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Toronto's Great Garbage Strike, in pictures - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

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Toronto's Great Garbage Strike, in pictures [Jul. 28th, 2009|06:16 pm]
Young Geoffrey
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Remembering the Great Garbage Strike of '09

It looks as if the Great Garbage Strike of 2009 is just about over (well, technically it was a strike by Toronto's outside municipal workers, which include day-care workers, those who maintain pools and parks, etcetera) and so this morning I decided to take a stroll along Dundas Street West, between Beaconsfield and Brock and record the filth and chaos to which this city's citizens have been reduced.

For those of you beyond the bounds of the Centre of the Universe, Toronto has been without garbage pick-up for more than a month — and what a month it's been!

SEE the FESTERING MOUND RIGHT OUTSIDE MY DOOR!

RECOIL IN SHOCK AT THE IMPASSABLE SIDEWALK!

OH NOES! THE SQUALOR!

Like sewage in the gutters, so are the streets of my town

Watch out lady!

Citizens! Have ye lost all remnants of civilization?

I tells ya, it will take this city years to recover!

On a serious note, I commend your attention to Sid Ryan's excellent op-ed piece in today's Globe and Mail.

In the world of the magician, one of the most critical skills is “misdirection,” wherein the illusionist employs sleight of hand to fool the audience into looking away from where the nitty-gritty of the trick is actually taking place.

Canada appears to be the target of just such a trick, in the form of a newly fashionable term that's come into vogue amid the recent spate of labour disputes. The term is “public-sector monopoly,” and between conservative bloggers, right-of-centre newspaper columnists and television coverage, a sizable part of the commentariat has suddenly been transformed into rabid trust-busters...

True, Canada and the rest of the world have been in the grip of a difficult recession (although recent data appears to show that grip is loosening). True, this summer has seen a number of high-profile labour disruptions, most notably in Toronto and Windsor, Ont. But does a summer of labour disruption truly warrant such a heavy-handed response, or is that response simply an effort to shift attention away from those who put us in this economic crisis in the first place? Did the men and women walking the picket lines spend decades agitating for less and less regulation of global financial markets? Did they devise ever-more-complex financial instruments to provide cover for the unscrupulous lenders who approved mortgages to people they knew didn't have the means to pay?

Well, just read the whole thing already — and try to remember not to forget your principles when things get a little inconvenient. Okay?

Cross-posted from Edifice Rex Online.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: rantipole6
2009-07-29 01:28 am (UTC)
Well put. I hope they win their strike.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2009-07-29 04:30 pm (UTC)

It's looking fairly good for them

Presuming they ratify the agreement, it sounds as if they've won a partial victory.

The key issue was the banking of sick days (up to six months) and the tentative contract apparently allows existing employees to keep it, while new ones get a different form of sick-pay.

So, a compromise, but not a complete retreat.
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[User Picture]From: geonarcissa
2009-07-29 03:51 am (UTC)
Oh good, I can visit now. We Ottawans are disturbed by garbage, and while we expect to come into contact with some while visiting Hog Town, the strike sounded horrifying.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2009-07-29 04:33 pm (UTC)

Toronto the Good

Well, as you can tell from the photos (at least in my neighbourhood), the streets have stayed remarkably clean. But yes, if all goes well, you'll soon be able to visit the parks without being confronted by giant mounds of garbage as well.
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[User Picture]From: deweyintoronto
2009-07-30 04:39 am (UTC)
Hold on a minute... I didn't "devise ever-more-complex financial instruments to provide cover for the unscrupulous lenders who approved mortgages to people they knew didn't have the means to pay" either, but I'm still stuck holding the bag for remarkably shortsighted deals cut by former city negotiators and the likes of Mr. Ryan himself? Well now THAT hardly seems fair.

I won't get into my thoughts on pubic sector unions in this day and age, suffice it to say that they are somewhat less than charitable. Regardless of how this strike shakes out - and as of right now, CUPE 416 gas yet to ratify the agreement - the City's union contracts, even with the most recent concessions, are completely out of line with the private sector and not sustainable over the long term. When this contract (if ratified) is up, I'll bet you seven cents we end up in a similar place. And seven cents is all I'll be able to afford because as a resident of this fine city helping to fork over the some FOUR BILLION dollars in labour costs every year, it's all I can afford.

Oh, and Sid Ryan is an Asshole.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2009-07-30 05:17 pm (UTC)
the City's union contracts, even with the most recent concessions, are completely out of line with the private sector and not sustainable over the long term. When this contract (if ratified) is up, I'll bet you seven cents we end up in a similar place. And seven cents is all I'll be able to afford because as a resident of this fine city helping to fork over the some FOUR BILLION dollars in labour costs every year, it's all I can afford.

So, rather than looking at decent (not fabulous) wages as something to which we should aspire, you think we should chase one another down the drain of diminishing expectations? You know, maybe we should just import a few thousand untouchables from India and replace the existing outside workers with people who think seven bucks an hour would be a step up in the world. Then next year, we can cite "market conditions" again and reduce that rate to six bucks an hour (and so).

Naturally, you and I (well, you) will be exempt from this gradual descent to the lowest common denominator and will continue to enjoy life in a heavily armed, gated community.

Oh, and Sid Ryan is an Asshole.

He sure seems to bring people to their most articulate. Can you explain to me just why the working class should be the ones to sacrifice the most because the short-sited greed of our elites has managed to destroy three or four trillion dollars of wealth in the space of year?
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From: placenta
2009-07-31 08:08 pm (UTC)

OH LOARD

haha; THE HORROR!! XD
you cheer me up today.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2009-08-02 01:43 am (UTC)

Re: OH LOARD

Thank you! For some reason I especially appreciate feedback when attempting humour. I'm most pleased it worked for you.
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