7.20.2009

toronto strike blogs (upperdated with more links)

Here are two three of the strike blogs that I know about.

City of Toronto Strike Blog is excellent, and written by a striker.

City of Toronto Strike 2009 is written by a thoughtful observer.

Hogtown Striker is also on strike her- or himself. I don't know if Hogtown is still blogging. I hope so, since as we move into week five, these voices need to be heard.

Also, some pointed sarcasm in the Globe and Mail letters today:
Ben Dachis correctly points out that allowing private companies to compete with public unions for garbage collection in Toronto will lower costs to the consumer (Set The Garbage Hostages Free – July 18). Those efficiencies will be achieved by forcing union employees to take wage cuts in order to compete, in the race to the bottom, with private firms.

To reduce the risk of annoying labour unrest all we need to do is take wages and benefits away from a few thousand people. Let's not stop with the city workers, though; for every service we privatize, and every union we bust, we can rid ourselves of additional annoyances. The only drawback is the gradual erosion of our collective standard of living.

Michael Stacey, Toronto

Also, a story on a Toronto couple who are both on strike.
Sandra Sproviero was supposed to be planning her wedding right now.

Instead, she's trolling grocery store aisles for discounts, maxing out credit cards and using her painstakingly saved-up wedding funds to pay the mortgage.

Ms. Sproviero and her partner, Jay Higginson, have been on strike with the city's 24,000 indoor and outdoor workers for almost 30 days now. This is their second pay period sans paycheque, and they're feeling the pinch.

. . . .

"We would never go back to work unless that was in the best interest of everybody, not just ourselves. If that was the decision and we went back, that's great - we're ready to go back to work. However, we're not ready to go back as a scab."

She has no idea what comes next, or how long this will last. Both unions have rejected the latest offer - posted on the city's website last week - but say negotiations are continuing.

Ms. Sproviero doesn't think workers will be abandoning their pickets any time soon.

"We'll do whatever it takes. I mean, if we have to cut back even more, we'll cut back even more," she said. "I believe in the value of why we're out there ... People will stay out regardless of whether we can afford it. We can't afford not to be out there."

3 comments:

ADHR said...

I don't understand, honestly, how contracting-out is supposed to save money. Here's what's causing me concern. Say Toronto contracts-out the service, and the contractor will, of course, underbid the union to get the work. Then everyone in the union either loses their job or takes a lower-paying job. The city sells off all the necessary infrastructure (such as the trucks), and reassigns or fires the relevant managers. Then the contract comes back up for renewal.

Given that the contractor now has no real competition, why wouldn't they just jack up their fees again? (And pass all that increase off to their executives and shareholders rather than to the front-line workers?)

L-girl said...

You're absolutely right. It doesn't save money in the long-run. It's total short-term thinking. That's capitalism for you.

Also in the long run, society becomes so much poorer, as there are fewer and fewer good jobs to be had, and living standards fall. That's not good for capitalism, either.

But short-term thinking seems to be the order of the day.

Thanks for your comment.

Hapi said...

hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....