I found it somewhat unprofessional and even Toronto Mayor Rob Ford-like for St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe to involve himself in the strike at the airport.
By him meeting separately with both sides didn’t accomplish absolutely anything, because he is not an arbitrator or a mediator involved in these talks.
In his media interview he stated the economic impact on the city was upwards of a million dollars. We all realize that this dispute is having a very negative economic impact. Everyone feels the hit — the Convention Centre, people in the service industry, wait staff, taxi drivers, bar owners and staff, and a multitude of other business interests, including the airport itself.
I would love to have been a fly on the wall at those meetings. Boo-hoo, the city is losing money. What else could he say? Get back to table? No. Settle the dispute quick? No. When will this be over? Answer: we don’t know.
You’ve overstepped your bounds, Mayor O’Keefe. Your stating of the facts in the media interview with regard to the loss of revenue to all parties was suffice to let the taxpayers know the situation. Anything more than that and you’re interfering in a labour dispute.
I will hold you to one comment, though. I can’t quote verbatim but it went something like this: it has to end at some point, so why not end it sooner than later?
The city will be negotiating with its own unions in early 2014, and God forbid if an agreement can’t be reached. I sincerely hope you embrace the same attitude then.
In the meantime if you have any success in ending this strike, I would have no problem contributing a few bucks for you to fly to the NHL negotiations the next time they meet to see if you can talk some sense into that bunch.