Not all things that seem ridiculous are meant to ridicule.
Starting this blog with that kind of a disclaimer put me on the defensive but there are things that just had to be said. The labor problem at my place of work is beginning to look enormously serious. It wasn't the first time the employees went on regulated strike but the present situation has a far different feel from the ones that we have witnessed in the past. Before, there were larger, and louder crowds at the picketline. There are also a lot of hecklings and smiling faces, the kind of crowd likely to show up at a friend's birthday bash who can't wait for the bottomless tequila. There is tension in the air but this is easily drowned out by the almost festive atmosphere.
It's a completely different scenario this time around.
The crowd is thinner, the participants glum-faced, and grim. The hecklers and the peanut gallery may have missed the invitation because they are nowhere in sight. What remain are the hardest of the hardcore unionists. The speeches have become more and more acerbic after every passing day, and yesterday, they held a candle light protest, an event that would appear like theatrical posturings or just plain ridiculous in normal times. But given the present state of affairs, is that already the prelude to a burning of the bridges between union and management? Are they playing with fire? Let's hope not.
Much as I respect management's decisions in dealing with the union, and place my absolute trust on the sincerity of their explanation for the denial of the employees demands, I felt there could have been a more sensible way to handle the situation.
For one, you don't put on a brave face and a firm no and then refuse to see eye to eye with the union. You also don't choose your own fan club as the exclusive forum for your self-serving speeches then jump into conclusion that the entire organization had already understood and willingly accepted the point that you were trying to make. And more importantly, you don't pretend to have selective memory-loss because you might lose not only the moral authority to lead, but also the little credibility that you may still have left. And finally, you don't choose your advisers from within your fan club because they will only tell you what you want to hear.
I don't have to pretend to be a lawyer to understand that when two parties come to the bargaining table, do some horse-trading, make offers and counter-offers, cut a deal and seal it with a handshake like honorable men should, the resulting agreement should assume the character of a sacred covenant which both parties must obey and respect and if necessary, to try to defend with their very lives and honor against vicious attacks to its integrity. But right now, management is seeing things differently insisting that we are wrong and they are so damn right. I hope it's just the eye problem thing again.
Hey Joe, how dare you deny that done deal?