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The W - Current Events & Politics - Ottawa's Public Transit Going on Strike
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El Nastio
Andouille








Since: 14.1.02
From: Ottawa Ontario, by way of Walkerton

Since last post: 18 hours
Last activity: 3 hours
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.80
Ottawa is the very definition of a "government town". Being Canada's capital, this is the home of not just the Federal government, but the VAST majority of their departments. There are also several people from Quebec who commute to Ottawa via the bus system as well.

So in this day and age, where people want to "go greener", where the economy is sluggish, and our friend the Canadian Winter is now here......OC Transpo is going on strike.

Click Here (ottawacitizen.com)

They want more sick days and equal raises that other city employees get. Meanwhile, the ridership gets to figure out how to commute. Stores get to figure out how to draw people to their stores without buses. People like me are stranded home as we have no car right now (hopefully I can car pool to work). Oh, and we going to be getting snow and freezing rain tonight.

Seeing how I think only cfgb is in this area (Bullitt used to be), I don't expect much postage in this thread. I'm posting this mostly out of frustration, and also I suppose to see if there are other people who think this is DUMB.



You know, I really don't know what to put here. Close your eyes and thank of something funny!
Promote this thread!
emma
Cherries > Peaches








Since: 1.8.02
From: Phoenix-ish

Since last post: 37 days
Last activity: 2 days
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.36
Not actually "dumb" so much as maximally "obnoxious". Which is exactly what most strikes strive to do. "See how much you depend on us? You're screwed without us. You have to accede to our demands specifically *because* you have no alternatives." No point in timing it on a lovely spring day when you could just hop on your bike as an alternative.
Bullitt
Shot in the dark








Since: 11.1.02
From: Houston

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 2 days
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.07
Transit strikes are pretty much the worst things ever.
cfgb
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Ottawa, Ontario

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 3 min.
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.81
See, God has a sense of humor. Today featured a fartload of snow, and cold temperatures. Right before the strike. Ha ha!

I actually got kicked off the 118 today for causing a scene. It was over an hour late (they run every 15 minutes), and the driver pulled up a full bus length away from the stop, allowing the people who just showed up to get on the bus, rendering it full, and causing the people who'd waited the longest to be left out in the cold even longer. I wound up giving him a piece of my mind which he didn't really care for since my mind was relatively colorful at that point.

I bought several pairs of long underwear, gloves, a furry hat, and snowpants anticipating a 3 hour walk to and from work because none of my co-workers (small team) live anywhere near me, and I don't know ANYONE who works a 5-1 shift. A laptop's been ordered to let me work from home but it could still be weeks away. In the meantime, my boss caught wind of my connundrum and is having his assistant pick me up and drive me to and from. So hope is not lost, but I make up roughly 0% of the population and I got off easy I guess.

I'm 100% on the city's side. As much of a pain in the ass as this is going to be (especially with a bridge to Hull already shut down causing major congestion at the border as it is) - I hope O'Brien doesn't cave and actually forces them back to work by declaring them an essential service, which they are. On my front, I'm moving in May, and I will be moving closer to downtown. When I do, I will walk. I want to cut OC Transpo as much out of my life as possible. They can go (colorful) themselves.
Oliver
Scrapple








Since: 20.6.02
From: #YEG

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.35
I think any transit system should be declared an essential service, and should therefore be disallowed to strike. I mean, it's an integral part of any city, and for it to be suspended causes undue hardships on everyone involved. It's not fair that a system I'm paying for (via taxes and fares) is allowed to do that.

I'm glad I wasn't in Toronto for their last strike: they called off service at midnight on a Friday night. Yes, seriously - all those out and about, partying, enjoying the night life, or visiting, whatever have you...stranded. Now, tell me, what right did their union have in doing that?

What really bugs me is that a transit strike is between a union and a company...and at the same time, the public always get screwed.



Unicow, unicow...he's a unicorn cow!
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 74 days
Last activity: 74 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.20
    Originally posted by Oliver
    It's not fair that a system I'm paying for (via taxes and fares) is allowed to do that


Using this logic, nobody can ever strike, because everything is being paid for by someone.
cfgb
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Ottawa, Ontario

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 3 min.
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.81
Ladies and gentlemen, the world's least sympathetic Union Leader!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr9l8B-Z5Ms

He pickets at City Hall which is literally across the street from where I work. I'm tempted to walk over and donkey punch him.

They're fighting over SCHEDULING. It seems in the current system:

- Senior guys pick whatever shifts they want, every 3 months.
- The junior guys are assigned the scraps, and work all over the place.

