Friday, January 20, 2006

Holy "No" Vote!

I knew those guys on the picket line looked pissed when I talked to them minutes after the press conference in which the end of the strike was announced. All of them wanted to know, "Why did we go out?" - if the result was going to be this bad, and now they've voted.
Clearly, this wasn't Toussaint's doing. I don't have enough time to write a lot about this now, but my main comment is that the TWU's workers have surprised everyone in this city. People I knew said "they won't go out," and then a lot of local labor pundits were saying the strike was a victory. Others have pointed out that the give-back on health-care was a net loss. It seems in the end that the workers weren't satisfied with the direction the leadership took.
I don't pretend to know what this ultimately means, but it does send a message that I'm glad to see: First, this "no" vote should convince people that the members of unions don't just take orders from the "union bosses" and it should also convince at least a few union leaders that the leadership is not always "out in front" of a passive membership.

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