This is the first of two pieces our comrade Mordechai just sent us on the current Canadian Union of Postal Workers strike, a topic dear to our hearts (and for some of us, our livelihoods) here at Recomposition.
My Day: Others too.
by Mordechai Eben
I’m an unpaid, volunteer Shop Steward for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. Lots of other folks work incredibly hard too, many more so. I think a lot of us, the rank ‘n file, have a little story to tell, our story is more than just what national has to say, or the media convey.
[…work like dog for weeks]………..19:00-21:00, text and talk to comrades about localised strike action, plan shopfloor meeting. Sleep.
06:20, wake up shower, walk to work. 07:00 get to work, talk about shop-floor meeting plan, get the mail and parcels for my walk. 07:45, walk around Depot 9, call up workers for a meeting. 08:00, hold meeting, working with the shopfloor to finalise the fact that as Terms are locked out, all voluntary overtime is scabbing, as terms are sitting at home “on call.” 08:15-09:55, get complaints about not being militant enough, being too militant, calling voluntary OT “scabbing.” One worker yells at me, most tell me how they want to walk, a few say that it’s “National’s choice, and stewards should be mere conveyers of information.” Most are very supportive. 10:15-15:10, organise via text and phone between fellow workers, Depots and the Exec. Oh, and Do My Job: Deliver mail bags, clear drop-mail-boxes, deliver mail. And, forget to eat. 15:00, get home, quick nap, more oragnising calls…get strike call. 15:40, get official call for a strike in Edmonton. 15:42, engage phone tree. Get ahold of 10% of my strike list. Quick news check up. 18:10. Call rest of list, still haven’t made it through to some. 20:45 leave for picket at the Plant. Picket. 21:08, eat a delicious pastry.
01:15. Get home. Try to drink a glass of wine. Fail. Bed. 05:30, wake up, check CBC, wash. 05:50, Go to our picket at Depot 9, drop off the strike box, with the ‘sign in sheets’ and the pickets; say hello, sneer at management. 07:50, breakfast come union meeting. 09:05, walk home, stop in the middle to listen to the New Pornographers, have a cigarette and watch traffic. 09:50: Get home, change into something clean. 11:50, grab some more stuff at home, head to picket line. 12:05-14:50, picket meeting cum hang-out, figure out what our Depot will do when things go even more sideways. Engage the picketeers on direct action and shopfloor democracy, all (or most) agree. Walk the line. Remind the members that the union is Us, and the executive, nationally and locally, works for us. Get some more picket captains for the future, and some comrades to decorate the CUPW Pride float. 15:00-18:30, Be Picket Captain at Depot 9, help run the line and picket like a champ with my comrades. Deal with very, and weirdly sympathetic cops, rare sundry assholes and the very sympathetic public. Cops are too young to remember when they bashed our heads in to help the boss scab us.
18:40, walk home with picket signs and the Strike Box.
……..18:50 – NO FUCKING HOCKEY? WTF SHAW?