Sunday, April 27, 2008
that was the ttc strike that was
Waking up around 11:30 p.m., I shuffled over to the computer and starting websurfing. I soon discovered that it was a good night to have planned nothing, as the TTC was suddenly poised to shut down within half-an-hour.
The city was primed for a strike a week ago, when the Amalgamated Transit Union gave 48 hours notice for a walkout effective at the start of morning rush hour last Monday. Thanks to a tentative deal on Sunday, the work week got off to a normal start. Once the ballots were in on Friday, the offer was rejected by 65% of those voting. Citing potential harm to TTC workers from an angry public, union officials cast aside previous promises to provide 48 hours notice and gave the signal for workers to shut the system down.
Bad, bad move...
Let me get this straight Bob Kinnear. You give the signal to walk away (a) a couple of hours before all but blue night runs wind down for the day, (b) on very short notice on a Friday night when those using your service are more likely getting plastered downtown, and (c) at a time and day when the effects of certain substances may provoke an even angrier backlash from the public than if 48 hours notice was provided.
Walking up to Eglinton almost every passer-by was glued to a cell phone, trying to figure out their way home. In between obscenities directed at the TTC several commented that they were glad they weren't Scarborough natives stuck downtown. When I reached Eglinton an out of service passed by and was greeting with a chorus of "F**k you TTC!"
The timing of the news meant that anyone who had gone to sleep early or had not accessed any media outlets would have woken up yesterday morning unaware of a strike. When I picked up some friends to head out to the Good Food show, it was news to them. Along Pape we noticed bus stops full of people waiting for buses who would see Godot sooner than a Red Rocket. On the way back we passed by the deserted Hillcrest Yards, to which my passengers flipped the bird.
Service is being restored but this story is far from over. One thing is certain: ATU union popularity among the public ranks somewhere below George Bush, lawyers and bubonic plague.
Stories and links at Spacing and Torontoist.