Monday bus strike news

I saw on the news last night that the union will vote on the latest proposal on Thursday. Nothing like leaving it until the last minute (they were given until Friday to vote). And of course they’re being urged to turn it down.

Snippets of news articles from today as Day 27 dawns. (The papers keep saying it’s day 26, but it isn’t…day 26 ended at midnight on Sunday.) We’re officially past the length of the 1996 strike, which lasted 24 days.

Report on Business: Union on express bus to self-destruction (by Gwyn Morgan) This is my favourite opinion piece of the strike so far, I think.

At a time when many private sector workers face pay reductions or job losses, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 279 rejected a package that offers a 7-per-cent raise over three years, a $2,000 “productivity bonus” and enhanced rights to “bank” more sick days. The union’s stated reason for holding out is proposed limitations on workers’ ability to set their own schedules. Private sector managers must be astounded to hear that something so basic to ensuring the best customer service for each dollar spent would have ever been handed over to a union in the first place.

Metro: When trust in transit breaks down

There’s understandable annoyance towards the city, which is perceived as showing a distinct lack of urgency in finding a solution. However, Internet forums and the guerrilla Centretown poster campaigns show the bus drivers are taking the brunt of public anger. I certainly wouldn’t relish being a driver working those first few post-strike shifts. I’ve never underestimated how seriously this strike affects Ottawa’s citizens, but the level of vitriol is often excessive. No less than 98 per cent of union members voted for this strike. That’s not, as has been suggested, the vote of a small minority of troublemakers.

(Hmmm, I thought it was 98% of voters who voted for the strike, not 98% of the 2,300 members?)

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