"Well Globe workers, it's been a delight intimidating, containing and repelling you. We'll meet again at the 444 Front St. demolition. Adieu."
And with that tweet it was over for @globefence, the anonymous Twitter account inspired by management's move at the headquarters of Canada's national newspaper to erect a chain link around the employee parking garage last week when it looked like a strike was imminent.
On Thursday, some 374 journalists, sales reps and administrative staff at the paper voted 84 per cent to ratify a new three-year collective agreement that will include wage increases of 1, 1 and 2 per cent. Meh.
Still, the union declared victory for fending off what was reportedly the biggest barrier to an agreement. Namely, a management proposal that would have forced Globe journalists to write advertorial copy for paying advertisers. Brrr.
Globe unit chair Sue Andrew declared victory, saying in a statement that "the integrity and reputation of our journalists and of the Globe and Mail itself" has been protected.
We asked @globefence, the fixture in middle of it all, about that. And morale problems laid bare between Globe staff and management during contract talks. Here's the exchange:
Are you happy a strike has been averted?
Torn. On one hand, I'm built for confrontation. On the other, I would hate having dirty reporters hanging from my carefully chained links.
How close were you to calling in cousin barbed wire?
Wasn't going to happen. Barbed is a bit of a hick unfit for the protection of a Very Important Canadian Institution [@globefence's emphasis] like the Globe and Mail.
What does your erection, I mean, the fact you had to be erected, say about the state of Canadian journalism?
With all modesty, I've been most taken aback by how impressive people have found my erection. But to your point, it shows how occasionally Canada's most vital institutions must be protected from Canadians. And hacks are the *worst*.
What was that Stalag 444 crack by (former Globe city hall columnist) John Barber about anyway? How much of a dick can (Globe editor-in-chief David) Walmsley really be if he worked for the CBC?
I'm not sure this Walmsley fellow knew what he was in for when he took the job. Just the other day, I found him gazing at me, lamenting all his hard work. Something about morale. Anyway, a wee jolt of 500 volts sent him on his way.
That's right. You're electric.
I've been trying to convince (Globe publisher and CEO) Phillip "Taser" Crawley to get on me for MONTHS. The stories he could tell.
You became an overnight sensation. What were you thinking when you hit 500 followers just like that? Newspaper Hulk only has 64?
Some of history's great figures have been fences. Berlin Wall. Great Wall of China. Globe Fence is more than pleased to join their company.
Is it true that you were erected just to keep (Globe plagiarist) Margaret Wente out... something about protecting democracy?
A. Mr. Crawley sent me downtown with one instruction: At ALL COSTS, protect Wente. Oddly, I never saw her once.
Is staff really that pissed about the paper's endorsing Tim Hudak for premier? Or just the cafeteria food?
Funny story: they tore out the cafeteria some weeks ago. And yet the food kept trying to crawl back in. But I was hoping you might ask me more about my inspirations. While I mentioned the Berlin Wall and that wobbly piece of work in China. there is truly only one that rises above them all.
I'm sure you can see the parallel. Anyway Mr. DiMatteo, it's been a pleasure. I must run, er, get rolled up. I will probably withdraw from public life for a time. One must not risk overexposure. Thank you for your interest.
Wait. So is it back to an empty parking lot in Scarborough for u now?
Those were my last instructions, but I do hope something more fitting will come along. Perhaps Mr. Crawley could use me on his estate!
firstname.lastname@example.org | @enzodimatteo