You know… that Blog?

Contract passed – back to work, Coke Brampton!

Written By: Jenn - Jun• 13•16

Good news from Mike Eagan, Vice President Local 973, via Facebook last evening:

 
“Collective agreement ratified
77% in favour including the skilled trades vote.

See you all at work”

It was actually a really poor turnout for voting, and I’m rather shocked by that. This was important, and just slightly more than half of the workforce turned up to listen to the proposal and vote on it. This directly affected you and your families along with everyone else, and you didn’t even show up. Very shoddy, folks. Unacceptable.

The contract had a few minor changes, some fairly substantial changes and a lower pay scale where new temps are concerned, and some required attrition via early retirement packages. Very minor cost of living increases with a lump sum signing bonus and wage freeze for this year, and small increases over the next 2 years, which we can live with. No changes to benefits that I can see. It all went very smoothly… and just a lot too easily in my opinion. It strikes me as a setup for the next contract, where Coke is likely going to attempt some far more extreme measures. Granted I was not present at the meeting, and would love to be wrong about that, but time will tell.

In any case, we’re happy that we have avoided any kind of lockout or strike, and it’s business as usual for most workers. From what I understand, Coke was prepared for a very lengthy strike/lockout in the neighbourhood of 3 months or more if things had not gone well.

We now have 3 years to dwell on and prepare for the next contract in 2019. Use this time wisely, because I’m sure it will not go as smoothly next time.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this negotiation and those who came out to vote. Thanks to Coke for remaining civil and above board this time. Kudos to the Union negotiation team – we appreciate your time and efforts on our behalf.

Work safe, everyone. Have a great day!

 

So, Coke Brampton… what’s it going to be?

Written By: Jenn - Jun• 02•16

We’re there again, in contract negotiations between the union and Coca Cola.

Thing is, for a while now, they’ve been telling clients calling in for orders that we’re “definitely going to be on strike”, so they should “stock up”. I guess we know what the company is planning.

The last I heard about what they’re offering is that it was a complete joke – same old, same old: Divide and conquer, union-busting nonsense. I understand that offer was ripped in half at a meeting. I’m not quite sure where we are at the moment, but from what we’re getting, it appears that Coke is once again not going to play fair. Will that mean another lock out? As you recall, we didn’t actually strike last time; Coke erected fences and locked workers out. Oh sure, they CALLED it a strike, to anyone who would listen, but the simple fact of the matter is that it was a lockout, and an attempt to bring the employees of Brampton more in line with the American ways of doing things (read: no job security, lower paid jobs, contracting out or hiring part timers so no benefits or pension funds need be paid out, etc.) That just doesn’t fly in Canada. We are hard-working people, and we will not allow ourselves to be screwed.

Don’t quite recall how things went last time? Here’s a link to all of those posts that should bring you up to speed: http://youknowthatblog.com/tag/coca-cola/ – it’ll open up in a new tab for your reading pleasure.

So the long and short of it is, as it stands now, we’re likely looking at some sort of work stoppage. Lockout or strike? Guess we’ll find out next week, on June 10th.

Once again, the unionized employees of Brampton and everyone who supports them, will be forced to fight for fair treatment.

We’re not asking for the moon – we never have. We’re not asking for unreasonable wage hikes – just normal cost of living. Essentially, we’d really like things to just stay in line with what we’ve already fought hard for.

Keep it fair, Coke. Remember that these are men and women with families. Good people. And please, lets try not to throw untruths or misrepresentations around again this time, ok? That’s just sad. You have a great workforce that you should be happy to support, not try to screw over at any given moment. Let’s be Canadian about this, shall we?

Good luck everyone. Keep it civil please.

 

 

 

A year later…

Written By: Jenn - Apr• 23•16

Moms-birds

It’s been exactly a year since my last post, which I guess means that blogging just doesn’t hold the allure it once did.

This past year has been the hardest of my life, beginning with a cancer diagnosis for my Mom on April 21st. We hoped and fought so hard, but I lost my Mom a few weeks ago, on March 1st.

