Saturday, April 26, 2008

TTC strike: you go, ATU!

Casting a quick, acerbic glance at ProgBlog this afternoon, I thought I'd blundered into the Blogging Tories site by mistake. Poster after poster is dumping all over the union: words like "douchebag" are being applied; it's those dumb workers at fault, it seems, never the management of TTC. Yes, there are a few decent voices crying in the wilderness, but they are being drowned out. On a progressive blogroll! I hate to think what they're saying over at BT at the moment.

Maybe a clue: the TTC Chair is none other than veteran NDP hack stalwart Adam Giambrone. Ouch! Painful choice, eh? And May Day a mere five days away!

To be honest, I'm having a bit of a time tracking down the outstanding issues that got two-thirds of the union membership to reject the tentative deal. But why should I bother to pick up the phone and call my ATU buddies? Few others seem interested in the issues--they just want to do a bit of good old-fashioned union bashing. So, on this sunny Saturday afternoon, I'm content to do a little good old-fashioned union defending. When someone actually wants to discuss the strike issues, let me know.

ATU leader Bob Kinnear is under fire for saying that he hadn't given the usual 48 hours notice for the strike because "
We will not expose our members to the dangers of assaults from angry and irrational members of the public." But the rest of his statement is invariably left out:

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.

This isn't idle talk. Even when a strike isn't in the works, an increasing number of front-line transit workers are being beaten, spat on, threatened and verbally abused by members of that public we mustn't offend. Their rate of post-traumatic stress is above that of Ontario police officers. Just think about that.

In the meantime, if this is all the anti-ATU folks can come up with, I'm in no mood to do further research. You go, ATU! Solidarity forever.

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