMCA' - whereby there was an indian, a cop, a construction worker..etal...

Does your christian labor organization represent indians, cops, or construction workers?

As we see in many of the unions today, several executives have been charged with numerous counts of fraud, mismanagement of funds, etc. Has any of the executive of CLAC had any charges laid against them? If so, for what?

The CLAC, as a government certified union - any charges laid against them, again, if so, for what?

I read where the CLAC is 'commited' to the biblical principles of social justice and who seek to live in obedience word of God as it applies to employer-employee relations..

If you are a lone union member standing up for your rights, with your picket sign in hand..the lord is going to help you?

I do not want to come off as condescending here, however, I would be interested in your answer to this question/scenario..

There are hookers, tramping the streets - perhaps getting themselves through college or university, believe in the lord, and they opt to unionize. Would CLAC permit - YCWC - You Come With Cash - and doubtful as it is, what could you offer these folks? CLAC does welcome all walks of life, right?

  • posted by CLAC
  • Fri, Nov 14, 2003 2:03pm

Siggy--by "little guy" I mean the unionized worker. Militancy means little if the union member can't get his phone calls returned, doesn't get support for a grievance, etc.

YMCA comment--that was tongue-in-cheek. Note the big smiley face beside my comment. Of course I'm not comparing the YMCA to a trade union. And yes, I remember the horrible Village People song. We do represent natives and construction workers; I'm not sure about the other Village People singers (policeman? soldier?).

What's a fair and liveable wage/good contract? Entire conferences have been held, and books written, on this topic, and I can't take that much space. But a few thoughts:

-a good contract takes a holistic approach: not only does it provide strong economic benefits (wages, benefits, pension) but also considers areas such as quality of life, job satisfaction, worker participation, etc. It ensures fair and just treatment of employees and particularly provides for the protection of the especially-vulnerable.

-what's a fair and liveable wage? Fair and liveable are two different things. Fair will always be liveable but liveable isn't always fair. I don't know a formula by which a fair wage can be calculated. In some sectors (eg. long-term care) you can take the highest wage in the industry and it's still not fair. In other sectors (eg. pro sports) perhaps even the "minimum wage" is well above a fair wage. I've heard the argument that a wage can never be fair, because if an enterprise paid a fair wage, there would be no profit left, ever. I don't buy that in its entirety. I think that a fair wage exists where there is a proper connection between the wage and the value of the work, the conditions of the work, the qualifications of the worker, etc.

Siggy, your thoughts on fair wages/contracts?

Re: CLAC web site--as you can tell from this discussion, there are lots of things which still need to be added--collective agreements, constitution, etc. An open forum is an equally good idea. It's not there yet, but give it time. It's a relatively new site.

Yankee--no CLAC executive has ever been charged with fraud or anything similar. Nor have the authorities ever charged CLAC with such things.

If we were approached by prostitutes, seeking to organize, what would we do? I'm not entirely sure. If they're in a jurisdiction where their activities are illegal, that would certainly be a bar to organizing. If they could legally organize--who is the employer? Who would conduct negotiations for the employer? I think that (traditional) organizing would be an impractical response to their issues; but a union, including CLAC, could provide them with assistance on matters such as health and safety, government relations, etc.

Have a great weekend.

Ed Bosveld
Provincial Director

  • posted by siggy
  • Sat, Nov 15, 2003 9:10am

How much longer do workers, union and non, have to listen to union and association leaders defending/sanctifying profit?

Ed, the round rhetorics members have to listen to, are all based entirely on consideration for the almighty corporate profit above workers' profit. What the hell is that?

Is financial investment of more value than personal investment? Who said? And why do unions continue to give corporate greed lip service?

I do not believe the not_so_subtle comparison between ymca and clac was tongue and cheek at all, you gave red-herring a shot and it failed.

A spoonful of sugar won't help any more. As fancy schmancy as the promo is, (clac) Christian(?) = marketing to a specific niche = capitalizing.

quote:


I think that a fair wage exists where there is a proper connection between the wage and the value of the work, the conditions of the work, the qualifications of the worker, etc.

Siggy, your thoughts on fair wages/contracts?


"The value of the work"...

Hypothetical: There is a company that makes computerized plastic cut outs, little plastic union guys, all shapes and sizes. It has two job descriptions, garbage remover and high tech computer operator.

The operator's job is to input data and operate the computerized equipment. His expertise is responsible for the finished product. All day he sits and operates the computerized equipment.

His work gives rise to the garbage removers work, This is a very dangerous job. The garbage collector has to be on the ball.

If the plastic tail ends, which are spewed at the speed of light, are not cleared away in a timely fashion the computer operator cannot continue to make the product. No product, no profit. Which job has more value?

"The value of the work" is elitist crap... absent any skill there is no bottom line, no profit.

Ed you make "fair and livable" sound like elusive concepts that will take science eons to decipher.

Oh and if it's not too much trouble I would like to see and would appreciate a copy of a recent clac retail and/or service workers agreement?

  • posted by x-teamster
  • Sat, Nov 15, 2003 1:04pm

Siggy,

I'm new to the site, but i can tell you the info that Ed has been giving is quite corect, as a new clac member, i can say that they seem to be working in our best interest. At this time i would like to give more info as to how, but i am in avery tight spot, but i can say that loblaws employees is not the only employees that Westons is giving the gears to & so far the clac is doing the job that they have been hired to do, if not more.

