2009-01-09

Unsurprising breaking news: Transit strike continues

Transit workers yesterday rejected the city's 'final' offer in a federally-supervised vote requested by the mayor and council.

The 75 per cent margin among those who voted appears to be a convincing rejection of the city's offer, and of Mayor-Larry-driven negotiating tactics that tried to bypass union leadership.

A recent poll suggested most Ottawa residents sided with council, calling the offer "fair" and saying transit employees should accept it and get the hell back to work.

But we coyotes can't help wondering if this had something to do with the City's carpet bombing propaganda blitz, featuring multiple full-page Petfinder ads per day. All of which pretty much called the offer "fair" and said transit employees should accept it and get the hell back to work. The union hasn't exactly been fattening local media ad coffers to win hearts and minds, so the poll results are make sense with that in mind. And frankly, most Ottawhatamies are pretty tired of adapting to no buses, as magnificent as they are at it, whether they're union-friendly or not.

Now, neither side is exactly covered in glory here. I have heard from possibly reliable sources* that senior drivers game that contentious scheduling roster system to work less and earn more. But the city negotiated that system to address serious Transpo dysfunction and morale problems a decade back, and drivers took long-term pay cuts in exchange for it. I wonder why city ads don't address this sore point, and harp instead on wage offers that on the surface indeed look "fair"? Those disingenuous full-pagers and negotiating (negatiating?) tactics make bulls in china shops look positively sprightly and graceful by comparison. Landed giant squids flopping airlessly, I can see.

Last night, in an attempt to substitute his personal reality for the one he habitually rejects, the mayor slipped 300 union members who didn't vote, into the percentage of those that actually voted to reject the offer, to style his smackdown as closer to 64 per cent. Ummm.... by that pretzel logic, the vast majority of citizens that didn't vote for him in the last municipal election deserve a different mayor, don'cha think...?

I still blame Larry. But I always do.

* Someone who knows someone. You know how it goes.

5 comments:

zoom said...

Excellent post Coyote!

The first thing I heard this morning when the radio came on was Mayor Larry's self-serving twisting of the math. What a loser.

He just wasted WEEKS forcing a vote that changed nothing, instead of supporting a fair collective bargaining process.

Mayor Larry has a history of trying to control everything by circumventing legitimate processes. (Look at how he got his job: bribery and influence peddling.)

Good for the union for shutting him down. Maybe now both sides can get back to the table and start negotiating fairly. I miss the buses.

Seventh Heathen said...

Hard to believe a no vote in such a polarized environment.

On the plus side, no one stops me on the street to ask me for change for the bus any more.

coyote said...

Zoom: I miss buses, too. Love those big tires...

Heathen: So what do they ask you for change for, now?

Woodsy said...

I miss giving out bus tickets to young people... I like how they always called me Miss... sweet little street urchins - where are they now?

zoom said...

I miss how they bend in the middle and make screechy accordian noises.