So the TTC is on strike. It's going to last all of 48 hours, because the Province is already on its way to legislating them back to work. And when it's all over, the Province will probably legislate that the TTC is an essential service (which is fucking stupid, but we're a city of whiny babies.)
Why stupid? Because as an essential service, the TTC will get the kind of treatment around negotiations that the police and ambulance services do -- basically, open wallets, help themselves. But if we wanted to keep the TTC from going on strike, we could just pay them more in the first place. To put it another way, the TTC is an essential service whether we legislate that or not. So we should treat it that way, whether they legislate it or not. And I'm not just talking about the workers -- we should be looking at way more expansions to the service than we currently are.
Except that this strike isn't actually about money. The drivers were promised lots of money and then some, to bring them up to the levels of pay for the rest of the GTA. The strike is about the possibility of non-union workers being brought in to replace non-driver staff. But, if it was just the auxiliary workers voting against the deal it still would have passed. Instead, it seems a mathematical certainty that the drivers voted to reject it out of solidarity with their maintenance brothers.
So get this: the union is doing exactly what a union -- any union -- is supposed to do. Nonetheless, we're all going to spend the weekend bitching and moaning because people in Toronto believe they have a sacred right never to be inconvenienced by anything.
As for the whole "no 48 hours notice thing", I agree that's a bit of asshole-ery, but seeing as TTC workers were already getting violent threats before the last dealine, I totally understand the desire to clear the fuck out.
POSTSCRIPT: Transit is expensive. Unless we tear up the roads and start from scratch with something new, it's always going to be expensive. That's why it's a public service all over North America -- because it didn't used to be. Time was mass transit was run by business in most places (buses and streetcars.) The economics of transport changed after WWII, and most transit companies went under, except where they were subsumed by the state.
Look at the airlines -- the most subsidized creatures in all of history short of the nuclear industry, they probably haven't made a net profit in their history, once you subtract government handounts and bailouts. Moving stuff and people is a really lousy business, and you have to pay for it. Since we can't move urban populations by barge or containership, that means we pay even more.