All five of our units passed the tentative agreement. My unit, as I expected, provided the most unpleasant ratification session. Oddly, as much as it made me want to slap some people, I was proud of them for questioning us so closely and, in some cases, so uncomfortably. They were more tuned in to the issues than other units. I still think they need to be more involved, but at least their understanding and awareness was way beyond that of some other folks. I disagreed with what they said, but they're our union brethren and they have the right to hold us to account. Would I be so magnanimous had my unit been the sole one amongst five to reject the TA? I don't know.
It's not over, of course, not by a long shot: we forced the company to agree to keep talking after this contract extension kicks in in January on the issues we couldn't come to an agreement on now. They hated that, but we got it. So now, after a few weeks' breather, it's back to forcing them to talk, to dealing with potentially different people across the table (like losing the closing thing to an honorable man they had there, since he's planning to retire and god knows what they'll land us with). It's back to more mobilization inside the unit. It's on to mobilization and organizing of other non-union areas of the company. Its dealing with some unavoidable fallout from unhappy union members who we have to keep close by us so they can't poison the well; it's all that and more, Howie ...
Some of the 'more' is learning from our mistakes, our strategic and tactical missteps. As is usually the case in these things, one can realize those mistakes at any time. Usually as the last minute, or only after the issue has been brought up unexpectedly by an unhappy member. And sometimes it's something you suspected you needed to do, or ask, or fight, at the negotiating committee level, but didn't listen to your instincts. And as soon as you don't listen to your instincts, it comes back to bite you in the ass. Other lessons: don't let an honorable man whose only communications paradigm is "LAWYER" try to communicate to people who speak in "REPORTER". We keep forgetting that, and it doesn't help. (Long story short? Union (largely) reporters; exec. dir. who is a pretty awesomely honorable man? Lawyer. I really should have been the official translator. More notebook stuff on my part for next time.
But let's leave "next time" until at least January. In the meantime, the only union thing I want to deal with is the potential of setting up a debriefing and venting bowling game.
Oh, and the people I felt worst about not representing well? I feel better about that now. They supported us.
That'd be nice.
In other news, I took the plunge and hung a fandom_stocking . I have no idea when it'll be vetted and hung, but it'll be there. And I will also take the plunge to try to fill a few.
Love you all, my friends. I'm exhausted, I have plumbers coming tomorrow stories to do, a condo association to chivvy. I'm going to bed; being unconscious tonight.beckons like a sultry lover.
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