Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The problem's not between the Union and the TTC, it's between the Union, and the Union

As many suspected it seems there's nothing but trouble within the executive of ATU Local 113. Apparently, there's an internal battle going on within the Union (an attempted "coup" the Globe and Mail calls it) and the Toronto Star reports extensively on the battle. That Star mentions the "venomous atmosphere" and several pamphlets floating amongst the membership (apparently distributed by the Union executive's dissidents) which misstated the nature of several provisions of the proposed contract, such as language on contracting out and benefits.

It really seems as though the rank and file has been HORRIBLY served by the leadership of their union.

The result?

Well, City Council can't "ignore" the TTC anymore which might sound good, but post-strike, union-friendly Mayor Miller and TTC Chair Adam Giambrone aren't nearly as opposed to making the TTC an "essential service" as they once were.

Finally, in case you're wondering just what exactly the union voted no to, the G&M provides a handy chart, with comparisons to the top wage rates for unionized transit workers in North America:

And if you wonder why I'm focusing on wages, and not "contracting-out" issues, it's because it's pretty clear to me this morning that the "contracting out" stuff was a mirage meant to attack Bob Kinnear. As one of the G&M's union sources says "We've got the best contracting-out language anywhere. And they've been told that by our lawyers and everything." Leave aside the GTA. The contract they rejected would have made the TTC's drivers among the best paid in North America, and it's mechanics the second best paid, all with some of the best job security anywhere.

Seems to me as though the Union was doing pretty good until the executive (apparently) turned on each other.

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