CEIU members deal every day with large numbers of worried, unhappy people who have been caught in the gears of a malfunctioning system.
25) Such incidents occur more frequently as the economy deteriorates, and potential physical danger from "irates" seems to pull CEIU members in more conservative directions.
Nevertheless, at least at the level of official policy, CEIU seems to have been moved toward client solidarity by its experience with the TUUW.
Renaud Paquet, who was CEIU president from 1982-1989, says that this and similar union efforts succeeded in getting Toronto employment counselors to routinely ignore job orders involving scab labour.
The Globe and Mail said as much when CEIU protested the Charlottetown Accord's proposed devolution of Employment Services to the provinces.
The CEIU had presented a similar message to the House Committee on Labour, Employment, and Immigration in 1985.
CEIU leaders had reached similar conclusions about collective bargaining as early as 1986, when efforts to mobilize members against two PSAC-negotiated settlements had been overcome by support in other components.
CEIU members had been active in the grassroots wildcats which sparked the 1980 PSAC clerks' strike, and they would contribute to that union's gradual radicalization, which culminated symbolically in PSAC's first "general" strike in 1991.
So in 1986, CEIU executive decided to de-emphasize bargaining-based strategies, and sponsor direct actions at selected locals, in support of locally generated demands, so long and so far as membership enthusiasm could be sustained.
45) The turn to local action committed CEIU to greater decentralization, an EIC orientation, and more sensitivity to member's daily needs, but it retained the emphasis on mobilization over deal-making which had marked its earlier interventions in collective bargaining.
So the dominant tendency within the CEIU since at least 1984 encouraged a militant, action-oriented collective consciousness among the frontline workers who comprise the bulk of its membership.
The CEIU has used coalitions not only to gather community support for defensive struggles, but also to develop members' political knowledge and tactical skills.