My Mom died. She’s gone. I still don’t know how to process this. Every day is a crap shoot on if I’m going to get through it without sobbing. The grief is so absolute. I keep thinking, and I can’t stop. I think about the last time I saw her, and said goodbye. I invited her to haunt me (she hasn’t, so far). I told her we would be ok, and that we’re strong because of her, and how amazing she was to have as a mom. I keep thinking about how hard she tried to respond to me, the fading grip on my hand, the gut wrenching yet faint moan as she tried to tell me how much she loved me. I knew, and I told her so. I knew how much she loved me. Throughout my life, we always, always said so to each other. Throughout her illness, we talked, although it doesn’t seem like we said as much as was needed. As much as *I* needed to say. I know it never will, and I have regrets only that we didn’t have more time.

mom-me-hands

I know it will get easier to bear. My friends who have been through it all tell me I need to just let the grief happen, and that it could take a year, or two, or more before the rawness subsides. I know this in my head. My heart will take longer. I can’t accept it, even though I know I have to.

We had a party for her on April 3rd. In my family, we don’t believe in putting anyone through visitations and funerals. They’re horrible traditions and make things so much worse for the families left behind. We aren’t religious either, so there was none of that happening, and I’m grateful for it. In our family, we have parties. Call it what you will, be it an Irish Wake, or a Celebration of Life. We celebrate, because memories are all we have now, and sharing those is the best way to heal. The turnout was beyond what we expected, as people poured through the door throughout the afternoon. We laughed. There were a few tears, but so many more smiles, and that’s exactly what Mom wanted. She would have been pleased to see so many faces of those who loved her, and those who had never met her, but came in support of her family. It meant so much. I made bookmarks instead of memory cards – Mom was an avid reader, and she would have been tickled. My Dad really appreciated that, and said how appropriate it was.

I see my mother in every Cardinal. They were her favourite of all the birds who frequented the feed stations or sat in the tree outside her kitchen window. I’ve always associated them with her, and even more so now. The day I went to pick up her ashes my SUV was dive-bombed by a Cardinal in an area that I’d never seen one before. I took that as a sign that Mom was there, and she was telling me that it was OK, because she was still here with me. Out loud, I said “Ok, Mom”.

A week before she passed away, it suddenly became imperative that I find a large locket so I could keep some ashes in it. My friend Alice, who is a funeral director, talked me out of that, and found instead a pendant that was made especially for ashes. She ordered it and had it shipped to the funeral home (she lives an hour away) who would be taking care of Mom. My friend at that home, Rebecca, called me the next day to say that it was already there, and she’d take care of filling it for me. I thank both of my good friends with my whole heart for helping me with this. Having a bit of Mom has been extremely comforting for me.

mom-ashes

The Hubby and kids have been wonderful, and understanding when I’m not as present as I need to be. I hurt my back lifting my Mom when I was caring for her, and it’s taking a while to heal. The grief and stress has exacerbated my Fibromyalgia, and the elevated pain I’ve been suffering with is my body is telling me I’ve got to start taking care of myself. I know, and I owe it to my kids and hubby to do that. I will. I am.

My Dad is a rock, and while I’ve only seen him break down twice in this whole ordeal, I know how much losing Mom has devastated him. He lived for my mother, and everything he ever did was with her in mind. I’ve been so worried about him in all of this, and between my brother and me, we’ve tried to minimize the amount of time that he’s alone. I know he needs to be alone though, in order to learn how, and also privately grieve as he needs to. A couple of times I’ve dropped everything because he’s called to ask if I was free to spend the day with him – he won’t say he needs anyone, but when he asks to spend time with you, you know he really needs it. He’s going to be ok. He’s making plans for his future, and that is a huge relief for me. He’s retired, but he’s not an old man, and he knows he has to keep going. We all do. And we all will.

A lot more has happened in my life in this past year, but this post is about my Mom, and I’ll catch everything else up another time. Or maybe I won’t. I’m not putting pressure on myself either way, so what will be, will be.

Thank you for sharing this with me, friends. Writing about it was damn hard, but I needed to do it.

I love you, Mom. Haunt me or fly by any time… I’m waiting for you.

mom-cheers