misskitty_79: (public posts)
[personal profile] misskitty_79
When I got on the streetcar to work this evening, my driver informed me that I shouldn't stay out late, since they were going on strike.

Confirmation can be found in the following links:Updated @ 01h20: Mayor David Miller says TTC workers will be ordered back to work:Updated again @ 10h10: Sunday legislation possible:

Date: 2008-04-26 03:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehjos.livejournal.com
Oh fucking great. If they're not back in service by Sunday night, I'm gonna miss work.... Grr.

Date: 2008-04-26 03:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misskitty-79.livejournal.com
I get to walk home from work in the morning & back again that evening.
*grumbles*

Date: 2008-04-26 03:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gashin.livejournal.com
It's always too bad when city governments don't give enough of a shit about unions, union workers, and the transit-using segment of the population to avoid likes of public transport strikes.

Date: 2008-04-26 04:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misskitty-79.livejournal.com
Actually, this is more a case of the city not cowtowing to the union's insane demands. This stupidity was meant to be averted last week when they promised that if there would be a strike the public would receive a minimum of 48hours notice.
Personally, I have absolutely no sympathy for the TTC union's demands & believe that the tactics used by Mr Kinnear should be worthy of immediate dismissal.

Date: 2008-04-26 01:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gashin.livejournal.com
All I know about their demands came from the last time the city and the TTC came to an "eleventh-hour compromise" (a week ago? two weeks ago?), and nothing in what the union representative listed in that article, stating it all was exactly what they wanted and very satisfying, was in the least bit exaggerated or insane. 3% wage increases over the life of the contract (equally approximately inflation), better life insurance and pension plans, checks and balances to make sure that future employees benefit from the contract, not just current employees... I live with someone highly involved in the functioning and social presence of unions and he, too, felt none of this was exorbitant. We were both relieved that a strike was found unnecessary.

If you have more information as to demands that are ridiculous, or anything about Mr. Kinnear's tactics that indicates any inappropriate action on his part, I'd love to see it. I only have snippets to work with on this matter.

Date: 2008-04-26 02:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misskitty-79.livejournal.com
If you have more information as to demands that are ridiculous...
I don't really think that any of their demands are particularly ridiculous. And I can absolutely understand how some of the things they're asking for (or rather, at this stage of the game, demanding) might be non-negotiables. Take, for example, the issue about pay for employees who have been injured while on the job. I agree with the need to have these things in a new contract.
However...
How is it that all of their demands seem to have becom non-negotiables? Is it not resonable to assume that if you are not willing to give in one area, you must be willing to to so elsewhere? Especially in light of the fact that the TTC is broke? The employees know this. How then can they expect to get everything they want?

...or anything about Mr. Kinnear's tactics that indicates any inappropriate action on his part, I'd love to see it.
As for Mr. Kinnear, I think the fact that the TTC began their strike at midnight, on a Friday night with thousands of people already out in the entertainment district (& elsewhere), with no contingency plan(s)... after the public had not only been assured that were a strike to occur, they'd be given a minimum of 48hrs notice, but also been told that the need to worry had been averted (on Monday last)... Well, I think that it was a very politically unintelligent move.

Date: 2008-04-26 03:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gashin.livejournal.com
The 48h clause would have been a nice one, yeah. Sometimes I think unions make their own lives harder... The public's gut instinct, in spite of our oft-touted Social Democracy (rah rah rah), is very nearly always to attack the union and call them everything from lazy to greedy. This is simply explained by the fact that most of society cannot relate to union politics and we all care much more about the daily functioning of our lives, and nothing untoward happening to that daily functioning, than the collective job rights of whatever union is striking. That's to be expected (it's sad, but it's to be expected). HOWEVER, in calling surprise strikes at midnight that are necessarily and understandably going to enrage the public, they are making their case, and their lives, so much worse. 48h notice at least tells the general public that the union is not TRYING to screw their shit up, and is not TRYING to use them as collateral against the city, but that a strike is completely unavoidable in their negotiation tactics at a certain point. If Mr. Kinnear is, as an individual, responsible for initiating a surprise strike or allowing one to be implemented, then yeah, I can see why he'd be looked down upon with a good deal of consternation.