  • posted by siggy
  • Sat, Nov 15, 2003 2:21pm

Hi XT and welcome for sure.

quote:


At this time i would like to give more info as to how, but i am in avery tight spot, but i can say that loblaws employees is not the only employees that Westons is giving the gears to & so far the clac is doing the job that they have been hired to do, if not more.


I'm going to reserve taking down my guard until you're out of that "tight spot" (secrets are our enemy) and until we hear your story accompanied by all the appropriate documentation which places clac out front of mainstream biz union.

Unfortunately "Ed said" doesn't cut, nothing personal Ed and I certainly do appreciate and respect Ed's participation here.

There are past members of clac that share an entirely different version of clac representation and when they voiced dissention, they were quickly and effectively muzzled. One that immediately comes to mind is clac attack.

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Sat, Nov 15, 2003 4:01pm

It must be wonderful, a beautiful, magical, scenario where the workers and management become one.

Could someone please post where/what has been done that is 'any of the above' - rise - to the occasion.

What does your membership pay monthly in union dues? In return, they receive? Can the union membership receive where funds are invested, how high are funds invested? A statement?

CLAC, I am in not agreement with you.

Show me the powers that be, show me where the money goes, show me?

  • posted by NIGHTS 046
  • Sat, Nov 15, 2003 5:02pm

siggy I might be out of line but why are you using
documentation from the CLC,OPEIU,CAW,IWA,ect. in order to put down a non CLC Union-Association ?
It seems to me you are attacking CLAC on the "facts" given by the rest of the mainstream biz-union boys !
If you have something concrete on CLAC please let us know because right now I'm confused !

  • posted by siggy
  • Sat, Nov 15, 2003 5:11pm

Good point Nights.

I would like to see workers rights being defended in law. Actual legislation. Little wins here and there with biz unions spewing rhetoric about it and workers continually battling the same issues over and over with pot luck arb's is all they have to offer, not good enough.

If clac has impacted legislation which benefits workers in general I'd like to hear it. If clac has taken on the big guys and won I'd like to hear it. Ed said they were different, I say they're the same. The institution and status quo comes first and workers pay for it.

  • posted by robbie_dee
  • Sat, Nov 15, 2003 5:20pm

Check out the archived clacattack discussion board for quotes from rank and file members.

CLAC sued the rank and file worker who maintained that site. That's why it's gone now - we only have an archived version. Reminds me of something another union has done before, too.

  • posted by x-teamster
  • Sat, Nov 15, 2003 8:13pm

just a note to ask what is the difference between any union? my opion is the represention. I understand a lot of employees in your union are not happy with the reps that you people are dealing with. If that is the case there will be people taking shots at them. Would that not be the same as the comments that you are talking about from either past or current clac members? corect me if i am wrong but i think i could find people that have problems with every union out there, it does not make them bad, it just means people have there own opion. What we need is ot have a union that will look out for everyones best interest(employees& not the company)

For the next question, the clac is taking on one of the biggest companies in canada"weston", how they will do is yet to be seen, but what i hear they are putting up one hell of a fight

  • posted by blasdell
  • Sun, Nov 16, 2003 6:08am

Hi X-T, what info do you have about Westons and CLAC "taking them on". Are there negotiations ongoing?Have they settled ant contracts recenty?Has there been any contributions to an "education fund" Did Neilson employees get lump sum payments as raises?

  • posted by siggy
  • Tue, Nov 18, 2003 7:01am

quote:


CLAC
Thanks for having the internal fortitude to sign on Ed, I hope you have enough to stay with us,


Is this thing on? Ed are you there, can you hear me?

  • posted by CLAC
  • Tue, Nov 18, 2003 2:44pm

Hi Siggy et al,

I haven't disappeared. I just haven't yet found a way to be engaged in this discussion full-time. A lot of questions since my last post....

Re: YMCA comparison--I don't have the computer savvy to hack into this site, go back to my post, and place a smiley face where there wasn't one originally. So you'll have to accept (maybe you won't) that a bracketed comment with a smiley beside it is not entirely serious. I'm not going to waste any more bandwidth on it.

Siggy--you'll have to point out where I "sanctified" profit, or does the mere mention of it make you see red? I'm in favour of companies being profitable, by the way. Just not at the expense of their employees. And I'd much rather negotiate with a profitable company than one that's not.

If CLAC was a mere marketing scheme, we'd do better to drop the "Christian" thing and simply promote a cooperative, mutual-gains approach, which polls consistently show a vast majority of people support.

Siggy, if you think a "fair and liveable wage" is not an elusive concept, please define. Easy enough to take issue with my definition.

I'd be happy to send you a copy of a recent CLAC retail/service agreement. Where would you like it sent?

Yankee--our normal dues structure results in members paying approx. 1.4% of gross wages in dues (depending on the sector, the details may vary slightly, but the overall amount is closely in that range.) Initiation fees are capped at $25. In return, members receive service (we have about 1 staff rep per 500 members), including collective agreement negotiation, enforcement of collective agreement and legislation via grievance/arbitration (and other forums where necessary), training, research, government relations, etc. As required by law, members are entitled to an audited annual financial statement, and these are available for members.