The city wants some parity, and ensure that everyone's working a consistent shift. So they want to be in charge of scheduling. Everyone submits a Preferred Shift and they go based on seniority.

And that's why we have traffic jams all over the city. I don't think it's managed to achieve the comedic value of the "nickel strike" of 1979, where they stopped service because the two sides were seperated by a 5 cent increase in wages, but we're getting there.
kwik
Summer sausage








Since: 5.9.02
From: Norwich, NY

Since last post: 74 days
Last activity: 4 hours
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.53
    Originally posted by cfgb
    Ladies and gentlemen, the world's least sympathetic Union Leader!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lr9l8B-Z5Ms

    He pickets at City Hall which is literally across the street from where I work. I'm tempted to walk over and donkey punch him.

    They're fighting over SCHEDULING. It seems in the current system:

    - Senior guys pick whatever shifts they want, every 3 months.
    - The junior guys are assigned the scraps, and work all over the place.

    The city wants some parity, and ensure that everyone's working a consistent shift. So they want to be in charge of scheduling. Everyone submits a Preferred Shift and they go based on seniority.

    And that's why we have traffic jams all over the city. I don't think it's managed to achieve the comedic value of the "nickel strike" of 1979, where they stopped service because the two sides were seperated by a 5 cent increase in wages, but we're getting there.


Gets better: CBC: Transit Union could picket exam shuttle (cbc.ca)

Trying to eliminate some of the hardship, Carleton University put together a shuttle bus system to help ensure that students would not miss final exams. The transit union got wind of this, and this is what a spokesman had to say:



    "Most of the bus companies would never ever do anything that would be scabbing our members," said Randy Graham international vice-president for the Amalgamated Transit Union Wednesday afternoon. "We'll have to deal with it if it does occur. We have to do the things that we legally can do. And we will do it."


Gotta say, the union either doesn't care, or doesn't realize that they're gonna rapidly lose any public support they may have had at this point.



El Nastio
Andouille








Since: 14.1.02
From: Ottawa Ontario, by way of Walkerton

Since last post: 18 hours
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.80
Day #2 of the Strike, and needless to say people are getting PISSED. Behold;

- My 17-year-old brother-in-law buses to his high school, which is one of those fancy Arts speciality schools. Although it will take some doing, he can make it to school everyday during the strike. The issue is; he doesn't want to go because the majority of the students are staying home. They have students who would ordinarily commute 45 minutes to an hour WITH the city buses and they can't drive in. So the people who CAN go to school don't want to, and often won't.

- So right now I'm on a contract with our Deparment of National Defense, currently in one of their Quebec buildings. People like me who commute from Ottawa are of course pissed, seieng how much effort we need to do to get into work. But the people from Quebec are pissed due to increased car traffic. Such fun!

- The Queensway = nuked. If you're travelling in Ottawa avoid it like the plague.

- Store owners are apparently getting really annoyed. I wouldn't know, my life now consists of getting picked up near my home and dropped off near my home. With no buses I'm stranded.

- Click Here (ottawasun.com) for another outstanding example of why the ATU is being villified. I have to wonder how many drivers support this guy for real, and what kind of information he is giving to the union.


Chris, I admire your restraint. If I worked downtown I'd be giving him a piece of mind.

(edited by El Nastio on 11.12.08 1130)


You know, I really don't know what to put here. Close your eyes and thank of something funny!
Oliver
Scrapple








Since: 20.6.02
From: #YEG

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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.35
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
      Originally posted by Oliver
      It's not fair that a system I'm paying for (via taxes and fares) is allowed to do that


    Using this logic, nobody can ever strike, because everything is being paid for by someone.
You're missing the point: I'm not saying that your local unionized ABC Grocery store shouldn't strike if they feel compelled...by all means, go for it. My issue is with companies that are funded by taxpayers dollars. That includes postal service, garbage collection, and yes, transit. Services that the public depends on, service that the public pays for, etc. eetc.

(edited by Oliver on 11.12.08 1005)


Unicow, unicow...he's a unicorn cow!
KJames199
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 10.12.01
From: #yqr

Since last post: 5 hours
Last activity: 2 hours
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.31
I am all in favour of people having the right to strike and I am in a union myself. But having the right to strike doesn't mean it's a good idea to use (or abuse) that right. Nobody rides the bus for fun - a transit strike results in an inconvenience for drivers, but it can be crippling to the elderly, the disabled, people with lower incomes and those who are too young to drive.

