Monday, April 28, 2008

Transit Strike - the day after

I needed to talk about the transit strike some more.

On the subway this morning there was a pre-recorded message from the TTC thanking customers for their patience during the strike this past weekend. Found it a little annoying actually but I think they were afraid the public might resort to violence or something.

Actually you could tell that the bus drivers and subway guys seemed a bit sheepish today after the strike. Also a little fearful. There were all sorts of statements issued about not assaulting or abusing TTC staff and from a certain perspective it was kind of funny to see these mighty transit men who had just held the City at ransom quake in their boots as if Torontonians were going to dig out the torches and the pitchforks and drag a few of them from behind the wheels of their iron machines and give them a lynching. As if! (wait am I allowed to use that word lynching or will I get into trouble?)

It was also sort of like watching a kid that knows he has done wrong slink away in shame and wait on a punishment that he hopes isn't coming but can't really be upset if it does come cause he feels he might deserves it or in some way provoked it.

That's the way it seemed to me anyway. Don't worry though aside from the odd oddball I'm sure most folks will be as indifferent to their bus drivers as most Torontonians usually are.

The other thing I thought about was just how unfair a transit strike on the weekend is. Transit strikes in general target those that cant do better but its not that simple in a big city like Toronto. A lot if not most of the Torontonians who use transit have access to their own cars. It just happens to be more convenient to escape the gridlock and the $20 a day parking downtown or more environmentally friendly to take the bus or subway to work or school.

but then when you strike on a weekend .....

Well then you are basically just targeting the captive riders cause anyone who can do better doesn't use the service on the weekend with its lackadaisical schedule. You only use transit on the weekend if you really cant do any better otherwise you drive where you're going.

So by having a strike on the weekend the TTC really targeted, shift workers, the working and non-working poor, the disabled, those that couldn't do any better like those that make $10 dollars an hour and have no wheels and for who a taxi drive to work would be prohibitively expensive. These vulnerable folk are the types who suffered the most from the strike. The middle class, the rich well they probably didn't even notice its effect beside worrying as to whether it would be back to normal in time for Morning rush hour.

So this strike to me we just have a union just picking on the really vulnerable. That sucks.

Oh well just wanted to get that off my chest.

ps: as an aside blogger spell check keeps asking me if I want to change Torontonians to Trinidadians. Imagine that eh he!


Urban Sista said...

I'm normally down with unions, but recently, I've been thoroughly unimpressived with their behaviour -- especially the transit union. As you said, when you strike, you are pretty much picking on those who can't do any better... especially 'pon a weekend. Even when they strike during the week, the poor are at a major disadvantage. Anyone who has some dough can hop in a taxi, call in to work, possibly work from home, but there are many people who aren't lucky enough to be in that kind of situation. Those folks have to spend what they don't have to force to go to work, because a day off may mean no job or no wages for that day. It sucks.

In Montreal, transit is an essential service. They have a right to strike, but they must serve the public during rush hours and have limited service on the weekend. Something is better than nothing -- you can prove your point and not crush the poor man while you're at it.

Brotha Buck said...

Pretty smart spell-checker you got there.