Nights raises a pretty good point. The issues raised by CLAC are almost always raised by the competition--and then taken by some to be fact. For example, the CLAC attack site (ruled by the courts to be libelous) was founded by a probationary employee at a CLAC-organized workplace. He was terminated at or near the end of his probation, and he blamed his termination on the union, without a shred of evidence. The union has records of its efforts to assist him, but the rights of probationary employees under most collective agreements are limited. He took his complaint to the B.C. Labour Board, which didn't buy it (neither did his co-workers--note how their support is conspicious by its absence--maybe they're all part of the conspiracy too.) He then (he says) gathered the support of a bunch of CLAC's competitor unions and started his web site. It was ruled to be libelous.

CLAC has 28 000 members. The "mainstream" labour movement spends an enormous amount of time trying to find and showcase unhappy CLAC members. And yet they can't seem to find more than half a dozen.

Does CLAC make mistakes? Absolutely. On occasion, CLAC staff do dumb things. But stop asking the competition whether CLAC does a good job. They know we do. If we did a terrible job, they wouldn't be concerned. Our members would all leave, and none of their members would join us.

Rather than ask the competition, why not check the record? Go to the Ontario Labour Relations Board, which receives hundreds of Duty of Fair Representation complaints annually. Find out how many are filed against CLAC. Very, very few. And how many are successful? Even less. Now, the die-hard anti-CLACker can desperately try to cook up some explanation for this, I'm sure, but the facts speak for themselves.

Finally, Siggy asks about legislative wins. It would be a bit vain for CLAC, with 28 000 members (as opposed to the CLC's 2-million plus) to claim that it can single-handedly make a big legislative splash. Having said that, CLAC actively lobbies on all kinds of labour issues. On many issues (for example, banning replacement workers in Ontario) we stand solidly with other trade unions. We can claim to have been the major influence behind changes to Ontario law (followed by other jurisdictions) to allow conscientious objector status within bargaining units. That was a long time ago--perhaps early 1970s?

One upcoming legislative battle: I've mentioned that we represent a lot of volunteer firefighters. Through a loophole in law, these are not deemed to be an essential service. As such, they don't have automatic recourse to binding contract arbitration--a big problem for a group that feels duty-bound not to strike. We're working on it.

CLAC's very existence came out of a major victory. When CLAC was founded, the Ontario Labour Relations Board decided that it would not certify a union which, in the opinion of the Board, "discriminated" on the basis of religion. This notwithstanding the fact that CLAC doesn't discriminate on the basis of religion. In 1963, the Supreme Court of Ontario ruled that the Labour Board was wrong, that CLAC is entitled to exist, and that CLAC doesn't discriminate on the basis of religion. The court noted the irony--the Labour Board was (wrongly) appealing to laws passed by a legislature that opens in prayer.

Are all unions the same? It wouldn't appear from this discussion that that's the case. And if CLAC is the same as all the others, why do the others spend so much time worrying about CLAC? If all the others are the same, where are all the other union executives on this site? Or maybe they log in under pseudonyms to keep an eye on dissidents and "steer" things in the right direction?

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Tue, Nov 18, 2003 3:36pm

I have seen too many people go down in their name of their union. I have seen too many people starve in the name religion.

I cannot accept someone trying to peddle that the belief in god and the union are somewhat one?

That is NOT.

  • posted by siggy
  • Tue, Nov 18, 2003 8:37pm

quote:


I haven't disappeared. I just haven't yet found a way to be engaged in this discussion full-time. A lot of questions since my last post....


Good point, try and keep up eh

quote:


Siggy--you'll have to point out where I "sanctified" profit, or does the mere mention of it make you see red? I'm in favour of companies being profitable, by the way. Just not at the expense of their employees. And I'd much rather negotiate with a profitable company than one that's not.


IMO, any negotiating based on a phantom bottom line is sanctifying profit.

What if negs were entered into using the employees bottom line? Yes I know this is a big subject, and tough to get mainstream heads around. Oh I know it's a foriegn concept, but someone had better prepare the corporate world for just that. It is what workers will be demanding. Instead of "this is what we need to stay competitve" ringing in the halls it will be "this is what you're going to pay us if you want to stay in business".

quote:


If CLAC was a mere marketing scheme, we'd do better to drop the "Christian" thing and simply promote a cooperative, mutual-gains approach, which polls consistently show a vast majority of people support.


I'm not familiar with these polls (maybe you could link to the supportive information). You sound convinced "Christian" wasn't playing to an audience, I'm not there yet.

quote:


Siggy, if you think a "fair and liveable wage" is not an elusive concept, please define. Easy enough to take issue with my definition.


Well we know fair and livable isn't any current minimum wage, nor any legislated amount, there is too much poverty laying around for that to be true.

Here is where I believe unions or mainstream in general fail. Fair and livable has always been negotiated like an invariable, a constant, well not so IMO.

Fair and livable are variables, plain and simple just as employer profit is variable. Applying fair and livable as variables also has added benefits, for employers and employees.

A fair wage would be relative to the employers' bottom line, tied to their books so to speak (profits go up, so too do wages). Livable would be relative to the economic conditions. Meaning no worker would be subject to poverty.

