June Rants: Posties aren’t the only ones looking for work

GMC_Canada_Post_Truck

Good Tuesday folks, It’s been a month or so since I’ve written a rant, so I may seem a slight bit rusty at it. Here goes nothing.

The month of June has so far been quite eventful, from doing the spoken-word and visual art shows, along with Car Stories and Infringement Therapy, in the Montreal Infringement Festival this year to getting attacked by a gorilla named Ace at the fringe. Crazy days.

The month of June has also caused me some suffering at the hands of the Federal government and the postal service. Don’t get me wrong, I feel for the postal workers, but they do make twice the most I’ve ever earned by the hour. I wonder if they’re hiring. I had to wait a whole extra week for my EI cheque, and that I was truly unhappy about. In the end, Service Canada allowed me to pick up my cheque at the location nearest my apartment.

To add insult to injury, I had to pay for parking.

I   know that I’m the little guy, but I don’t see unionization as necessarily a good thing. This is because, according to the experiences I’ve had up until now, unions have never been good to me. Usually I get hurt as a third party who isn’t involved, but then, I have also twice worked at jobs where there were unions. I got no protection and was paid very badly and had to pay 4% of my salary in dues, not to mention the ridiculous amount of unpaid overtime. Then they used the “seniority excuse” less than two months later to get rid of me – Without the possibility of EI! -ZERO PROTECTION! I WAS SCREWED!

For this reason I don’t trust unions, as my experiences with them have simply never been fruitful. When I was a student at Concordia, one of the student clubs I was a member of, The Concordia Writer’s Group, got shut down by the student union simply because they could, without any warning. When we came back demanding explanations or answers, they made some nonsensical claim about sending e-mails to nonexistent e-mail boxes.

We only found out about our quashing when we came in for a meeting one day, and the locks had been changed. It took an RCMP officer to demand they let us retrieve our own belongings, and even then they gave us considerable trouble, rushing us and standing in our way. Needless to say, I wasn’t too pleased with the CSU.

Of course, being unemployed doesn’t help at all. As of this week I’m actively looking for work again, but I strongly suspect it will be more of the same bullshit I’ve encountered my whole life. Overly demanding bosses, difficult labours, speeds too fast for me to handle, and very, very low pay. Lots of whip-cracking so that I may give most of my earnings to my landlord, to the phone company, to the power company, and whatever is left to the grocery store. I never seem to be able to earn enough to save anything, and I’m not getting any younger.

* Image: Wikimedia Commons

4 comments

  • – biased perspective, mb its you that should be earning more
    – you are part of the union, did you talk to anyone? did you go to the meetings? did you meet your union rep?

    the writers group…we cannot shut it down without reasons – you had recourses against the union if they did shut you down.

    I do feel strongly about your situation and I have lived many of the same issues you seem to be facing. They are, without a doubt, MORE than frustrating.
    Unfortunately I have to be honest and point out where I disagree and why. I know you study political science and so I will give you more credit for conversation.

    The first thing I want to point out is the warrant that public employees make more than in the private sector. I do not know if what I am about to say applies to the postal service sector, but on the aggregate scale this does not apply. From the research I have looked at, the minute you take into account the education levels then private sector workers are actually paid more. This is my source : http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=5767 .
    On a personal level, i would point out that since the 70s the middle class’s wages have been frozen. I would argue that its not that they are being paid too much…I think you are not being paid enough !

    Secondly, your rant against ” unions “. I will set aside your obvious dependence on a sample of…2? your own employment and the CSU. Well, I do not know the facts of your being fired, or why you were not protected..so its hard for me to say if I think your situation was handled appropriately. However, I woudl like to ask if you ever attended your union’s assemblies? Did you ever meet your union rep? Do you know what your union fought for ? The reason why I am asking those questions is because you complained that your dues were being collected while you saw no benefits…so I am just curious to know what your union was doing with those dues; did you ever go and ask them?

    Lastly, the CSU. To be transparent I will say that I am an arts and science Councillor right now. I actually will look into your story in more details as I find it to be quite disgusting. I will say this, the union has a protocol to follow if we are to cancel a student club…and if this protocol was not followed you had rights to go to the judicial board to get that shit straight. On the other hand, one of the reasons why I became a councillor is the disappointing job old CSU administrations had been doing. I would not be surprised to find out that they did such a sloppy job handling everything.

    It was a rant so i am actually taking everything with a grain of salt. However, with the poor state of our unions these days..the austerity measures…sigh….I mean, you cannot on the one hand complain that your salary is too low – but on the other complain against one of the means to get your salary higher no? The good thing about unions is that….you can join them to change them into what you want them to be 🙂

    Have a good one.

  • FWIW I forgot to delete my quicknotes before posting my comments…so the first few lines are me noting down stuff while im reading your rant

  • The Canada Post union was doing a rolling strike, mail would’ve been one day late. It was the company that started the lockout and totally suspended services.

  • My problem with the CSU was a number of years ago, and the administrations have since changed numerous times.

    As for the Union where I used to work, they used every legal loophole they could in order to not protect the workers. I knew both union reps, but was let go before there ever was any union meeting after being hired. as far as I know, this union did not fight at all. I know that it was a very small union, which no longer exists, as far as I know.

    As for the Postal strike, I didn’t have a problem until the lockout, but the truth is, if I’m not getting any mail, I’m not really going to care who’s to blame, until after the problem is resolved.

    When a union is run the way I was told it was supposed to be run when I was in school, then I have no problem supporting that union. Except when I am negatively affected, being punished, as it were, for something I’m not otherwise involved in. I simply do not like being victimized.

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