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Carpenter Dictatorship Institute Mind Control
In Delegate Training!!

AS A MEMBER IN GOOD standing of the UBC during long periods of economic depression [unemployment], I often turn to my handy, dandy issue of The Carpenter Magazine for a dose of non stop yukkers; firmly believing laughter does have medicinal value. It has been strongly rumored The Carpenter is written by Homer Simpson and edited by Alfred E Newman, but for certain, when you need a trip from reality, this magazine will take you as far as you need to go.  Normally, if The Carpenter says it, it isn't, though occasionally, even staff pork choppers slip up.

I picked up the current issue of our raucous rag devouring the gospel on the subject of the duties of our delegates and the efforts of the McCarron regime to train[re-train] them in Las Vegas; you know, to get their minds right.  According to the "Gospel" the delegates job is to learn and accept the direction the UBC is going; to bring it back to the members, educate them, and help them get their minds right too! No mention was made in the article of the delegate's responsibility to represent the will of their memberships. Silly me! Thirty-seven years in the union movement as a member of the Allied Industrial Workers, United Paper Workers, and now the Millwrights {armpit of the UBC]. I have been misled into believing the delegate's job was to carry out the wishes of the rank and file, decisions made at local union meetings, you know, "representative democracy".  Even at a local meeting when an e-board member raised the question of the members having the right to vote on an issue the District Council had already decided, he was quickly assured by Council employees we did not need to vote, we had "representative democracy".  Of course those assurances were given by our young organizer, pabulum still dripping from his lips, having gone from the apprenticeship to pork-chopper.

Still skeptical, I dug further into the article and there it was; a second opinion, from Phyllis Israel, who helped teach the delegates their duties. At first I thought, who the hell is Phyllis Israel?  I wondered how long she'd been carrying tools, why had I not bumped into her on the job, and how long was she on the out-of-work list before she got this job?  Then it hit me; I did not have my mind right. [Picture a scene from Cool Hand Luke resisting the prison bosses; except union bosses don't use barbed wire]  I went out into the garage and dug through my Tool Buddy covered with cobwebs and dust [after only being used one week in my district on a job from my hall since last June] and dug out my six pound, short handled sledgehammer. Taking careful aim I whacked myself squarely in the forehead.  When the pain and blurred vision subsided, a new understanding came over me.  Not only could I see the McCarron UBC point of view more clearly, I had discovered why the sledge had the short handle as even an inch more I might have missed, causing a glancing blow off the balding spot on top.

For decades I had been led to believe employers were greedy and uncaring bastards who exploited labor and committed dastardly crimes against humanity. I had mistakenly believed that the blood and tears and sacrifice of those who fought for the eight-hour day, health and safety, fair wages, retirements, and all the benefits we have, were heroes.  I believed in worker solidarity, union democracy, the members being the highest tribunal and having a voice in the union. I believed in honoring the picket lines of all unions, their struggle was my struggle and collectively we had the power the bring change for all workers.  But now that I have the current UBC leadership and their guidance, I know it was all bullshit.  We are a business, not a social agency and those that gave that sacrifice were fools who could have made the same gains by begging our friendly contractors and employers.  As McCarron told the contractors at their meeting, "it is your jobs and we should let the contractors decide".  We all know we can trust the contractors; they are "our Friends".  Now I know union members don't need democracy, after all, we are too stupid to be in the decision-making. When 83% of the British Columbian Carpenters voted to withdraw from the UBC I was shocked; but when McCarron said in an LA Times interview that they were communists, I understood why they wanted to leave.  Those damn Commies always want something.  They are all over this country and a majority of the UBC members are commies, wanting the right to vote.  So are the rest of the unions and that is why the UBC withdrew from the AFL-CIO and why our friend Doug McCarron is trying to form a new kind of union where we won't have to worry about members interfering with his strong leadership. I sure hope the international leadership can keep them under control; you know, stifle dissent, punish them; the same agenda our friend in the White House has.

Now I know why it is important for McCarron to fly around on Air Force One, invite Bush to labor gatherings; after all, George W said we were his kind of union!  I was concerned when I saw a picture of Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House, in the new training center in Las Vegas.  Though he is reviled in Illinois by organized labor and was considered our most anti-union legislator, I am sure McCarron will turn him around. Still, I hope there was a good reason why he was learning how to use a screw gun.

I was a little peeved when the article talked about McCarron, Silins and Baines flying to Las Vegas every weekend to meet with a new batch of delegates until my session with my hammer.  Now I recognize the sacrifice they are giving by interrupting their busy schedules to help these delegates get their minds right. It is tough having to spend so much time in the "Penthouse" in the new training center when they could be home with their wives.  I know they were worried about the AFL-CIO spending our money foolishly, but even I can see this is money well spent.

We need to make sure we are all going the same direction our contractor friends are.  After all our organizing, bringing in thousands of new members, maybe even millions, somewhere down the road we will need the contractors for the work we forgot to organize.  For now though, we should all be grateful for all the time off.  Maybe we could donate some of it to organizing more new members we don't have work for.  I think this is where the begging the contractors comes in.  Perhaps we can "earn" a job as a staffer in the UBC, they all seem to be doing quite well and we know they deserve it.  Unfortunately, when I was digging through my tools for my hammer, I discovered I did not have one pair of knee pads, the most important tool a UBC member could have.  While nepotism and cronyism are working well in the UBC, knee pads will double your chances of getting a job. I can hardly wait for the next issue of The Carpenter. I know the humor will help us through the holidays; Christmas, New Years, Easter, and even April Fools Day on unemployment.

Mike Griffin
Millwright Local 1051

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