It's not that NAPE president Leo Puddister is a bad guy. From the times I've spoken to him, he certainly seems nice enough and obviously passionate about union causes.
But after seeing the cover of this week's Independent, I have to wonder if he's losing his mind.
Now, Leo's always been colourful. Lord knows some of the suits have been designed to catch people's eyes. And he couldn't be more proud of his Irish heritage. He brings Irish acts into St. John's and I don't know if he makes much money off of them He simply wants to see them play here.
Having said that why, why, why would you decide to dress up like a leprechaun on the front page of a newspaper?
Yup, there he is, with a green suit and bow tie with a giant St. Paddy's day hat pearched askew on his head. And just to prove that he's not going down without a fight, he's in a boxing pose. The fighting leprechaun. Good lord.
I'm not sure if that bell toiling in the distance in the death knell for any respect he had left among non-union people. I mean, it's all well and good to be the fighting leprechaun, but you got your ass kicked badly by the government last year. You went on strike, got nothing but a two year wage freeze and a small raise for the last two years. You drove yourself millions in debt with strike pay and an ad campaign. And any bad will that might have been aimed at the provincial government has since evaporated when Danny brought home $2 billion and change from Ottawa.
That, my friends, constitutes an ass kicking.
And it just keeps on coming. The federal Supreme Court ruled in favour of the government not giving money owed to women for pay equitity because they were in fiscal crisis. There were lay offs, there will likely be more lay-offs after the next budget. Oh, and the only thing the last strike accomplished was that it so badly scared the teachers and nurses that they delayed going on strike, hoping to avoid the same fate. Oh, and isn't NAPE involved in a wrongful dismissal lawsuit?
So overall, not a great 12 months in the life of Leo Puddister. So perhaps the way to generate some respect and confidence from your membership and the general public is to not appear on the cover of a paper wearing a fucking leprechaun outfit.