Monday, May 21, 2007

The local chapter

A Perfect Post – May 2007 May07ROFLaward

I'm back on the Monday Mission band wagon. This week's challenge is to write a blog post in the format of meeting minutes.

Union of Story Book Characters
Local 520
Minutes of the 2007 AGM

Meeting date: May 21, 2007
Meeting time: after bedtime
In attendance: Jillian Jiggs, Mouse-A-Cookie, Spot, Corduroy, Ruby, Max, Bear Hunt Family, Duck, Sophie, Caterpillar, Harold, Mr. Brice, misc baby faces and flaps.

Regrets: The Runaway Bunny, the Owl, and the Pussycat

Minutes recorded by union secretary, Harold

1. Welcome
2. Equity
3. Narration
4. Replacement workers
5. Job security
6. Extended health plan
7. Report of the New Technology Committee
8. Any other business

1. Welcome
Union foreman, Spot, welcomed everyone to the meeting. Attendees were invited to help themselves to cookies with candy sprinkles and cake with butter-cream roses made by Ruby and to all nine kinds of pie drawn up by Harold.

2. Equity
After working his way through a variety of snacks and while munching on a nice green leaf, the Very Hungry Caterpillar raised the issue that books in the living room are being read in far greater number and with more frequency than books in the family room or the bedroom. This situation has created an inequitable work load for union members. Discussion ensued. It was decided that in the next round of contract negotiations, union members would demand either a) equitable hours of work in all three household reading locales or b) routine redistribution of books throughout the house to ensure employment equity.

"Strike!" said Max.

3. Narration
Jillian Jiggs brought a motion to the membership:

"I'm Jillian, Jillian, Jillian Jiggs
Please don't make my story be read out by pigs.
I really don't want to be read by that Dad
Who stops to point out every single doo-dad
'Vocab building', he calls it, oh please!
I just get going and he makes me freeze
Only Mom is the greatest, only Mom, it is true

Can read in a cadence that carries me through."

Ms. Jiggs backed up her motion by presenting a letter of support from the splinter union, the International Brotherhood of Boynton Hippopotamuses.

Sophie got angry, really, really angry. She reminded the membership that this union also represents the numerous wordless picture books in the house and that while they may not have a voice at this meeting, Carl would not take kindly to any decision to ban the observational narrative style of the MadDad. Sophie then presented supporting documentation that illustrated the concerns of Carl, Gorilla and other representatives of the wordless picture book working group.

Spot motioned that the union take no further action with respect to demanding narrative change in the household. Ruby seconded. The vote passed with only one dissenting voice. "Strike!" said Max.

4. Replacement workers
The Bear Hunt Family noted that a large proportion of the books entering the house come from the library where Mad Hatter works. "Oh-oh, scabs! Free-to-borrow scabs! Can't go over them. Can't go under them. Oh no. Got to go through them." Discussion ensued. The membership shared a unanimous concern about the unfair competition faced by the library replacement workers but, given management's pro-library stance, it was agreed that no effective action could be taken at this time to remedy the situation.

"Strike!" said Max.

5. Job Security
Smiling all the while, a representative of the baby-face and lift-the-flap working group expressed concern about job security. The fear was that their positions in the organization had been designed with built-in obsolescence and that they would soon be laid off permanently. Spot assured the babies and flaps that he had been cozying up to management and learned that a close personal friend would be opening up a branch plant in October. He had been given assurances that all the employees whose jobs were in danger would find work at the new plant.

"Strike!" said Max.

6. Extended health care
Mr. Brice led the discussion. "My mice are nice," said Mr. Brice, "but Miss M is a health hazard not just for them but for all the pop-up and moveable characters in the union. We demand a supplementary health-care package in the next round of contract negotiations." Discussion ensued. Condolences were offered to Peter Mouse and Sally Mouse, both of whom had suffered a brutal attack at the hands of Miss M. Mouse-a-cookie mentioned that "if you give Miss M a pop-up book, she's going to want scotch tape to go with it. If you give her the scotch tape, she's going to want to tear you to shreds..."

Ruby remarked that ever since the "Jack and Jill" litigation of a few years back, management has been quite amenable to all health-care requests made on behalf of union members. Duck added that rumours of an impending bird flu pandemic were making both management and union members uneasy. He claimed to speak for all the ducks, chickens and geese within the greater membership.

It was decided to approach management for more comprehensive extended health coverage on behalf of all union members. Duck being a neutral party was asked to carry the ultimatum to Miss M(anagement).

"Strike!" said Max.

7. Report of the New Technology Committee
As Committee Chair, Ruby reported that there was great potential for union members wishing to branch out into television and DVD work. The committee as a whole, though, felt that a goodly amount of the integrity of each union member was at risk in this experimentation with new technology. Corduroy corroborated. "I'm a simplistic Treehouse character. I never wanted to be a simplistic Treehouse character." He then muttered something about missing Lisa before falling asleep. There was a general consensus that the members had a greater chance at longevity in their careers if they focused primarily on their work in print.

Spot thanked the committee for its report.

"Strike!" said Max.

8. Any Other Business
Spot mentioned that the newly appointed Mediator in the region was none other than Mother Goose. Concerns were expressed over her ability to remain neutral during labour negotiations given that she is the CEO of the largest story-book conglomerate in history. Harold offered reassurances that despite her current corporate profile, Mother Goose, in her early days, mentored some of the all-time greats in the story-book labour movement: Mary, Mary Quite Contrary (Landscapers United); Wee Willie Winkie (Curfew Teamsters); and Bobby Shaftoe (The Brotherhood of the May-Be-Married Mariners).

The membership, by and large, agreed that this development had an uncertain outcome and that the union's best strategy was to avoid a breakdown in negotiations for the forseeable future. There was one lone dissenting voice. "Strike!" said Max.

The meeting adjourned just before dawn.