Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Halifax Transit Strike: Week 5


It's going on 5 weeks now and the Halifax transit strike is showing no signs of letting up. Primarily because of the ludicrous demands of the union associated with it. They want drives to make as much wages as a 30-year employee after 2 years. They want to control their own shifts and be able to make as much overtime as possible. Drivers start at almost 50,000 dollars out here - an unbelievable amount of money for Atlantic Canada. When I began in IT I didn't even score HALF that amount.

I think the crown jewel of this idiot happened when the ATU strikers were blocking snow plows as they tried to leave the city yards. The ATU union president decided "The roads were clear enough and it wasn't that bad to delay them 10 minutes". The public uproar is furious and incensed. Who are these people? Arrest them, fine them, and fire them if necessary.

But it gets better. See the comments below I gleaned from CBC news.

"We could settle this fairly fast if they're willing to negotiate openly and have some dialogue," said Wilson "If we're going to go back and stare at each other for 20 hours, it's going to be counter-productive."

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  • Just a little hint, Ken: Negotiation is a team sport. If you go in unprepared to give too, then your right. The will be talking to themselves.
  •  Wilson's not smart enough to remember what the cities concessions were? This guy doesn't look like a tool, he looks like a whole tool chest. HRM stick to your "final offer" the union is about to break!
  • Surprise surprise -- Ken Wilson said yesterday that his "phone is on 24/7" to take the call from the conciliator. Now today he changes his tune yet again.

    And I could not believe what I heard on the Rick Howe show yesterday afternoon, just before the City Council went into session to reconsider the union's request for arbitration, among other things. Mr. Wilson said he hoped "something will come out of it, because the City Council is going on March Break next week, along with all the other children."

    Unbelievable.

    Someone should give Mr. Wilson a copy of "How to Win Friends and Influence People". Because he sure doesn't know how to go about it, if this strike is any indication. 
  • I'm getting tired of seeing this clown in the news. They have already lost the public support, which is needed 100% in their case. He's nothing but smoke and mirrors and all talk. You serve the public, nobody else!
  •  I'm concerned about political theatre and some games" Really Mr. Wilson?? Because from where I sit as a transit user and taxpayer YOU are the one playing games and encouraging "politcal theater". Let's just review:
    1. Blocking streets and bikeways on the bridge for a little union march to Province House.
    2. The little shanty-town in Burnside-are the union members homeless? What IS that eyesore except another encampment on public property-hey isn't that against the law?
    3. Open burning and blocking Access a Bus and Snowplows (all are against the law btw)
    4. Holding out for a schedule that no other union or company has or would agree to.
    5. Suggesting an "open debate" in city council under the guise of discussing binding arbitration but really, we all know the purpose would really be: to have councillors have to stand up and take sides, thus pressuring them during an election year for your own union's gain.
    It seems that Mr. Wilson also has a real issue with his memory when he says: "I just want to make sure where we're at and where we're going before I commit to going back to the table"
    Mayor Kelly said last Friday that once the deadline passed it was back to square one on all issues. That's where you and your union are at Mr. Wilson, back to square one. Wow, from what high school did you graduate? As a teacher I'd be ashamed.
  • As they are unwilling to move on the rostering and binding arbitration issues, this union should be declared dead and a new hiring process started. You would likely see many of the drivers bail out and apply for their jobs again. Those that don't can easily be replaced by new people more than happy to be hired.
  • Clearly we appear to have a public transit system that the taxpayers are no longer willing to finance given the current level of expenditures.

    So the ATU has a clear choice, either they accept the current terms or they elect to remain on the picket lines indefinitely (and I would think UI is more profitable than strike pay). The ATU can decide whether that time frame is days, weeks, or months. In the meantime, private enterprise, as usual, will continue to fill the niche markets. Soon university will end and spring like weather will arrive and then who will care (if they care now).

    Members of the ATU - this is a battle you cannot possibly win given the current sentiment of the people (and which the blocking of access-a-bus and snowplows has served only to re-entrench this perspective).

     

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