Dear HRM and Canadians everywhere,
I don't even know where to begin. My understanding of the CBC lockout was that the union was threatening a walk-out. In a pre-emptive strike, CBC management locked them out just ahead of the walk-out deadline. Just because someone beat you to the punch doesn't give you the right to throw sob-story propaganda in every possible public forum. Stephanie Domet wrote a very touching, and I am sure quite close to factual, dissertation on the kindness of strangers ("That's the picket," "Key words," "Insecure" and "Line drive," Aug 25-Sept 15, all online at thecoast.ca/wextra). But I find it hard to believe that this woman has suffered dehydration from her bittersweet tears. Granted, strike pay doesn't last forever. And the local merchants and musicians who have donated time, support, goods or services to their "harsh" summer picketing should be commended for their contributions. That's why "thank you" entered the vernacular. And if you want to do more to thank people? Make a sign. Surely there is room for more than blame on your placards. Management isn't the only party unwilling to bend here and there. But a game of "Stubborn vs. Resolute" won't get anyone anywhere. Especially when one is just another way of saying the other. It's nice how some adjectives are more convenient than others. And I think anyone reading ANY of the public statements being presented by either side should keep that in mind. To be sure, Canadian unions have made a great habit of striking everytime management stops payment on a Band-Aid claim for a removed splinter that seemingly required an ambulance ride and three-hour diagnostic to correct. Now, before someone calls me a sympathizer of the CBC management, let me start by saying my mentor works for the CBC. She is one of the most gracious people I have come to know who pulls no punches in doing her job to the best of her ability...even if it means stepping on a few toes. For all I learned in university, I learned how to be a proper journalist from her. But thanks to unionized employees who refuse to make room for new employees until they squeeze the last dollar out of an organization like the CBC, I have little sympathy. And seeing how I have witnessed a selection of (but certainly not all) unionized employees laugh their way through strikes waiting for someone to break, I find it difficult to take it seriously. You already make good money for what you do. Desk jobs aren't hard. And for anyone who isn't a journalist at the CBC, you rarely have to leave your desk. Inflation should be considered, of course. But every time the value of the Canadian dollar improves, a strike should not be looming. A big smile goes out to the kind woman who brought over the fruit preserves for your health. Kudos to Donut Machine for their food. Organics all the way! And any musician willing to play to show support for you while promoting their own agenda, that's smart business. But stop short-changing the public to try and get a few lunkheads on your side. At least present the facts of the matter. Give us a little credit.
By Matthew Campbell