Friday, January 23, 2009

Ottawa Transit Strike Day 45: A plethora of human interest

In the absence of virtually any news coming from either the City or ATU 279 (see: media blackout), local media have continued to tell the tales of those Ottawans whose lives have been significantly altered--mostly for the worse--by the ongoing transit strike.

For the sake of brevity, here is a list of stories worth checking out.
And in other transit-related news:

Oh, and Earl McRae has a list of (intentionally?) bad transit jokes in his latest column.


Coridon Henshaw said...

Latest news is that the federal mediator has walked away from the last round of 'informal talks' on the grounds that the two sides are too far apart to reach a settlement.

This doesn't make Ambrose look too good in light of her earlier statements. If even the mediator doesn't think talks are worthwhile then there's no way suggesting both sides sit at the table is anywhere near an adequate response.

It's time to put pressure on the senior levels of government--including the province--to get involved even in the face of City opposition.

Even though OC is under federal jurisdiction, the province has absolute power the City and could apply unlimited leverage if it desired.

berst said...

It's time to put pressure on the senior levels of government--including the province--to get involved even in the face of City opposition.

I did a media scan today. The local MPPs are running farther and faster from this turdstorm than even the MPs are.

Only Madeleine Meilleur has made even halfway useful and sympathetic public comments.

Dalton McWhatsisname has meekly asked for someone, somewhere, to do something.

None of the rest seem to have stuck their necks out at all.

A failure of leadership all round: union, municipal, provincial, federal. And, with the TTC strike having been legislated back within hours, Ottawans are now second-class citizens in their own province (if they're still in Ontario, that is.)

Coridon Henshaw said...

The provincial Liberals are running because they'll lose the union vote if they side with the City but will lose the urban vote if they side with the ATU. Rock, meet hard place.

I'm not sure what's up with the Conservatives. They never had--and will never have--the union vote but they desperately need the urban vote, particularly the Toronto urban vote. They will never get the urban vote if they prove tone-deaf to urban issues. Letting a transit strike drag on for too long is about as tone deaf as one can get. Couple this with the traditional conservative antagonism towards organized labour and their reluctance to get involved makes very little sense.

We really need an organized online pressure organ--something along the lines of or DailyKos--to make credible lobbying efforts at both levels of government. Put together enough resources to make a credible threat to run ads in Toronto during the next election to remind Torontonians that Harper allowed a transit strike to run ~90 days and you'd need a microscope to find what's left of the union after the Conservatives have finished with it.

adable said...

Why would Toronto care? Their strike got busted. Screw Ottawa.

Jon D. said...

It was a perfect shitstorm: just before christmas, coalition gov't frenzy, minority gov't with federal jurisdiction, mayor looking to save face, union looking to flex its muscle and now looking at 3 months before normalcy.

Anonymous said...

Each level of government has proven to be obselete in this kenudrum. I thought, and will always think, that I have given certain rights up in order to have a main body of 'decision makers' (anyone hear crickets) decide what's best for dick & jane public. Instead we are left with posturing and self pity. Get to work, get the job done or go pound salt, seriously!

Cold Commuter said...

City Council has an emergency meeting this afternoon (Sat., instead of the original plan to meet Monday) to determine their next transit strike move.

Chasing Distractions said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chasing Distractions said...

This sucks, what a bad time. We’ve got the whole financial crisis thing going on, Nortel closing it’s doors, the gov’ment on holidays somewhere in the Caribbean and OC Transpo forcing people to spend money the don’t have on expensive taxi’s. Well if you’re like me times are too tough to spend any money doing anything right now. No one wants to sit home all winter, so here are some free things to do in Ottawa this winter.

nogisesi said...

My favourite free activity will be to stand on transit overpasses, giving drivers the finger, if the bastards ever go back to work.

This summer will be spent organizing politically to throw the entire city council out in the next election.

Anonymous said...

Any city councilor agreeing to a deal with the union members that does not include a real figure for salary costs should definitely be voted out.

There's also great irony in the whole environmental arguments being made by Eco. Ottawa and Metro angle.