Here is what we know about the market (especially retail), it doesn't go away, it is the constant. The variable here would be the company.

Yes of course the employer is going to argue this formula is not conducive to future growth, how can the expand yadayada? Well you see that isn't a problem either> first off, it's not labours problem, they are the biz wizes right? But more importantly expansion or growth, just like organizing, will take care of itself if the initial investment is well carried out.

Try this: A new company has a formula for deciding fair and livable. There is one boss and 2 employees. Off the top the company takes 20%. The rest is split 50/50. The boss gets 50% and the 2 employees split the other.

gross profit - $20,000
less 20% - $4000
That leaves $8000 for the boss and $4000 for each of the 2 employees. That sounds fair enough right. (not realy but it's hypothetical)

It becomes less fair as the company grows and more workers are added, the boss's share grows while the employees share is less and less. No longer fair and the more growth the less livable as well.

I think Safeways' Burd uses this formula BTW. Surely no-one here will argue that $1 mil for burd and $9 for the employees is fair or livable. Nope it's a bad formula.

quote:


I'd be happy to send you a copy of a recent CLAC retail/service agreement. Where would you like it sent?


I will forward my address via email and thanks in advance. My collection is growing. Contracts fascinate me, specially the ones which go backwards in time. Want to see my ufcw 1518 '97 agreement?

I have more questions for Ed but I've taken up enough of evra'one's time. And once again Ed, bravo for being here.

  • posted by CLAC
  • Fri, Nov 21, 2003 2:17pm

"Employee bottom line" is a workable idea. Why should only the employer's bottom line be a factor? When an employer says, "We're making no money so we need concessions", or a wage freeze, I hope that many union negotiators have said, "That's nice, but rent has gone up, electricity has gone up, groceries have gone up, so we still need an increase." I certainly have. It's not a unreasonable position at all.

Is "Christian" playing to an audience? It's not necessarily all that popular to be a Christian in Canada (quite different than the U.S., where Christianity is closer to motherhood and apple pie). I'll work on finding some info on the polls I refer to.

Fair and liveable wage--I agree that liveable relates to economic conditions, but I would still note that a liveable wage may not be sufficient to be a fair wage.

I am more hesitant to make the link between bottom line and wages. It certainly works when the bottom line is going in the right direction--then workers should share in the bounty. But when the bottom line is indisputably suffering, the workers shouldn't have to share in the pain. Or, when I organize a bargaining unit that's paid wages which are grossly unfair, I'm not prepared to have the employer point to the bottom line as a justification.

In another example, I'd have difficulty with two identical employers--one with a healthy bottom line and another without--paying dramatically different wages to workers doing identical work. To me, that's not fairness. Obviously a balance needs to be struck which doesn't bankrupt the struggling company, but the fair-wage factors need to include more than bottom line.

I like your example of employee/employer profit-distribution. But you can't build such a system (even where the formula is to the advantage of the employees) into wage compensation, because employees wouldn't get paid during hard times--the boss can probably afford that, but they can't. You're right that the distribution gets out of whack as the company grows--just look at how the ratio of CEO-employee wages has become more and more distorted.

I've received your e-mail and will send you a variety of agreements, though it will have to wait until Monday.

Have a good weekend.

Ed Bosveld
Provincial Director

  • posted by robbie_dee
  • Fri, Nov 21, 2003 2:44pm

RE: the "Christian" connection to CLAC, I meant to link these threads a while back, but I got distracted. This was an old discussion on a site run by a UFCW local in Minnesota, which some of the participants here also visit from time to time.

Religion and Labor

I think there can definitely be a connection between religion and labor unions. My own religion is one of my main motivations for my social and political beliefs, and why I am engaged to act upon them.

I get a little more uncomfortable, though, when a union puts religion front and center as much as CLAC does, by including it in the name of the org itself. I think it's important that evangelism never gets in the way of representation. I think it's tricky when an ostensibly secular org like a union holds out a religion as one of its defining characteristics (i.e. including it in its name or mission statment), rather than merely an underlying motivation of some of its members.

Further, IMO the substantial impact that union representation has on its members working lives distinguishes it from a purely voluntary, recreational/charitable org like the YMCA, necessitating a higher wall between the faith side and the business side.

I'm still pretty skeptical about CLAC for other reasons, too. I worry about the lawsuits, because it is very easy for an org with money to bury an individual without it in court, regardless of the merits of the case. It still seems to me to be the tactic of someone with something to hide.

But you know, ultimately I don't work for a CLAC organized shop nor do I know anyone who does. And I am not, as Ed might have suggested a while back, any sort of union official with any kind of hidden agenda. So I don't have either a lot of personal information about this, or a big stake in the outcome. I think I'll just sit back and watch the discussion for a bit. I'll be interested to hear what Siggy thinks about the CBAs, though. I'd also be interested in how well they're enforced.

  • posted by siggy
  • Sat, Nov 22, 2003 11:32am

quote:


This is the thread that broke my back when it comes to the UFCW and a belief that they could somehow be reformed, its now my opinion that I must convince my fellow members that they Must adapt by decertifying!

But for who ? CLAC at least responds on this site.


Here's a question from another thread, how would CLAC respond to this member if he were to approach clac for help?

