TTC Union Faces Harsh Criticism After Toronto Transit Strike
After calls by Toronto mayor David Miller to legislate the TTC strikers back to work, Premier Dalton McGuinty called an emergency session of parliament, forcing workers to return to their jobs or face thousands of dollars in fines.
Transit riders across the city were outraged, not so much with the affect a strike has (though it usually impacts those who can afford it least, such as students, immigrants and those working 2-3 jobs), but rather the short notice and timing of the strike.
Many of the people affected were out at the bars and unable to afford a way home, or were let off at undesirable locations (my girlfriend's brother was abandonded after midnight near Jane and Finch, a notorious Toronto neighbourhood known for its muggings, shootings and gang activity).
After billing itself as an alternative to drinking and driving, it seems hypocritical and suspicious that the TTC would choose to strike without notice after midnight on a Friday night.
New legislation was passed that states if a strike like this occurs again without attempts to arbitrate it, the union will be fined $25,000 each day and union workers could face fines of up to $2,000 a day.
There are facebook groups up in arms about the unannounced strike, including one group with almost 1,000 members as of this writing, who were planning on using transit but refusing payment today.
You can check out the facebook group here.
Union members went on strike Saturday at 12:01 a.m. after giving less than two hours notice, leaving riders stranded across the city, many of them young partygoers unable to afford cabs home.
Mr. Kinnear said he sympathized with riders inconvenienced by the sudden walkout: ‘‘My daughter was stranded downtown as well. She had no idea like everyone else,’’ he told CTV.
The transit union was forced back to work last evening after the province passed emergency legislation.
Commuters in Canada's largest city face a normal trip to work Monday after the Ontario legislature ordered an end to a weekend strike by workers at the Toronto Transit Commission.
An emergency session of the legislature Sunday afternoon resulted in quick passage of back-to-work legislation, ending the strike that lasted about 36 hours and raised fears of a chaotic commute during the work week.
There were also repeat calls Sunday for an apology from the union, claiming it had put vulnerable residents at risk by not honouring a prior commitment to give 48 hours warning about an job action. "The leadership of the union failed to meet a commitment with respect to notice," said Bob Runciman, the Conservative house leader. "By doing so, they put many people in dangerous situations. We've heard concerns about young women being stranded, about the elderly stranded ... this was irresponsible, in the view of many, outrageous and selfish."
If the TTC workers can strike without notice so can we, the riders! Strike back against the TTC workers' union and their extortionist tactics by joining in a fare boycott on the day that they resume service!