Tuesday, October 1, 2013

An additional comment on the Paycheck First situation

        I have noticed that I have received a number of visits from individuals from the Paycheck First blog.  I'm normally curious about how folks discovered the blog, and am appreciative of links.  However, I can't say that I feel the same way about these referrals.  I took a glance at the referring document, and found that my blog had been referred with the usual lack of accountability that I have come to expect from that blog, in an anonymous note at the end of a posting.  In addition, in typical fashion, the unnamed individual had offered a fairly inaccurate description of my posting, stating an assertion that I did not make, and ignoring the substantial issues that I had brought up with the blog.

        To briefly return to my initial comments, I had suspected that this might be something produced by former leadership supporters.  It contained a lot of the elements that have defined their output, including a lot of inaccuracies, statements made out of context, and a general absence of a political analysis, issues I would love to engage with once the individual involved publicly identified themselves.  However, I noted that there was no way to either confirm or deny this guess, given that the individual involved did not attach their names to their own blog.  It is difficult to take a call for accountability terribly seriously when the individuals involved couldn't even bother to take the time to attach their names to their own statements.  I suspect that they realize that their own credibility as activists and as members would be seriously damaged if they were associated with their own work.

     I'm quite interested in dispelling many of the substantial misunderstandings that the unnamed individuals have presented about the bargaining process, and in dispelling and correcting the many rumors that they have spread about the process, but for me to engage in that process here would involve them actually identifying themselves.  As I have noted in the past, I have never made a statement about the union anonymously.  I was public in my views when I was a rank and file activist, when I was in the minority caucus in the union as an officer, and now that I am a part of the majority coalition in the union.  I take union democracy seriously, and taking responsibility for your own positions is a crucial aspect of that democratic process.  I will be blunt, the Paycheck First blog both sabotages that democratic process, and potentially aids management in the process of bargaining.

      However, it is worth noting that the union's postings on the contract process already substantially undermine the claims of the blog's anonymous contributors.  I'd strongly recommend looking at those releases for a better sense of what is going on.  We are also discussing whether or not we should put out some material about these topics on the Irvine AWDU blog, as a way of dispelling the fear and superstition perpetrated on that blog.  I have mixed feelings about that though.  On one hand, we need more information out about the process of bargaining, and more places to discuss that information.  At the same time, I'm tired of being called out by people who have neither the willingness to put their names to their claims nor to do the basic research required to understand the most basic aspects of the bargaining process. 

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