  • posted by x-teamster
  • Mon, Nov 24, 2003 7:01pm

bb

I do not have a lot of info on what you are looking for, but i do know clac is in negotiations with weston's now ( nelisons) What i hear talks broke off & it is going to consilation. But from freinds i hear the clac is not puting up with any crap. goerge has to share some of the wealth.
do all of you work for loblaws

  • posted by blasdell
  • Mon, Nov 24, 2003 8:05pm

What is their strategy?X-mas is coming a great time to walk if you want to put pressure on an employer.Does Clac have the nuts to walk now, that is what Buzz did in Newfoundland.Is the membership informed about negotiations?Is there a strike mandate or is it all show like we are used to the UFCW quagmire?Is it about dues or member benefits?

  • posted by CLAC
  • Tue, Nov 25, 2003 8:02am

I'm back....

Religion and labour--I would argue that many people are motivated by "religious" beliefs, though those might not always be the traditional stuff that comes to mind.

I would suggest that most unions are based on a particular set of assumptions, or a philosophy. Buzz Hargrove of the CAW is reputed to have said something like, "A collective agreement is just a temporary truce in the on-going war between labour and management." Agree with the comment or not, it certainly indicates a set of beliefs or a philosophy. I think that members of many unions would be able to state their union's philosophy or guiding beliefs (this web site is proof of that). The fact that CLAC is up front about its philosophy doesn't mean that other unions aren't based on a philosophy.

CLAC's role is certainly not to evangelize. It's to apply a certain approach, a set of principles, to the practice of labour relations. Not everyone agrees with those principles--that's fine! The trade union movement, while in favour of pluralism in society, tends to expect the labour movement to be very monolithic. Why shouldn't workers have a variety of choices, even if they don't agree with each one?

Lawsuits should make one wary, but consider that CLAC has existed for over 50 years, and has had to sue for libel less than half a dozen times. Each of these cases was fairly extreme, and every single one involved a competitor union; not exactly the big union picking on the little member.

I wasn't implying that Robbie D is a union executive in hiding. The point I sought to make is that union officials are conspicuous by their absence in discussions such as this, though I suspect that they do monitor such sites anyway.

Siggy, it's probably my technological ineptness, but I can't find the question you refer to from the other thread. I'm sure you can help!

Until later,

Ed Bosveld
Provincial Director
CLAC

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Fri, Nov 28, 2003 11:09am

Does CLAC do regular drug testing? If so, what type is being utilized - for how long has it been utilized, - and where? Or can you post that?

  • posted by CLAC
  • Fri, Nov 28, 2003 1:56pm

Was my last posting that incoherent?

I'm not sure exactly where the question is coming from, but I can tell you that

-CLAC hasn't done and doesn't do drug testing on its staff;

-CLAC hasn't done and doesn't do drug testing on its members;

-I have fought grievances against unnecessary drug testing of CLAC members; and

-I have taken a lot of Tylenol this week.

Have a great weekend.

Ed

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Fri, Nov 28, 2003 2:50pm

I do not believe that CLAC does not do drug testing? I believe there are job sites that are CLAC that do utilize drug testing - ....let me see how high the pockets will rise up...or will they actually scratch the surface...

Let us face it - Clac - it is clac - you pretend to be different from other unions, you are not. You have the god given belief that your union is right, sorry, some of us do not believe.

And, I await, if I opt to join your CLAC, what do I pay in union dues or .. is it paid for by a higher realm...

You took a drug today, don't show up for work in nearing hours, you maybe tested..or would you be, perhaps you are, the chosen few.

How lucky can one person get....

  • posted by robbie_dee
  • Fri, Nov 28, 2003 3:57pm

I'm not sure if I get the question, either.

Is it that you understand there are CLAC collective agreements which allow workers to be drug tested? And that you are wondering whether CLAC requires a similar drug testing program for its staff or not?

That's my best guess. Personally I could accept a collective agreement that allows for drug testing with cause. Or that allows drug-testing at the workers' discretion, to rebut management assertions of employee drug use based upon independent evidence.

But none that require random drug-testing, or drug-testing upon hire. Such conditions are frequently imposed by some of the most oppressive of employers, such as Walmart. In all cases, I think drug testing without cause is an egregious violation of a workers' privacy. And it is an intrusive policy that is rarely found higher up in the chain of command (i.e. testing for managers, or executives).

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Fri, Nov 28, 2003 4:35pm

Again, I will ask does CLAC do drug testing?

Any drug testing? One question - it is yes or no?

Simple - answer
Yes or No

  • posted by Duffbeer
  • Sat, Nov 29, 2003 12:56am



MCrosky : This is going to be a real sweat. Genderson, let me know when you get anything. Got a cigarette Nelson? I can't take much more of this. Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines. Johnny, how about some more coffee?

Johnny : NO THANKS!

MCrosky : Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue. (inhales some glue and falls over)

  • posted by CLAC
  • Mon, Dec 1, 2003 3:03pm

No, CLAC does not do drug testing on staff.

No, CLAC does not generally support drug testing of members.

Some exceptions: for certain occupations, which are highly safety-sensitive, we might support drug testing. I'm ok with testing for airline pilots and air traffic controllers, for example (though we don't currently represent those). There may be job sites where some sort of testing is acceptable; I don't personally know of any such cases, but maybe you do.

