Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Will PEF Choose Solidarity?

Question!Tomorrow afternoon, New York's second largest public employees Union will find out if their membership ratifies the newest tentative contract agreement reached with Governor 1% (Andrew Cuomo).  While there was evidence before the vote on the first tentative contract agreement that the contract would not pass, the Union Legion can see no such evidence this time around.

Plainly put, there results are really going to be anyone's guess.  Toss a coin in the air.  Contrary to last time, there is no evidence in the press that the Cuomo Administration suspects the contract will fail.  Additionally, many of the PEF members the Union Legion has spoken to who voted "no" for the first time are voting "yes" this time around.  With such shifts in voting occurring and reports of a greater turnout, trying to predict the outcome of this vote remains confusing if not impossible.

PEF leadership has put considerable effort into getting the message out that voting for this agreement is a vote for Solidarity that will save 3496 jobs and have done a far better job promoting this tentative contract than the prior one -- utilizing phone banks, advertisements, fliers, "tele-townhalls", and robocalls.  The political faction within PEF that opposes the Brynian administration and the contract, however, seems to have been caught off guard by either the shorter time frame for the vote or PEF's legitimate grassroots efforts.  Consequently, the message of these anti-Brynian forces doesn't seem to be resonating as well this time around and they've even lowered themselves to engage in voter fraud.

After all, they are trying to argue they are standing for "solidarity" all the while encouraging their followers to take actions which will directly result in 3496 of their fellow Union brothers and sisters loosing their jobs.

PEF has taken the moral high ground on this issue.  While the faction against the contract continues to talk about people loosing money in their paychecks and other materialistic arguments, PEF has remained focused on Labor and saving people's jobs.  Governor 1% has already started the layoff process.  Should the contract fail to be ratified, the first of the 3496 State employees will be laid off on the following day.  The "no" voting faction does not have a rational argument which stands against PEF's unassailable position for Solidarity.  Instead, they have chosen to appeal to people's insecurities, their greed, and a truly warped sense of what "solidarity" means -- demonstrating the amazing extent to which cognitive dissonance can be perpetrated and encouraged.  For those "no" voters reading this post, when you go around telling anyone who'll listen that you'll only think about yourself or your family, you aren't standing in Solidarity.  Sorry to break this to you but you are being greedy and not being willing to sacrifice for the betterment of the whole.  What about all those other workers and their families?  Don't they matter?

This question, of course, leads to their their "pass the buck" argument -- that Governor 1% is the only one responsible for the layoffs.  While he started the process, should the contract not pass this time around, he would not be the only one responsible.  In a fevered pitch of self-delusion and psychological projection, the "no" voters refuse to accept the fact they, too, would be responsible for the layoffs.  It takes two to tango and should the "no" voting faction succeed, they will be partially responsible for their coworkers loosing their jobs.  The situation is what it is.  While Cuomo created this environment, they are in it and their actions will have consequences.  It's a fact they can't otherwise avoid without self-deception.

So, tomorrow is the day New York will find out who wins this argument.  Will Solidarity be maintained and the contract be ratified or will base emotions and a political agenda result in 3496 people loosing their jobs?  Right now, it is too close to tell.  If PEF really wants to have a future, Solidarity had better win.

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