Friday, January 9, 2009

It is time to end this strike.

This is not a selfish plea. I am not writing this because the bus strike is inconveniencing me. In point of fact, aside from a slow drive home, it hasn't really inconvenienced me at all. But it is costing me money. Every day, in the middle of the afternoon, I go to pick up my mother-in-law at work. She works at a Loeb. Now, it isn't that far, and I certainly don't mind picking her up. But I am always there about ten minutes early. And I always go inside for those ten minutes, because there is always something we need around the house - laundry detergent, hot sauce, what have you. And yesterday, I bought an $81.00 bag of milk. Now, it came with a roast, some carrots, a small package of mushrooms, and a shrimp ring, among other things. Eighty-one dollars, and all I needed was a bag of milk. I am simply incpable of walking to the back of the store and purchasing milk without stopping to pick up six or seven or fifteen other items. I love my food. But I do this every single day, and my wallet is hurting and my fridge is bulging. Mostly with fairly unnecessary items.

I don't think I can really take sides when it comes to the strike. I think the bus drivers and their union are doing a rather despicable thing when it comes to holding the city hostage in order to get their demands met. But I also think the city has been negotiating in bad faith, and that they have been rather disingenuous when it comes to the way they are presenting their position to the public. So far, most of the public has been swallowing the city's position almost exclusively, but I attribute this more to the absolutely horrible PR job being done by the union and their president, M. Cornellier. I think if both sides were able to reasonably present their respective positions, public opinion would be split about 50-50. As my opinion is right now. Frankly, I don't care whose fault it is, but I bemoan the extension of the strike. Because my wallet can't handle it, and I certainly don't need any more little bags of Baby Bel cheese in my fridge.


  1. OK, maybe it IS because the union has not presented their side well. Can you tell me what their side is? The only reason I'm hearing is scheduling. And the only reason scheduling is at issue is because the drivers are able to "play" the system to make obscene amounts of money (for a bus driver). At this time, many companies are making massive layoffs due to the economy. So it's hard for me to be sympathetic when bus drivers start off making about $52K and are holding the city hostage over what SEEMS to be a selfish demand. And senior bus drivers can make close to $100k?? Come on. If it wasn't for the folks that don't have alternative transportation option, I'd say let them stay off as long as it takes. I think it's time to bring in replacement workers. Or disolve the current transit company and start fresh.

  2. Eric, this is the "mother in law", I would suggest that you tell me what you need to purchase and I will get it for you, this way, you won't have to buy things you do not need! and your fridge and your stomach will thank you.

  3. Both sides are wrong in this ridiculous strike - the union for failing to recognize how good they have things, and the city for allowing this nonsense to go on for so long.
    The cynical side of me though, believes that the city actually wants to prolong the strike, since it saves more than $400K each and every day through not paying OC Transpo employees. To date, the savings amount to more than $12 Million. Once the city has managed to cover it's self-inflicted budget deficit, negotiations will resume in earnest.
    In the meantime, all the rest of us are left to suffer...

  4. Hey Eric...listen to your mother in law.