There might also be testing done in the context of a last-chance agreement; for example, where a truck-driving employee has been fired for repeated, work-related substance abuse issues and is reinstated to work on condition that he remain clean.

In general, as Siggy states, drug testing is an invasion of an employee's privacy and as such there need to be good reasons to test.

No, Yankee, if you join CLAC (and that doesn't appear terribly likely) your dues will not be paid from heaven--we've been unable to make such arrangements. However, the dues are not sky-high either, as I believe I've described earlier in this discussion.

Is CLAC different than other unions? I think so, and, judging by the strong reaction we get from other unions, I think they see CLAC as quite different as well. And, most importantly, our members who have experience with other unions tend to see quite a difference.

Ed

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Mon, Dec 1, 2003 6:11pm

No drug testing 'on staff' - would that be addressed as management?

Rumor has it, CLAC does a fine job in drug testing, check your 'P' at the gate...

Agreement, we have - I'd never join CLAC. Why would I - my cargo is heavy enough without added BS, my ship cannot hold all of it.

  • posted by CLAC
  • Thu, Dec 4, 2003 2:27pm

Yankee, if you've got facts to back up the "rumours", let's hear them.

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Thu, Dec 4, 2003 3:14pm

Sorry, CLAC - no can do - you have to search on your own. I am of the opinion, the resources I have are very reliable.

  • posted by NIGHTS 046
  • Thu, Dec 4, 2003 6:11pm

ybtw sorry but your vague accusations just don't cut it with me the proof is always in the pudding.

Things I need to know !

Ed do you have a copy of your constitution on line? I browsed briefly but could not find it.

Bill Pearson could it be that Ed is part of a dedicated local and is just in the dark as to what is happening elsewhere in the union?

  • posted by CLAC
  • Fri, Dec 5, 2003 1:16pm

Yankee--maybe, when I'm retired, I will have time to track down all kinds of interesting rumours. I'm not quite at that point yet, though.

Re: on-line information available--we're still developing the web presence. A lot of material still needs to go up. One of our short-term goals is to allow members to access pension statements on-line. All of these things take time and resources. I hope that soon the constitution, local by-laws, collective agreements, etc. will all be up there.

Nights, you're right if you're suggesting that I can't know every single thing that happens in the union. CLAC is a fairly large organization (about 600 collective agreements at present, I think) spread across a huge country. My position is that of Provincial Director for Ontario, where there are many locals, and I should have a pretty good knowledge of what goes on there. I am also involved at the national level. But I can't claim to know everything that goes on everywhere; on the other hand, if something is CLAC policy or widespread practice, I should know about it.

Have a good weekend.

Ed Bosveld
Provincial Director

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Fri, Dec 5, 2003 1:24pm

Oh, alas, need not be sorry - as you say, the proof is always 'in the pudding'...

I think many union representatives of smaller, (non-functional, non-high pocket locals) are kept in the dark, and that is for all unions, Clac, UFCW, UA, what-have-you - the list can go on and on..

Bill Pearsons', or anyones' for that matter, sure, opinions may shed some light on what seems to be very dim, dark and somewhat unsettling to that of the rank and file in the backstreets/backwoods.
This is an environment that actually allows you to say your peace, shed some light.

Just to mention, some rank and file members do like to be kept in the dark. Did we not see the recent vote turnout with the ranks of the UFCW? There are others - be it union or just Mr. & Mrs. Joe and Mary Six Pack who do, in fact, care about the well being of the environment they live in.

I best check my batteries in our flashlights, make sure I can find my way out of the forest or the bush so I can vote in the next election!

  • posted by CLAC
  • Mon, Dec 15, 2003 2:35pm

I agree that many of the rank and file can't be bothered to participate--in any union. Some union officials would say that's because the members are satisfied; others know it's because the members see participation as pointless. I think many are simply apathetic--they just don't care enough one way or the other.

So, Yankee, what solutions do you suggest for the problems you identify?

Ed Bosveld
Provincial Director
CLAC

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Tue, Dec 16, 2003 1:19pm

Suggestions: To all unions

In the retail sector, many single parents cannot attend a union meeting, they will have to pay extra babysitting time, which quite possibly they cannot afford. Could any union hire a babysitter for two hours, so the parent could bring the child/children to the union hall, have a secure sitter, and all get to have a meeting in peace?

The same single parent may not be privileged on the wages that are provided to own a vehicle, they rely on the services of a bus, often, do not run at night. A posting on a bulletin board would be beneficial - Can I Help You To Attend The Next Union Meeting -

For all the construction sector - Some union members are 500 miles away from any union meeting held. This goes back years and years when 'the merge' was so important - 'the bigger, the better'.

Could not the unions give some incentive to their members in buying a computer, even a used computer? As well off as most unions/corporations are - could they not unlined some of the pockets of their highly paid executives to assist the lowly rank and file into being 'on-line'?

I strongly believe it is coming to the age whereby everyone is going to have to have some attachment to a computer. Whether that be it to vote or just to communicate.

Education is the key factor. Knowledge is power.
What unions out there provide scholarships for the young adults? Incentives to go into the trades?

The above are suggestions that are day-to-day simple - for all unions, for all the working class people.