My university career started with over a month of walking to classes thanks to a transit strike. That was fine for me because I was young enough and lived close enough to campus to make it possible. For my friends who lived on the other side of town, it was a lot more challenging. And it was worse for my great-grandmother, who didn't live within reasonable walking distance of a grocery store, her doctor's office, or other necessities.

I get that the whole point of a strike is "look at how much things suck without us." But that point could be made by, say, shutting down transit for two days a week, or shutting down several different bus lines each day - and announce things in advance so that people who have no other option have a fair shot to make alternate arrangements.

Of course, I've never known a bus driver or a transit employee who wasn't a complete asshole, so I may be biased.



JK: LJ, S&H, KMA, FB
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 74 days
Last activity: 74 days
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.20
    Originally posted by Oliver
      Originally posted by TheBucsFan
        Originally posted by Oliver
        It's not fair that a system I'm paying for (via taxes and fares) is allowed to do that


      Using this logic, nobody can ever strike, because everything is being paid for by someone.
    You're missing the point: I'm not saying that your local unionized ABC Grocery store shouldn't strike if they feel compelled...by all means, go for it. My issue is with companies that are funded by taxpayers dollars. That includes postal service, garbage collection, and yes, transit. Services that the public depends on, service that the public pays for, etc. eetc.

    (edited by Oliver on 11.12.08 1005)


So the public doesn't depend on privately owned grocery stores? Gas stations? Factories? Auto mechanics? Truck drivers?

I don't understand why being the recipients of tax dollars makes someone less able to strike. It clearly doesn't make it more of a necessity in the US, I'd guess way, way, WAY more people visit privately owned grocery stores each day than ride publicly funded buses. And if that grocery store does strike, the owner could and probably would make the same argument you are now.

You can't be in favor of strikes on the condition that it doesn't inconvenience you that's the whole purpose of a strike! If it didn't make any difference, the strike would be utterly pointless.
Lise
Mrs. Guru








Since: 11.12.01

Since last post: 421 days
Last activity: 42 days
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.52
Private companies usually don't have a monopoly on a specific service and as such there are usually alternatives, even if they are harder to get to. There isn't an alternative to trash pick up, the power company, the water company, post office, etc. With transit the alternatives if you do not own a vehicle are taxi cabs, and the cost difference doesn't make them a comparable alternative. I know that the difference between taking the bus and taking a cab to work for me was about $18 each way. If you are working a minimum wage (hell or even a decent working wage) that really hurts.

Not to mention all of the mentally handicapped and elderly bus riders who aren't going to fully understand why the bus they are waiting for isn't coming.

It might not be quite the same as your local hospital staff going on strike, but there are people who really depend on transit who do not have reasonable alternatives.

A strike like this really does as much damage to the unions cause as it reinforces their importance. Sure it isn't California Grocery workers who make 17-24$/hour striking to not pay medical co-pays, but to strike in the middle of winter and to actively try to curtail alternative modes of transportation (especially for college finals?!) just makes them look like assholes. Assholes the community depends on maybe, but assholes for sure.
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 74 days
Last activity: 74 days
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.20
    Originally posted by Lise
    Private companies usually don't have a monopoly on a specific service and as such there are usually alternatives, even if they are harder to get to.


Yes I understand that, and that is a perfectly legitimate issue to raise. It's not the same, however, as "They shouldn't be able to strike because this time I'm the one paying for it."
cfgb
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Ottawa, Ontario

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 3 min.
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.81
Well day #2 was the last day I need to suffer through this. My boss has provided me with a computer and VPN access to work from home. I am aware how lucky I am, very few people are afforded this luxury.

Yesterday, The Wife and I left around 3:00pm. We got out of the parking garage at 3:30. We got to the Queensway (a lofty 10 minute walk from my building) at 4:10.

Meanwhile, the transit folks were attemping to BLOCK shuttle busses paid for by the universities to get the students to class. They're also forcing the Leduc busline that comes in from Rockland and other various small areas to get the hell off the transitway and take the same routes regular cars use. I guess OC Transpo owns the roads now too.

They're also purposely slowing down traffic. One of them wound up getting run over (right on!) for intentionally standing in the way of a car. Unfortunately, he wasn't hurt, and the driver was charged.

Needless to say, Ottawa ain't exactly the world's easiest city to get around, and what's taking place is a farce.
Lise
Mrs. Guru








Since: 11.12.01

Since last post: 421 days
Last activity: 42 days
#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.64
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
      Originally posted by Lise
      Private companies usually don't have a monopoly on a specific service and as such there are usually alternatives, even if they are harder to get to.


