When he wins, the public hates him. When he loses, his members hate him.
As CUPE 416 president, you spent 16 weeks locked in heated negotiations with Team Ford over the new outdoor workers contract. How hostile did it get?
The city’s bargaining team told me they were going to impose their terms of employment if we didn’t reach an agreement. I ended up breaking down in tears, which has happened twice in my career: before the garbage strike in 2009, and now.
You’re a Buddhist. Did that help?
Absolutely. My bargaining committee would be arguing away, and I would lie down in a quiet room and meditate for five or 10 minutes to clear my thoughts.
In an email exchange with an angry union member after the ratification, you called Team Ford “motherfuckers.” That doesn’t sound very Buddhistic.
It was in the heat of the moment, and I apologized. But I don’t apologize for trying to get members worked up about what this administration is doing to the city.
How much time does the job of union president leave for family?
Over the past year, I was home for dinner maybe one night a week. My wife and I broke up about two months ago.
Thanks, but it’s for the best. I’ll be spending more time with my two girls.
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