  • posted by siggy
  • Tue, Dec 16, 2003 10:21pm

ufcw 1518 provides babysitting for the GMM's. This is really special, sounds like a supportive and wonderful place to grow solidarity.

It allows single parent new hires/junior clerks/clerk11's (bc retail concession fallout) from all over the lower mainland an opportunity to participate right?

It's as easy as bundling up their short people, popping on the bus and heading into the big city for the 7 pm quarterly meeting (supper can be rescheduled). They then can sit through a couple hours of machine rhetoric, then pic'up the young'ns for the long bus ride back.

This will easily get them home in time to catch some shut eye before the next days shift (assuming they get hours) and the short people can always catch up with a little nap during class. Now that's incentive eh.

I talked to a cashier who works full time (40hrs) at a non union 7 eleven today. She is a single parent making $8.25 an hour. She is considering quitting because she is required to work swing shifts. Nights and back for days all for a net take home of just over $800 a month.

She is 25 yrs old, lives with her parents and sees no way out. The swing shifts are killing her healthwise and there is no time with her son.

Her income, schedule and future and all the lack there ofs, match precisely those of any and all new ufcw 1518 retail members.

This has nothing but nothing to do with this topic, 'cept to say that there may be some apathy among the membership, just as there may be some leaders who are actually interested in the betterment of the workers.

What we are witnessing right now are workers with their hands tied tightly behind their backs and not one leader willing to cut the ropes.

Apathy my ass!!!

  • posted by CLAC
  • Fri, Jan 2, 2004 9:45am

Yankee, I like all of those suggestions, even the babysitting one.

Our union office has headed in this direction. We already have a toy area available, since our members often stop by with a question or concern with a kid or two in tow. It's a much more productive meeting when Junior can play (with little Cesar Chavez, Jimmy Hoffa and Diana Kilmury figures, etc.)

To encourage membership participation, it is our practice to hold workplace-specific membership meetings in addition to local-wide meetings. If you work at a 40-person nursing home, we try to arrange meetings at a nearby location. Often several meetings are held, around shift change times; perhaps one at 1:00pm and another at 3:30pm. People can attend a meeting before their shift or after, and don't have to arrange separate transportation. Is this a practice you're familiar with?

CLAC also offers scholarships to its members and their children.

The computer idea is excellent too, though I don't think I'd want to see "virtual" membership meetings--I think members need to be able to look their union agent in the eye as often as possible. It would even seem to make sense for a large computer manufacturer to enter into an arrangement with a union whereby the union members can purchase new computers for less or perhaps can be provided with refurbished computers for next to nothing.

Happy New Year!

Ed Bosveld
Provincial Director
CLAC

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Fri, Jan 2, 2004 3:23pm

Clac, I will make it clear to you, I do not support any union that promotes religion. I, as you, as we all do, have a right to post here.

Your opinion is welcomed and respected. I'm just one who does not agree with uniting unions and religions.

  • posted by CUPE_Reformer
  • Fri, Jan 2, 2004 9:21pm

posted by yankeebythewater

quote:


Clac, I will make it clear to you, I do not support any union that promotes religion. I, as you, as we all do, have a right to post here.

Your opinion is welcomed and respected. I'm just one who does not agree with uniting unions and religions.


In my opinion CUPE promotes a religion, secular humanism. A different union that I was once a member of had local union meetings sunday mornings. Some of the criticisms of CLAC can also be applied to some unions which are affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC). In the past it was not uncommon for some CLC affiliates to condemn independent unions as either Communist or employer dominated. I feel that there is a double standard in this thread. Can CLAC possibly be any worse than the Industrial, Wood and Allied workers union? I am not concerned about any union representatives' beliefs as long as they keep their beliefs to themselves and represent all of the members of the union fairly.

  • posted by CLAC
  • Thu, Jan 22, 2004 3:29pm

CUPE Reformer touches on a very good point.

I suggest that the distinction isn't truly between "religious" and "non-religious" unions. It's about which beliefs undergird the unions' practices.

Unions have always been tied to people's beliefs, and still are very much so. A union representative's personal beliefs will determine the way that he treats his members, for example. If your rep lies to you, doesn't return your phone calls, talks about you behind your back, etc., it gives you a pretty good idea of his beliefs. On the other hand, if he treats you honestly and with respect, it will tell you something about him (or her) as well.

CLAC is based on a philosophy that suggests that everyone operates according to some beliefs. There is no such thing as being "neutral" on religion, because everyone--even atheists--believes something. And whatever it is that they believe will inevitably affect what they do and how they do it. That's true for organizational philosophies as well.

So, if CUPE is based on secular humanism, that has to impact how CUPE treats its members, how CUPE relates to employers, how CUPE views work, how CUPE views society, etc.

And, with due respect to CUPE Reformer, I'm not sure you want union reps to always keep their beliefs to themselves. If your rep's religion requires him to tell the truth and treat every human being with respect, do you really want him to set those beliefs aside when he deals with you?

If you want to see true religious zeal, look at some trade unionists who claim to be non-religious. Some of these are about the most religiously fanatic people you'll ever run into. I'm not suggesting that it's bad that they have beliefs, or that they act on them. But why not just admit it?

Maybe this will get this thread going again.....

