Union head's critics were strike no-shows
I was vice-president of Local 115A of the Communications Energy and Paperworkers union during the Calgary Herald strike (NOW, August 3-9). The entire episode was truly bizarre.
Certainly, we in the CEP made errors that contributed to the ultimate downfall of the strike, and I am prepared to shoulder my share.
That said, I think it is extremely unseemly for some of Gail Lem's long-standing opponents within the CEP to attempt to exploit this situation to their own advantage.
As we floundered about for ways to deal with the company's intransigence, I heard no ideas or strategies from either John Deverell or Peter Murdoch. Indeed, I heard very little at all from those two gentlemen.
As for Alan Tate and John Webster of the Graphic Communications International Union, methinks the leadership of the so-called "union of manly men" doth protest too much.
The GCIU in effect scabbed us until the company locked them out, and they skittered back into the bunker with their pink petticoats showing the day the company reopened the doors.
It was Conrad Black who personalized this fight. It wasn't Lem who implied that I was just another lazy and untalented featherbedder trying to hide behind a seniority list while I snoozed away on the Herald's tab.
David J. Climenhaga
Bad union blood the cause of Herald failure
A few thoughts on the CEP's strike against the Calgary Herald.
The big, untold story in this national labour drama is the very bad blood between the Newspaper Guild and CEP.
There has been bad blood since both CEP and the Guild fought to represent CBC staffers in 1995.
This was first brought home to me during the 1996 Guild recruiting drive that followed Hollinger's purchase of the Leader-Post and Saskatoon Star-Phoenix.
The Guild was recruiting LP staff when one of its staff reps told yours truly that Hollinger bargained hard, but kept to its word. "The real assholes are the CEP," this union rep told me. Land sakes! Such solidarity.
After the Herald strike began, union member Laura Shutiak came to Regina to speak about events in Calgary and to appear at a symbolic picket of the Leader-Post.
But leadership of the Guild local in the LP newsroom declined to tell any of its members about the event.
Some Guild vets were heard snickering that if they'd have been running things, a strike either wouldn't have taken place or it would have been over far quicker.
Why no Horton Heat in Hank Williams review?
I am amazed how weak and uninvolved your club and concert reviews have been the last few issues. Last week's review for Hank Williams III's performance (NOW, August 3-9) failed to mention that he was only opening for the Reverend Horton Heat, who got no mention at all.
Again, in the review of Freakwater, the opening Bob Egan got all the ink.
Maybe your reviewers only care about opening bands, or maybe the headlining bands came on too late.
Still, if my memory is correct, Freakwater's Janet Beveridge Bean was on your cover last year. Why did you ignore the band this year?
Smoke less, man, if pot getting you too high
I must say I got a nice chuckle out of Enzo Di Matteo's little rant about the new strains of high-potency hydro (NOW, July 20-26). In the interests of setting the record straight on good pot, let me give Enzo two suggestions:
If the pot gets you "too high," I suggest you smoke less of it.
You occasional tokers need to remember that the amount that will send you to the outer limits might barely register for someone (like myself) who has smoked every day for the last 10 years.
And don't fret. There will always be a supply of that ditch weed you love so much. None of my connections bother selling it to anyone other then high-school kids who don't know the difference.