The Current Situation Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

TTC Strike Surprise (Or: How to Lose Friends and Alienate People)

Accordion City is waking up this fine Saturday morning to…a transit strike!

For those of you not from here, here’s a quick recap of what’s been happening:

  • The threat of a strike has been looming for the past little while. The union — Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 — promised to give at least 48 hours’ notice before a strike in order to allow the public time to make arrangements for alternate means of transport.
  • If the union and management didn’t come to an agreement by 4 p.m. last Sunday, April 20th, the workers would go on strike at 4 a.m. Monday, April 21st. The negotiations went into overtime, but they came to a tentative agreement that evening. There would be a vote on the agreement later in the week, but it seemed as though the union would accept the deal.
  • Last night, the union voted against the settlement (a 65% “no” vote) and went on strike at midnight.

Friday is what PR people call “Take Out the Trash Day” — it’s a good day to make unpopular announcements, especially late in the day, because it’s when people don’t pay attention to the news. Many people were caught by surprise — on TV, they’re showing interviews of people who were stranded downtown last night. The unexpectedness of the strike, coupled with the union’s earlier promise of 48 hours’ notice, is not going to endear the union to the public.

7 replies on “TTC Strike Surprise (Or: How to Lose Friends and Alienate People)”

Going back on the 48 hour notice is crazy! I understand that safety would be an issue after announcing a strike but they should have known that
going in… neither side is looking very good right now.

it’s too bad that wikipedia locked bob kinnear’s entry – it would have been fun to watch the edits on it today.

Tonight I was perfecting my bike route from St. Clair and Keele to Yonge and St. Clair (via Davenport and side streets) and passed a house on Davenport with a sheet hung off the balcony, on which was written “TTC is the mafia”. So this does seem to be a common sentiment.

It’s supposed to rain Monday. Even though they’re likely to be ordered back to work by then, I’m still cycling to work.

As a member of a union, I have some sympathy for the difficult position the membership was put in.
But to announce a strike at 10pm on a Friday night,
with 2 hours notice,
after the majority of the ridership has already used the service for exactly half of their Friday travel
is not just mean spirited,
it’s malicious.
Forget the 48 hour warning.
Go on strike after the regular business day finishes.
a couple of hours later (2am)
Let people get home safely.
Did any of the union management consider the position they put single woman into?

To put so many people into a state of flux,
with few affordable options,
puts TTC workers at odds with an essential aspect of the TTC.
The riders.
It is a service industry, after all,
and without riders,
there is no TTC.

On the one hand, union and management bargaining teams reached a tentative deal, so our expectation that the union membership would ratify the deal is not unreasonable.

On the other, we know that they hadn’t voted on it yet; perhaps we could have kept that in mind.

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