I am interested in what people at other bases (especially Halifax) thought of the Unifor pre-contract road show and what sort of verbal feedback they gave the bargaining reps. I could have put this in the Jazz private forum but as we know most of the information is pretty vague and perhaps outside parties might have some good opinions on the issues being discussed. I also felt that since the union is doing this feedback verbally instead of with written surveys it would be good to know if what they tell one base is what they tell others. Personally I like documentation like surveys, recorded votes, etc because it lets us see if our reps are actually representing us, democracy is only as good as the information it gets and all that.
So here is a rough list of a few questions off the top of my head that maybe we should be talking about.
1) Trading future new hire pay and progression for a better contract for ourselves
2) Length of contract, offering the company more labor stability with a longer contract to get more
3) Line versus Heavy versus Shops. Should we support each other and how since it is clear that heavy will be asked to either make sacrifices or be outsourced.
4) Lifestyle or money? Is vacation, shift times, working conditions and other perks more important than the money?
5) Numbers versus pay, do we want fewer better paying jobs or more job protection and less money
6) Should we bargain for long term benefits that only people with certain seniority get immediately, or only benefits that everyone can use now
7) How do want our union to represent us, and in what ways do we want accountability to the members?
My initial opinions are that trading away new hire pay is like leaving the grease gun empty for the next guy, but is it our responsibility to bargain for people not even part of the union yet? If we are going to sell the unborn then lets do it with style and get good value for our moral high ground! Actually no, I’d rather suck up a minor loss on this one and keep working for a company that treats everyone equally, better for long term workplace relations and company pride, otherwise we have to start looking at Jazz as a temporary stop in our career. 5 or 10 year contracts also sound good to me. Mostly though I want to keep our lifestyle and I would rather have fewer good jobs then crappy ones for everyone. In general I think sacrificing pay to try and retain a few more jobs becomes a vicious cycle until we all end up leaving anyhow because the industry isn’t viable. I think I'd like to pretend to care about the future of Heavy maintenance, but since I don't really know people out there I'm pretty indifferent and some of the rumors don't always paint a good picture. It would help a lot if some of you would post about why you believe we should fight to keep it or if you in fact would rather bump to other bases. Lastly I would like to see the union asking for written feedback that is analyzed, giving us their take on the questions above, and casting open votes that the members can see reflects the majority opinion.
I'm still not sure if I prefer working in a union but we might as well enjoy the drama while we're here. Gooooo unicorns!
Lets not repeat history.