Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bend Over, Torontonians, And Smell The Stink

Things I've learned about the ongoing city workers strike.

Firstly, contra the the conventional wisdom, a city "victory" over the inside/outside workers is not insured. As one unionista I overheard yesterday said, the garbagemen can "win it for the rest of them". As crap piles up in the street, pressure builds on Miller and Co.

Now here's the thing: if the union can hang on for two or three weeks without caving, until the province legislates them back to work, the dispute goes to arbitration and the union wins. All the city's hard and fast demands are suddenly subject to negotiation with the arbitrator, and any deal that emerges from that process will be far better than what the city is offering now. So that's the goal: get to arbitration.

Also, I don't buy the notion that Miller might come out of this a hero: a lefty that stood up to the unions. The more likely scenario is Rae days redux, where the mayor ends up pissing off his union allies and making no corporate friends.

Finally, I ran into some poor sucker who splits his work day between city and LCBO. The word there from the union leadership to their members is no strike. Negotiations are going relatively well. I'm still stocking up, but thank goodness for small mercies if that one settles.

Update: what I just said.

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