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April 26, 2008

Essential service

The TTC* went on strike at midnight last night leaving over one million Friday night revelers stranded downtown. The Flea, having been laid low by a hospital cold, was at home watching Harry Potter and so missed events. BlogTO has the best coverage and comments; some incidents of vandalism are reported.


I was stranded at work by the ATU 113s decision to strike. By the grace of a kind co-worker who was leaving an hour after my shift ended, I got home. ATU 113 could have gotten themselves a shitload mode public support if they have gone on strike as of 4 or 5 am. I am generally pro-union, and I had the urge to stop by the subway yard and throw rocks at any TTC driver that I saw. VERY short-sited move on the unions part. Piss of your supporters in the public by giving next to no notice, and stranding people downtown and shift workers at work.


A quote from Bob Kinnear (president of the union) from CTV.com

"The reports from our members of increases in threats and abuse from passengers last weekend, after we gave our original 48-hours' notice, has left us no choice but to withdraw our services immediately. We have a legal responsibility to protect the safety of our members and so does the TTC."

If he thinks it was bad last weekend, just wait until they go back to work. They just made it 10 times worse for themselves.

My thoughts exactly. The unions have intentionally stranded without warning and thereby endangered a million people. Spare a thought too for what police officers had to contend with last night. I had been arguing the unions' corner up to and beyond the 4pm negotiation deadline of last Sunday and have this week congratulated two drivers and a maintenance worker on their settlement.

The unions have lost my good will. I now have only a few words to add. These are: "Essential service", "Fire them all" and "Private transit". Not to forget, "Fuck you, ATU 113".

Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 113
812 Wilson Avenue
Downsview, Ontario
M3K 1E5

Phone: (416) 398-5113
Out of Town: 1-800-245-9929
Fax: (416) 398-4978
Email: atu113@wemovetoronto.ca

At least it's not OC Transpo.

* Take The Car.

Update: I had wondered at reports of a spontaneous demonstration outside TTC HQ last night.

As they chanted outside the TTC main office at davisville last night at 2 a.m. , FUCK TTC! FUCK TTC! FUCK TTC! FUCK TTC!

Timely: The T&C Transit Strike Survival Guide. My current option will have to factor in my competitive jerk tendencies. Fortunately, I have access to a shower, locked parking and an excellent bike that looks like a beater.

Bike. When I worked for a company that had a gym and showers in the building, I used to bike 19km from Scarborough to the financial district. It would take me about 45 minutes and was ten times as fun as waiting for a crowded bus and then packing into a crowded subway. Because I am a competitive jerk I liked to go as fast as possible, which also generates a lot of sweat. I could also park my carbon-and-titanium mountain bike in card-access underground parking which made theft a non-factor. If your company does not have showers and carded, underground bike parking then I recommend biking to work only if you have 1) an old beater of bike that you don't mind getting ripped off and 2) can rein in your competitive jerk impulses and not go fast and get all sweaty.

Update: The strike may well be legal, but is it moral? No, it is not.

“They did it because a weekend strike cripples. Its affects the people no one really cares about. The people who are most affected are shift workers and students - who need the money, and can’t afford to miss their shifts. They hurt the most vulnerable people with this strike.”

Posted by Ghost of a flea at April 26, 2008 12:29 PM