CUPE Rally at City Hall
News of the rally was spreading by word of mouth Thursday morning.
The rally, a mass gathering CUPE members, is both a necessity and a risk.
Necessary as morale on the picket line Friday will be a gumbo of anger, frustration and disappointment. Six days of media blackout had built expectations of being back at work next week. Instead you could hear a collected sigh as people prepared for the labour equivalent of "All's Quiet on the Western Front."
CUPE leadership knows it must strengthen and energize it's base to ensure or at least reduce the second guessing common to the factional CUPE membership.
Risky from a media perspective as one overly excited union member could undercut the current good will directed to Civic Employees with one outrageous comment or action. Repeated every half hour on the 24 hour news cycle CUPE members would be be transformed from darlings to demons.
While a misspoken union member can damage public support low attendance to a CUPE Rally would undermine the negotiators leverage at the bargaining table. CUPE is offering members 2 hours of strike credit as an attendance incentive. Picketers must do 20 hours of strike duty per week to receive the maximum of $250.00/ week strike pay.
It will be be interesting to find out:
- how people respond to Thursday night's news;
- what transpires at the rally;
- how city management responds.