We finished training on Friday, and we were issued passports with stamps showing that we are now qualified car inspectors. I don't feel particularly qualified, but I guess if I can catch the majority of things, that's all they can really expect of a replacement worker. My thinking is that we just need to ensure that the car is safe enough to get out of our yard, then it is somebody else's problem.
I discovered that my little Canon does not like cold weather. I was packing it around in my coat pocket and it refused to work the last time I removed it for a shot. I powered it up, and it immediately flashed a message and powered down again. When I finally got it to power up again, I saw that it was grumping at me to replace the battery pack. I removed the battery and wrapped it in my hand until it felt more like a batter than it did like an ice cube. When I put it back in the camera, it was magically back at full power and working happily.
I was chatting with one of the other trainees as we were loading our cold weather and safety gear into our cars at the end of the week, and we were discussing best case and worst case scenarios in the upcoming weeks. Obviously the best case is that the union and company sign a contract, and we all just keep doing our regular jobs. A bad cased is that they cannot come to an agreement, and the union walks out on the 15th (which is their earliest strike date).
Worst case is that the company locks them out. Usually that happens if the union starts working to rule, or doing other things to cause delays. Under the new regime though, there is a good chance they will just pre-emptively lock them out at the earliest possible strike date as a show of force, and to prevent any kind of work-to-rule shenanigans. We both agreed that a lockout would likely drag on the longest, and be the ugliest in terms of picketer anger.
The above is one of the pictures I took during our late-spring vacation.