Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Union Votes to Cripple Toronto

Wow... the TTC union membership has decided to walk out, after union members rejected management's generous contract offer.

It's a real interesting situation, if you think about it... on the one hand, we're trying to encourage more folks to use public transit... meanwhile, a very small group of individuals are able to maintain a stranglehold on that public system.

I think the union made a bad move on this one... there's gonna be a whole lot of ticked off Torontonians.

UPDATE: Wow... looks like some TTC drivers tossed riders out on the street at the stroke of midnight.

Real classy guys... and a sure-fire way to ensure most of Toronto DOESN'T take your side.


  • At Sat. Apr. 26, 12:22:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger Lord Kitchener's Own said…

    I'd call it a HORRIBLE move by the union. Bad move, and poorly executed.

    Shutting down at MIDNIGHT with no notice!?!?!

    Imagine you're waiting for a bus at 12:10 (in the rain in some places...). And waiting...

    And waiting...


    They just lost all but their most fervent supporters (who are a TINY fraction of citizens to begin with!). I'm generally a big supporter of organized labour, but this?

    This is ridiculous!

  • At Sat. Apr. 26, 12:23:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger Kerry said…

    Join the Facebook group calling for a TTC boycott and invite your friends!

  • At Sat. Apr. 26, 01:18:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hmmm no notice at all huh? I wonder what would happen if, say, a woman was waiting for the bus that would never come late at night and was assaulted? With a little notice she would have made other arrangements. Or at the very least wouldn't have been standing around in the dark for no reason.

    Bah... organized labour is nothing but a cancer on our society. When I grow up I wanna be a union buster.

  • At Sat. Apr. 26, 08:23:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Dave Hodson said…

    I going to agree with anon on this--organized labour is just a cancer on society.

    In the public sector, unions can drain the taxpayers dry. In the private sector, it can put businesses completely out of business.

    In the company I work for (food manufacturing industry), we expanded by buying out one of our competitors back in 2000. With that acquisition, we picked up a plant in Saskatchewan that happened to be unionized. Our other facilities in BC, Ont and Que were all non-unionized, and operating for decades without any real trouble or complaints (and still do).

    The union in Sask essentially made that plant very inefficient--high wages, very inflexible job descriptions in what people can and cannot do, etc. It got to the point where I could easily maufacture the same thing in Ontario, and pay the freight to ship it out to the praries, and it was still much cheaper than producing locally.

    The result... A no-brainer! I shut that plant down after a couple of years, sold the property, and we simply ship the area from Ontario today. The union's unreasonable demands basically put themselves completely out of work.

    But what if we didn't have the non-union plants in other provinces that were operating efficiently? What if we were completely held hostage to the unions at all facilities? We have US competition to deal with. We can't just raise our prices like they do with transit fares or taxes to pay for the union demands. If that was the case, the entire company could have (especially with today's dollar) eventually gone down to US competition because of inneficient labour unions. Then nobody--management, owners or workers would be working.

    In the case of transit, nobody ever goes bankrupt. They just keep taking more and more money from the taxpayer to keep the operation running, and the entire crazy situation sprials out of control, like we have in Toronto--not just with the TTC, but with all of Mayor Miller's crazy city unions.

  • At Sat. Apr. 26, 08:57:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger David Graham - said…


    For once we agree on something. ;)

    TTC union put out a press release about one hour before going on strike. I somehow doubt that it was sent to all the pubs, businesses, parties, etc., that were going to be badly affected by it.

    It's a real shame that labour would hurt the cause of transit so much. More evidence that the NDP is a contradiction unto itself -- unions and environmentalists seem to be mutually exclusive.

  • At Sat. Apr. 26, 10:09:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger Robert McClelland said…

    I think the union made a bad move on this one... there's gonna be a whole lot of ticked off Torontonians.

    They'll get over it. Just like they have every other time the TTC went on strike.

  • At Sat. Apr. 26, 10:24:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    Hang on David, isn't Buzz one of your guys now? ;-)

    What was that about unions and environmentalists not being able to get along?

    Looks like your problem now! LOL

  • At Sat. Apr. 26, 10:28:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    Robert, this one might hurt the public opinion of the TTC this time... it's going to smack of greed, as they just rejected a huge 3% per year for three years wage increase, at a time when many Ontarians are either losing their jobs, or not getting raises.

    Bad optics will get ya every time.

  • At Sat. Apr. 26, 10:39:00 a.m. EDT, Blogger David Graham - said…


    Oh damn! That explains everything!!

    I wonder if TTC's union is holding out for as good a deal as Grand River Transit got a month or two ago... I'm told they got a 3.5% raise and a 5% "market adjustment" for a total of an 8.5% raise this year. 3% is downright paltry next to that!

  • At Sat. Apr. 26, 11:51:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Deno said…

    "as they just rejected a huge 3% per year for three years wage increase,"

    You call a 3% increase huge, what planet do you live on?

    Anyone that lives in the real world and not the government hedonic induces fantasy CPI inflation numbers knows that the cost of living is rising by over 10% per year, not by the offical 2.2%.

    While I personally would never work union again I understand why they are going on strike. A 3% pay increase per year for 3 year will only guarantee that these transit workers keep losing to inflation. They’re standard of living will only go down with this proposal not up.


  • At Sat. Apr. 26, 12:24:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    3% is huge considering many folks are losing their jobs right now, or having to make do without any increases. (or increases of less than 3%)

  • At Sat. Apr. 26, 12:42:00 p.m. EDT, Blogger The Heretic said…

    I haven't had a raise in a couple years, and make significantly less than the TTC workers, and I'm doing just fine. Of course I live relatively frugally and could afford to live without having to make any significant lifestyle adjustments if both my wife and I were each making only minimum wage (not having a vehicle, a mortgage, kids, or any other major expenses, as well as living in downtown Toronto where everything is in walking distance helps though) so I don't really feel sorry for them at this point. Anyway, from what I hear, they already make a ridiculously high amount of money and really don't need any more.

  • At Sun. Apr. 27, 10:40:00 a.m. EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi CC
    I live in Guelph and only occasionally use the TTC.
    The thing that stikes we when on the system is the attitude of the workers. Dismissive, rude, SLOW!!!, don't give a damn....
    So. Is there a silver lining in this current mess?
    I am inclined toward the idea of TTC as an essential service but it won't change the attitude thing, probably make workers more petulant and make it worse.
    Instead, Miller and McGuinty should legislate mandatory feedback and performance reviews.
    Every rider on a TTC vehicle should get a feedback form "how amy I doing today?" All future raises would be based on feedback-merit. Maybe this is a bit Pollyanna but perhaps it would be a source of quantifiable feedback from system users (many / some) who uselessly berate and abuse drivers.


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