Roadmap To Negotiations 2022
It is with great excitement that, for the first time in at least 20 years, a National strategy is being implemented to meaningfully engage, prepare, and organize our membership leading up to negotiations! Over the past two years, our local leadership has been very openly critical of the ongoing lack of a tangible, Nationwide organizing plan, and has pushed, whenever possible, for National leadership to adopt any aspects of the grassroots strategy that has revitalized our local. Regardless how a plan like this was finally adopted by National, we are whole-heartedly in support of it. As refined as our procedural work (i.e. grievances, consults, arbitration work, etc) is, individual, technical skills can never begin to match the power of collective mobilization, but this mobilization must be deliberately organized.
Our Union Needs Us All
Most of us understand that any union is only as strong as their membership are involved. Without workfloor pressure, our organization becomes a toothless, paper-shuffling, husk that CPC doesn’t consider a threat. Our biggest challenge is always how to convince a critical mass of our members that their involvement is worth their time and leads to improving their working lives. Before the pandemic, our local took excellent steps in winning back the trust of our membership through countless workfloor meetings and education opportunities directly encouraging involvement and building workfloor empowerment. This work will be our foundation in the ‘Building Power To Win’ campaign developed by our National organizing representative, Aaron Spires.
This campaign is designed specifically to give locals that have no previous experience with organizing workfloors the tools and training to take those first steps in mapping support on workfloors, and how to have those successful conversations that lead to winning over new volunteers. Meeting most locals where they are at is necessary if our goal is to develop capacity beyond the locals with the organizing infrastructure already developed.. Building Power has a one-year timeline with four distinct phases taking us from initial engagement, to testing our levels of support, to community networking, to flexing our power on workfloors closer to, and during, negotiations.This bulletin will focus on the first phase and what we need from our local to support this nationwide initiative to build the organizing capacity and solidarity necessary to create enough leverage to actually enforce our demands. Future bulletins will clearly detail our campaign progress as we move through it.
Phase One: Building Capacity & Drafting Demands
The campaign calls for every local to recruit one activist for every 100 members, proportionally drawn from each major facility. These volunteers will receive training on how to coordinate and win workfloor support for campaign participation which builds our strength leading up to negotiations. Because of all the previous work our local has done with our mass steward and organizer training, Edmonton easily eclipses this total number needed but we do have gaps in some facilities. We will specifically be targeting these areas currently lacking an activist presence so that our entire local can be a part of this important initiative.
At this stage of Phase One, call-outs will be made to our entire activist base, and anyone interested in getting more involved: if you are frustrated by the previous lack of leadership from National, or how we were dragged through our last arbitration, this is the single greatest opportunity to get involved and actually contribute to making a powerful difference!
Our local Organizing Committee is holding an open (video conference) meeting for Wednesday, January 27, 7pm inviting all those willing to help support or lead on this campaign to learn more and sign-up for training (LINK). From there, the training is held through National, and we move towards engaging all of our members on what bargaining demands should be developed leading up to March where our local has scheduled two GMMs to debate, and ratify, our negotiation proposals.
Back Into Action
After stumbling through a lethargic peak-season, where one grey overtime opportunity bled into the next, blurring the distinction between days, our local is primed to offer a torrent of activity. Between webinars, reading clubs, and coordinating our activist base, there will be countless quality opportunities to get involved. Each set of hands helping us, makes the work that much easier, and the likelihood of achieving our goal that much greater. Whether you believe in defying back-to-work legislation, intimidating the government against using legislation, or winning enough public support to bully Canada Post into rolling over at the bargaining table, all roads start here, with deliberately building up, and being a part of, this vital campaign!
Never forget: no struggle, no victory!