    Yes I understand that, and that is a perfectly legitimate issue to raise. It's not the same, however, as "They shouldn't be able to strike because this time I'm the one paying for it."


I believe you may be splitting hairs here. In many countries and in some Canadian Provinces, tax funded and city run services are prohibited from striking. There are also other things determined to be essential services which will endanger public safety or well-being which are also prohibited from striking. I think we might agree on the basis of the lack of viable alternatives transit is an essential service. Its workers in this case are city employees and tax funded. Being city employees and tax funded, means that transit works for the public.

What would you think if your local mayor went on strike?

Oliver
Scrapple








Since: 20.6.02
From: #YEG

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.35
    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    So the public doesn't depend on privately owned grocery stores? Gas stations? Factories? Auto mechanics? Truck drivers?

    I don't understand why being the recipients of tax dollars makes someone less able to strike. It clearly doesn't make it more of a necessity in the US, I'd guess way, way, WAY more people visit privately owned grocery stores each day than ride publicly funded buses. And if that grocery store does strike, the owner could and probably would make the same argument you are now.

    You can't be in favor of strikes on the condition that it doesn't inconvenience you that's the whole purpose of a strike! If it didn't make any difference, the strike would be utterly pointless.

    Originally posted by Lise
    Private companies usually don't have a monopoly on a specific service and as such there are usually alternatives, even if they are harder to get to. There isn't an alternative to trash pick up, the power company, the water company, post office, etc. With transit the alternatives if you do not own a vehicle are taxi cabs, and the cost difference doesn't make them a comparable alternative. I know that the difference between taking the bus and taking a cab to work for me was about $18 each way. If you are working a minimum wage (hell or even a decent working wage) that really hurts.


You're still missing my point, but I think Lise gets it. What I'm trying to say is that, take for example, Hamilton's local transit system, the HSR: if they went on strike, I'd be hooped, unless I was able to get a ride where I needed to with the girlfriend, or if I was to walk/cycle/whatever I needed. Her aunt? Hooped, because the disabled bus is run under the same system.

If say...one of our largest grocery chains (Metro) went on strike, there's always Sobeys, the nearest Wal-Mart, or even the independent locally owned grocery store nearby. I wouldn't be terribly inconvenienced.

My point is this: Transit, the library, garbage removal, they're services I pay for through my taxes. A portion of every paycheque goes to these services, as do the obscenely high property taxes I have to pay. These are also services that people depend on for day to day living, and services that are NOT available through other means in the city. Sure, it'd be easy to take one's trash and find a company's dumpster en route to work, but that's beside the point.

The actions OCTRANSPO's taking are ridiculous, especially concerning university students. I can't understand, for the life of me, why they're targeting students who just want to get their exams done. They're not taking these alternative means for transportation to spite the striking workers - they have lives to live that can't be put on hold while they work out a scheduling conflict.

(edited by Oliver on 13.12.08 0407)


Unicow, unicow...he's a unicorn cow!
Lise
Mrs. Guru








Since: 11.12.01

Since last post: 421 days
Last activity: 42 days
#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.64
I am not familiar with "hooped". I like how it sounds though.

Hooped = Screwed?
Oliver
Scrapple








Since: 20.6.02
From: #YEG

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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.35
    Originally posted by Lise
    I am not familiar with "hooped". I like how it sounds though.

    Hooped = Screwed?
Yeah, you could say that.
    Originally posted by UrbanDictionary.com
    The definition of HOOPED: Screwed. An uncomfortable situation. In a bad situation that seems to have no way out.




Unicow, unicow...he's a unicorn cow!
hansen9j
Andouille








Since: 7.11.02
From: Riderville, SK

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 6 hours
#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.37
    Originally posted by Oliver
      Originally posted by Lise
      I am not familiar with "hooped". I like how it sounds though.

      Hooped = Screwed?
    Yeah, you could say that.
      Originally posted by UrbanDictionary.com
      The definition of HOOPED: Screwed. An uncomfortable situation. In a bad situation that seems to have no way out.



I love that urbandictionary defined a 100% Canadian term.

But yes, I use it all the time, and the context was correct.



It is the policy of the documentary crew to remain true observers and not interfere with its subjects.

If you wanna reach the Co-op, boy, you gotta get by me.
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Ummm the U.S. media has a liberal bias? I've never really understood that argument. PBS has a liberal bias, some of the major newspapers do, but from an outsider's perspective, most of the U.S.'s television and newspapers are mainstream conservative.
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