Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Compare and contrast

It looks like Chet basically called it right on the strike, but one of the things I'm surprised about is the particular gripe that I'm not seeing: you'll recall that during the last TTC strike it was alleged that the TTC was causing a threat to public health by impeding the flow of nurses from their homes to work. I was, lets say, unimpressed with the logic in this position.

Nevertheless, it was explicitly part of the reason that the TTC was legislated back to work so quickly.

Now, however, you have increasing problems of illegal dumping of household wastes in places like public parks which is in actual fact a clear and present public health threat, and yet people are more angry at the idea that somewhere, somehow city workers are getting 3 weeks of sick days.

Gee, it couldn't be that the people who thought the TTC was putting us all at risk of getting the bubonic plague were simply grasping at straws for a simple-minded justification as to why organized labour should lose a basic right? Could it?


Anonymous said...

Um, dude: Some perspective.

My partner's a nurse. Especially the first day of the TTC strike, hospitals (and yes, even ERs) *were* understaffed as people came in late or not at all because of recieving no notice of the strike and having no immediate alternatives.

Whereas Windsor has had a garbage strike for 10 weeks, and no one there has died of Cholera.

Believe it or not, there are people out there making arguments in good faith. Just because you don't like the argument doesn't give you the right to basically call them dishonest hypocrites.

john said...

The point isn't that there's no impact on health care whatsoever. The point is that the argument "X delayed or prevented nurses from getting to work on time, or in some cases at all" so therefore X is a public health risk is far, far, far too broad.

By the same definition, a teacher's strike or even the current outdoor worker's strike would qualify.

It was always a reach, and a pretty stupid one, and it totally ignored history of this city, which had endured months-long strikes without any poxes or somesuch.

Flocons said...

What's your stance on union thugs harassing innocent people trying to deliver garbage at designated drop-off centres?

john said...

Gee, what possible answer is there to a question like that? Do I defend "thugs", or do I question the "innocence" of the poor benighted people who, whole days in to a strike, can't bear to hang on to their trash a little longer?

I'm amazed that it needs to be said, but the point of a strike is to make business as usual difficult, if not impossible. So yes, unions picket the facilities that continue to operate. The "harassment" you speak of is par for the course when strikes happen, as are the delays the strikers are creating.

But no, you're right. Unions would be far more effective if they'd strike in ways that made absolutely no impact on people's lives.

That guy said...

Yeah, I have to say I'm a bit surprised that the "essential service" motif hasn't been more prominent so far. Mostly, what we are seeing instead is the "argument" that, because private sector workers are getting screwed these days, public sector workers should volunteer to get screwed too. Pretty odd.