As for the fact that the TTC is broke: was not also the STM (/is not perpetually the STM *laugh*)? And don't Torontonians like yourself pay more than any other major-city-dwellers for your transit? I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere. Is the TTC just undertaking enormous construction/expansion projects, or what? Where is the money going?

Date: 2008-04-26 03:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] misskitty-79.livejournal.com
The 48h clause would have been a nice one, yeah.
No, no, you misunderstand. The union had already assured the public (last week) that if they voted to strike, they would give notice. In doing this sneaky midnight stuff, not only did they leave a lot of people out in the cold last night/this morning, but they reneged on a promise. Their actions have discredited them completely.

Date: 2008-04-26 03:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gashin.livejournal.com
Sorry, my phrasing wasn't clear. It was meant in the sense of "the 48h clause would have been a nice one to actually uphold". I understand it was promised and then not delivered; when I say "in calling surprise strikes at midnight that are necessarily and understandably going to enrage the public", the enraging part is from the surprise-ness. Of course, lots of people would be enraged with a midnight strike even IF 48h were not previously promised. But even more so, given that they were.

I don't think Edmonton's transit union will ever strike because it would impact too few people to shock the city into doing something. Sigh.
From: (Anonymous)
The Money being spent on the Building programs
are a one time expenditure where as salaries come from the operating budget which is on going. The levels of government that gave money for the building and equipment is one time thing not an annual contribution to the TTC budget.

If they don't want to work.. then let them be replaced. Private sector has that cut throat mentality and while I myself may not like it is the way of the world. So they should grow up or some one will downsize and out source their asses to INDIA or closer to home, St. Catharines where the unemployment rate is well above the national average.

Tell me where does one get a 40k + job by sitting in a booth taking change and giving tickets. And what make them so special that their employers pay their health tax when the rest of us have to pay it ourselves. The rate of inflation for the past few years has been less than 2 percent. So they are ahead of the game where others have not had raises for a few years.

Peter
From: [identity profile] gashin.livejournal.com
Hi Peter,

What forms the basis of the TTC's operating budget, in that case? Is it primarily funded by the city, and the city is no longer providing adequate supplementation to fare prices/etc. to meet the standard of employment the union holds the TTC to, or is it something else?

Private sector does not need to have that cutthroat mentality; that's partially why unions were created in the first place. Coming from Quebec (ah, the legacy of the Quiet Revolution), perhaps I hold unions dearer than a giver other, average citizen, but even working for a well-established financial corporation, my lack of union is somewhat unsettling to me. They are what keep corporations accountable to their workers. Unless I'm willing and able to dig up all BMO's financial records for the last year, I can't actually challenge them on their supposed inability to provide all employees in the Prairies district with raises that would put OUR salaries on par with those of other financial corporations, as they pledge they always will (and even if I COULD dig up those records, who would I challenge?)-- a union would do that for me. Frankly, the fact that there is not more across-the-board unionizing in this country is an eternal source of bafflement to me.

And that answers your question: where there are unions, there are jobs that actually pay enough to let people live reasonable lives, not panicking about where their next grocery trip or electricity bill is going to get funding from. That is where you find your widely-available $40K/yr jobs-- instead of a few $150K/yr jobs and tons and tons of $23K/yr jobs. The idea of a union is to provide the same (acceptable) quality of life for as many people working for a corporation as possible, be they drivers or ticket-collectors or janitors or whatever else. Everybody in this country deserves a $40K/yr salary, and the corporations in this country could afford it. But they don't, because they rather keep their profits and pay richly a few individuals at the top. And nobody holds them accountable.

/soapbox

Date: 2008-04-26 04:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] horsetraveller.livejournal.com
Thanks for the info. I'm coming to Toronto tomorrow and had planned to Greyhound/TTC it. But it seems more secure if I drive my own little car.

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