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  • Christine Care
    January 09, 2011 - 17:45

    Excellent Article . I am so glad someone has written about this strike and the effect it is having on so many citizens. I really believe Ontario has it right with this paragraph from a 2002 report “Equal access by persons with disabilities, older Ontarians and families with young children to adequate, dignified public transit services is a right protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code,” notes a 2002 report — Human Rights and Public Transit Services in Ontario.".. This strike effects ALL citizens in the long run. Transportation MUST be an essential service and as such strikes should not be permitted. This is shameful.

  • Bob
    January 09, 2011 - 13:55

    Dennis? In the last election the people of St. John's had a take it or leave it choice between O'Keefe and Ron Ellsworth. A vote for either one was like shooting yourself in the foot. Whether any of the other councillors could govern any better is questionable at best but they'd all rather keep their cosy jobs and perks than challenge him. A part time occupation never paid so good.

  • mom
    January 09, 2011 - 12:38

    Taxpayer, I rent an apartment as close to my job as I can. My employer has a lot of workers and it is not easy to find something close to the job without paying higher rent than I do now. I can walk to work. It takes about 45 minutes. My concern with this is walking home at night. I don't know if anyone is considering the safety issue of people having to walk long distances at night rather than taking the bus. In a separate issue, I think the bus should be running 24 hours a day to accommodate people who get off work after midnight or go to work for 6am. Seniors have a difficult time as it is with a limited income. Many people have no family to help. People are really being hurt by this Metrobus strike. Excellent column, Pam!

  • Baffled
    January 08, 2011 - 17:23

    Taxpayer, Not all work sites are "smelly" - heavy industry and construction aren't the main employers in the capital. Service industries and the public sector in all its forms definitely provide the most employment. We can't all cherry pick our place of work based upon absolute convenience. I live downtown and work on Stavanger Drive, a decision I made based solely upon reliable access via Metrobus. I don't see any tracts of land devoted to low cost housing going up in that area, do you? Before that I worked on Topsail Road and relied completely upon the bus. That is reality for at least ten thousand people in our city. The buses shouldn't stop running for anything; it is an essential service for many. You call your own credibility into question when you doubt whether seniors without a vehicle really need and rely upon Metrobus - what else are they going to use for transportation? Not everyone has family. Not everyone has a bona fide disabilty; I highly doubt that Wheelway will cart around seniors who aren't considered disabled, it defies logic. What won't make sense in 2015 is everyone owning their own car and taking individualistic energy-wasting routes throughout the city. Do you disapprove of mass transit, Taxpayer?. My objections to your arguments are not attacks; I simply can't comprehend where they are coming from. With regards to binding arbitration, such all-or-none thinking gets us no closer to resolving this strike. All parties involved in this labour dispute need to learn a thing or two about negotiation and compromise.

  • Bob
    January 08, 2011 - 11:13

    Pam you covered pretty well all the bases. Add something like this; Pay for negotiators on both sides of a public service dispute should be suspended subject to a successful settlement of that dispute. If I recall correctly when Fraser March took NAPE to a strike and ended up in prison he received his already hefty salary plus something like $48,000.00 in OVERTIME. That's hardly an incentive to get people back to work. Do the current negotiators for the union and the bus company have similar contracts?

  • Taxpayer
    January 08, 2011 - 09:41

    I wonder if the hardship of seniors is in fact true. I have seen one senior using Wheelway for transportation. As a senior they do have mobility issues and thus might be entitled to the service. As to living " too far from work" why would someone do this unless work was surrounded by $500,000 homes, surely not the case as such owners don't wish to be near smelly work sites. Also it is predicted that in 2015 oil usage will be still 90 million barrels a day, while supply will have shrunk to 70 million barrels per day. Such long distance travel will not make sense. As for binding arbitration, why not make it so for all workers not just judges, police and transportation workers to name a few. But then seniors don't get to use binding arbitration and so they will be without transportation again. Problem not solved.