Really cool critique of CUPEs PR Disaster

My university is on strike right now. The union is CUPE 3903; the teaching and graduate assistants, and the contract faculty. Public opinion is very much against them – even some of our radical left are shaking their heads. I’m in an odd position – I support the strikers, and yet I’m gritting my teeth in exasperation toward them. It’s not easy fighting York Incorporated’s campus-wide smear campaign, and it’s never easy dealing with disgruntled undergrads, but I must say: the CUPE 3903 strike campaign this year is an unmitigated PR disaster.


Check out the review here:



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6 responses to “Really cool critique of CUPEs PR Disaster

  1. Andrew

    To dipperwell’s list I would add three things:

    – Stay on top of your own message. In one sentence, what’s the key thing that CUPE is fighting for? Can anyone explain it? The union should have had a concise sound bite of a platform that everyone — especially everyone in their own union — can recite and can get behind. They’ve been groping towards this as the message changed from “poverty line” (hard to sell in tough times) to “job security” (a more sympathetic message). However, they are still all over the map on this (and dipperwell is right, CUPE’s disorganized web site doesn’t help).

    – Make sure the public sees the union leadership as competent. The union lost this point at last Thursday’s 15-minute bargaining session, which devolved into a he-said-she-said farce. The public might not agree with you, but they do have the right to expect that you’re taking this seriously and that you know what you’re doing — so at least make it look like you do. (Not incidentally, this is what tripped up the TTC union during their abortive strike.)

    – Don’t start planning the next strike before this one is over. The 2010 revelations have been damaging to the union’s credibility as a good-faith party in bargaining.

  2. Jimmy

    Well said man.

    This is what is going to cause the Union to lose. They are seen in a very bad light, while the university is seen in a good light.

  3. Thomas Malloy

    I don’t think the union is going to give up…or lose.

  4. ams

    Andrew man, well said!

  5. yorkstrike2008


    Good points to add.

    The Union is an absolute PR disaster!

  6. Basil El-Salviti

    I saw this happening. The only videos I’ve ever seen of the striking staff are videos of them dancing and playing union solidarity music….sounds a little hippyish to me. Not to be judgmental, but we all have our biases…to me, I’ve always perceived hippies as not knowing much of anything, and just getting high….lol….it’snot the best image the union wants to portray. The whole standing up together sounds too much like war….the unions message couldn’t resonate with the public because they assumed people would be touched by this notion of fighting the big guns….it just doesn’t work for us, and I’m not very sure why because it sounds like classic storytelling….maybe that’s why itisn’t realistic, it’s premise is marked in a fictitious world….it’s not marked in reality.

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