So, I've been running around the prog blogs this afternoon, reading the whining and the crying about the TTC strike. Let me be clear: I know more about the inconveience from transit strikes than any of you lifelong Torontonians. I was in Vancouver for the bus strike that seemed to never end, back in 2001. I had no car, and no money for cabs. I walked everywhere, for hours at a time, from the relatively cool temperatures of May to the searing heat of August. My sympathies for crybabies who have had to live through less than 48 hours -- actually, by my count, less then 36 hours -- of a transit strike, during a weekend, are non-existent.
I'm appalled by the ignorance on display. "Essential service" has a particular legal meaning. Go learn it before you try to say the TTC is essential. Back to work legislation works in a particular way (and doesn't work for much); I explained it earlier. There are two parties involved in this negotiation, and only one -- the city -- has any direct obligations to the public.
I'm also appalled at the glib justification of deliberate harm against transit workers. Yes, they went on strike with little warning. Yes, that was dickish. But if someone had spat on, thrown coffee on, or punched you every time you were a dick, you'd never leave the damn emergency room. People are dicks. Inconvenience happens. Sane, rational, moral people get over it. Fuckwads don't shut up about it.
And, finally, I'm sick to death of so-called "progressives" who think that back-to-work legislation is anything less than a last resort. McGuinty had other options (a cooling-off period with mandatory mediation). So did David Miller (he could actually have gotten involved in the negotiations himself, instead of fucking off to where was it, China?). So did the TTC's bargaining team. All the union has ever done is exercise its legal and democratic right to collectively decide to withdraw their labour; and try to fulfill its duty to protect the interests of its members. And, for this, they are forced to work? For this, they deserve to be abused? For this, they should be beaten, fined, jailed?
I've said, many times, that the problem with our democracy is the fucking demos we have these days, and this pretty much proves it.
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