I have voted in every single election since I turned 18 and became eligible to vote. I honestly believe that my vote does not matter in the least, because it has been my lifelong experience that it truly makes not one iota of difference to my daily life which political party is in power. Well, other than that my taxes constantly go up. However, I do have some scruples, and am at least a bit discerning about which party I vote for. I will never, ever, as long as I draw breath, vote for the NDP.
I find myself tonight preparing to cast a vote tomorrow that will actually impact my daily life as no other vote ever has. I never thought I would be in this position, but here I am, preparing to cast a “NO” vote for union certification in my place of employment. I despise unions and all they stand for. I swore I would never work in a unionized company. I am disgusted that I even have to cast this vote at all. But I do.
A group of dissatisfied employees banded together and approached a union to garner support. Of course the union was delighted to help them – after all, it’s what unions do, grow bigger and stronger. And wealthier. They held meetings in secret, gathering together like-minded souls who fed private information to the union organizers. Information like the time and location of our company safety meetings, where we were greeted at the gate by union members offering pamphlets. For some of us, this was the first we’d heard of the efforts. Things moved rapidly after that. I have heard tales of drivers being contacted by phone in an effort to persuade them to support the union. I have heard of union members showing up at drivers’ houses. All of this was done in secrecy, in an effort to bolster their numbers before those who would be opposed to union organization could mount any kind of opposition.
Finally there was a “public” meeting. An open house. An information session.
Those of us against were shouted over, yelled at, and told we had no idea what we were talking about. We came away with bizarre printed propaganda all about the “lies” our company would tell us. The lady – and I use the term very loosely – in charge of the meeting nattered on about “openness” and “transparency” when challenged about the secrecy, but had very little concrete information for us and seemed content to stand back and let the “sisters and brothers” just yell at one another in a singularly unproductive and very distressing session. The open hostility and antagonism emanating from the union supporters was horrifying and appalling. I have to work with these people.
And so, believing they have the support of the majority of drivers, the union has applied for a vote for certification. This will happen tomorrow. Much to the shock of the mechanics, they have been included in this vote without having been consulted. And they are very upset. So much for openness and transparency.
I do not trust unions. I believe they have too much power and they use that power to shelter the inept and incompetent. And the stupid. I have seen so many instances where inept, useless employees cannot be fired due to the union. I don’t want to be part of that. I believe striking is wrong. I believe picketing is wrong. I will never participate in either, regardless of the outcome tomorrow.
There are some drivers who have announced they will quit if the vote tomorrow results in a yes. I thought about it, but the bottom line is, I love my job and I have a great deal of respect for my employers. After spending the weekend in front of a campfire contemplating it all, I have decided to adopt a wait and see approach. I am praying for a no union outcome, but whatever happens I must follow my own conscience and do as I feel appropriate. Meanwhile, I will be voting NO tomorrow because I firmly believe that a union cannot possibly make the changes they claim they can, and I also believe that perks we currently enjoy will disappear following a yes outcome.
This is one vote I am taking very seriously.