Pandemic Pivot
/ Author: Dennis Perrin
/ Categories: Blogs, Newsletters /
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Pandemic Pivot

This Labour Day, take a moment to reflect on the many great advances organized labour has made over the last 100-plus years. But be prepared to do things differently

By Dennis Perrin, Prairies Director

One recent morning, I woke up with a plan. The plan involved only me, my mountain bike, and the many kilometres of unfettered trails in Edmonton’s beautiful River Valley.

I was enjoying a few days of much-needed vacation, and after dropping my son off at volleyball camp for a few hours I decided to tackle our beloved urban parkland. I live in Edmonton, and for those not familiar with our fair city, its hidden gem is the River Valley.

It boasts more than 160 kilometres of trails for biking, running, or walking and is the largest urban trail system in North America—22 times bigger than New York City’s Central Park! It also encompasses 11 lakes and 22 ravines, and in my opinion never disappoints.

Residents and visitors alike enjoy this wonderful piece of outdoor leisure and nature space along the North Saskatchewan River. We may have an underperforming hockey team, but nobody can take our pristine River Valley from us!

My plan that day also included a specific route. It was a route I had not been on in several years, and I was looking forward to an intense ride down memory lane while getting some much-need exercise and alone time.

There was just one problem. At a point in the trail, I hit bridge construction, disrupting my plan and forcing me to pivot. The detour would have taken me so far out of the way that I wouldn’t have been back to get my son on time.

Should I pack up and go home? After dealing with the initial disappointment, I decided it was time to adjust, find a new route, and make the best of it.

During the pandemic, individuals and organizations alike have needed to pivot. Many are now forced to innovate and rethink previous plans. We are living in a dramatically different time than we were just seven months ago, and things will likely never fully return to the way they were.

Change and the new normal are the terms of the day, and while we don’t yet know exactly what it all means, we must have a mindset that prepares us to do things differently.

This Labour Day, we should take a moment to look back and reflect on the many great advances organized labour has made over the last 100-plus years. At the same time, we need to be prepared to do things differently amid our current circumstances.

What worked only a few months ago may no longer work. Economies are shifting significantly, and workers’ needs may shift as well. Good-paying jobs with sound representation will never change, but how we get there might look different as we travel down this unfamiliar path.

My adjusted bike route ended up being just as fulfilling as my originally planned route. But it started with a willingness to have a mindset open to change.

The circumstances we are living in have massive repercussions compared to a simple change in a bike route. CLAC is committed to being open and innovative in how we operate in these difficult times. What will not change is our commitment to excellent member service and the workplace community. 

We’ve always been here for you and will continue to be—even when the pathway is uncertain.

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