Ed Bosveld
Provincial Director

  • posted by CUPE_Reformer
  • Thu, Jan 22, 2004 8:48pm

posted by CLAC

quote:


And, with due respect to CUPE Reformer, I'm not sure you want union reps to always keep their beliefs to themselves. If your rep's religion requires him to tell the truth and treat every human being with respect, do you really want him to set those beliefs aside when he deals with you?

Ed Bosveld
Provincial Director


I want union reps to tell the truth and treat every human being with respect. I do not want union reps to try to convert anyone to their religious and or political beliefs while they are working for union members.

  • posted by NIGHTS 046
  • Fri, Jan 23, 2004 5:42am

quote:


Maybe this will get this thread going again.....


Ed: How about jumping in on some of the discussions on other threads here, So we can see what your beliefs are, Apart from CLAC.

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Mon, Feb 9, 2004 12:53pm

Houston, we have problem!

Lost contact.

Ed/clac - do you read?

Response please...can you hear us?

Over and out...10/4...good buddy....

  • posted by CLAC
  • Sat, Mar 13, 2004 6:35pm

My apologies... I've been out of town, under the weather, and all kinds of other things--and I made the assumption that this thread had sort of died out.

CUPE Reformer--whether or not a union rep tells the truth, and how he/she treats people, will inevitably have a lot to do with his/her view of the world (religion/faith/values--whatever you want to call it). I fully agree that no union should try to convert members to a particular religion, political party, etc.

Yankee, the only thing that stops me from participating in other threads in this forum is time. Occasionally, I receive an e-mail alerting me to a CLAC-related comment on another thread and I try to jump in with my 2 cents worth (adjusted for inflation, of course.) So, while I might not always be able to check out other areas of the site (I do try) feel free to let me know via e-mail if there's something in particular you'd like me to respond to.

My e-mail address is ebosveld@clac.ca.

By the way, I appreciate the opportunity to have participated in what I believe to be a very worthwhile site. Someday someone will do a paper on the way that technology is aiding the democratic reform movement within unions and this will be an excellent case study.

All the best,

Ed

Ed Bosveld
Provincial Director (Ontario)
CLAC

  • posted by siggy
  • Sat, Mar 13, 2004 7:32pm

It's nice to know you haven't left Ed, I feel a little guilty, I haven't yet scanned all the agreements you sent, thanks tho.

I did scan clac's retail agreement. It wasn't that far removed from what we have here in retail (ufcw 1518). I would even say the agreement you sent fit the retail "pattern".

I do have a little different take on the downward spiral of retail since we last talked. There has been much revealed lately about how the service industry ended up povertized, why union is drowning and who held their head under.

And once the concessions are inked by one union organization it may be understandably difficult for another to bring it back into line. That is not to let clac off any hook, but following ufcw around the retail circuit has got to be a tough act to follow.

A burning Q: What is your opinion on one union helping members of another union?

Here's an example of where good experienced union people, like yourself, could begin rebuilding confidence in unionism, not?

Sophie is a union member who needs help and is forced to go it alone or give it up. It is very daunting for anyone and even more so against a huge machine. Should she just ignore something she believes strongly about?

What I would like to know is why other leaders such as yourself, and there are more I'm sure, wouldn't step up to lend an experienced hand, why couldn't you all lend an experienced voice, guidance?

I do understand the tradional territorial trappings of current biz-U and umbrella org rules, and I'm aware of the argument that dues paying members of one union may not appreciate it, but I have to say I think that is some bit of the biz-u conditioning.

In light of all the evidence supporting labours decline, union corruption, concessions and you name it, is it not possible for those who can to break out of those trappings in the name of solidarity?

After all isn't that the very essence of unionism, to defend workers?

  • posted by CUPE_Reformer
  • Sat, Mar 13, 2004 9:08pm

posted by siggy:

quote:


A burning Q: What is your opinion on one union helping members of another union?

What I would like to know is why other leaders such as yourself, and there are more I'm sure, wouldn't step up to lend an experienced hand, why couldn't you all lend an experienced voice, guidance?


CLAC deserves praise for not signing any anti democratic no raiding pacts.

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Sun, Mar 14, 2004 2:01pm

posted by CLAC:

Yankee, the only thing that stops me from participating in other threads in this forum is time. Occasionally, I receive an e-mail alerting me to a CLAC-related comment on another thread and I try to jump in with my 2 cents worth (adjusted for inflation, of course.) So, while I might not always be able to check out other areas of the site (I do try) feel free to let me know via e-mail if there's something in particular you'd like me to respond to.

It is important that "ya'll come back now and sit a spell"...when your time permits..

  • posted by edelio
  • Sun, Mar 14, 2004 2:17pm

I read an article staing how the UFCW and CAW are the "super unions" of Canada. With the amalgamations of locals and envelopment of massive amounts of members under 1 banner,you can't help but expect there to be some marginalization of our rights and choices with no-raiding clauses and such. Its these "walmart size" unions that coined the phrase "biz-union" and prolly helped YBTW accumulate an ulcer or two.

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Sun, Mar 14, 2004 2:36pm

quote:


posted by edelio:

helped YBTW accumulate an ulcer or two.


~ several ulcers.

  • posted by yankeebythewater
  • Thu, Apr 8, 2004 1:30pm

CLAC - are you out there?

What is going on in the world of CLAC, when your time permits, update, thanks.

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