3.31.2012

the lessons in tpl's struggle

With the Toronto Public Library workers back at work after a ten-day strike, here is an assessment of their settlement, from a TPL librarian (my friend and comrade) who is active in the union.
The lesson is it's better to fight than to run away when you are a city-worker union dealing with the Tory assholes that dominate these days.

We got a better deal than anyone else in TO, with a host of concessions beaten back and even a couple of small improvements to benefits.

However, we still gave up too much on the job security provision. Partly, we were moving from a MUCH stronger clause than other city units, so to bring us closer to them would require a big loss. But the blunt truth is that the concession leaves many (as in, more than half) workers vulnerable.
I take two, related lessons from this. Jobs are becoming even less secure, which is scary, and terrible. And we must fight, fight, fight for our rights as workers, because we may win some battles, and we will certainly win more battles than those who surrender without a fight.

4 comments:

hhw said...

Thanks for sharing the comment from your friend. A strike started last week at MPOW, where the employer discovered "an error" (language they'd approved 3 times in the negotiating process) after the contract was finalized and ratified by the union. Instead of voting not to ratify, the employer rewrote the sentence and "ratified" that. I'm in a different union, but the implications of this arrogance affect all of us. I am heartened by TPL's success.
http://www.4207.cupe.ca/

laura k said...

Wow. The nerve. What is MPOW?

hhw said...

sorry -- MPOW = my place of work. in this case, Brock University.

laura k said...

Ha, I was trying so hard to think of an institution, like Mississauga Public Osomething Wsomething, that I missed the obvious acronym.

Good luck and hang in there.