TTC strike means one angry city

by W. Andrew Powell

Methinks the people most delighted to see a Toronto Transit Commission strike, which was just announced 30 minutes ago, is Citytv. Seriously, the news has only been on since 11:00 PM and they have announced the breaking news 4 or 5 times already.

Chill out guys, your sensationalism is a turn off any day of the week, but it’s especially unwelcome when everyone is pissed off.

Speaking of being PO-ed, what the hell, people? Where did this come from? And after everyone was crying over what a sweet deal this was for the TTC.

I’m at the whim of the TTC. I need it to get literally anywhere, but I’m all for sticking it to the union. The city should not hand over the keys to the finance books. Fix the security issues, fix the public image problem created by strikes every 3-4 years, but don’t hand over any more cash. Maybe drivers need to be behind protective enclosures? I don’t know, but fix it and stop repeating the same crap every time there’s new contract talks.

As far as job security goes, an issue I’ve heard that is big, I hope the city will also be careful there too. Automation is the future of transit, at least in terms of the subway, and if it means few drivers but a faster system it should be welcomed, not defended against. Positions for drivers may vanish, but technical jobs will have to be added to repair and maintain systems, so it’s not a total loss for the TTC.

Whatever happens, let’s all be sane about it. This is a crappy situation that deserves thought, but it’s not a reason to treat the union workers any worse. I will never condone the apparent greediness of the union (and I do think they’re greedy), but it should never lead to being a jerk to the people that are essentially driving us around the city.

For recent coverage on the strike notice, and TTC negotiations, check out this article from the Globe and Mail.

Update: blogTO has a great article on the strike, with photos and a lot of comments. And the Toronto Star is reporting that the strike should end Sunday, if the Ontario government can get a bill approved.

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