TTC Set To Walk Out Monday
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TTC Set To Walk Out Monday

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Taxi! Taxi!
The posturing shifted into high gear today in the TTC labour dispute, as union president Bob Kinnear announced that if his people don’t get satisfaction this weekend, 1.5 million Torontonians are going to be looking for another way to get around as of 4 a.m. on Monday.
Kinnear came out swinging at a press conference this morning, telling assembled reporters that TTC employees were “second class citizens” compared to city workers and transit staff in other jurisdictions, and that management was being unfair on issues like healthcare benefits and pensions. The union boss also pointed his finger up the political chain, noting correctly that the TTC is wildly underfunded by all levels of government compared to other transit systems.
With the talks being held behind closed doors, details of the problem issues aren’t entirely clear. What is known is that the initial TTC offer of a 2% annual increase over a 3 year contract was rejected by the unions, and that a key sticking point has been the TTC’s refusal to bend on providing full pay to employees kept off the job due to illness or injury. However, who has to move in what direction and how far are anybody’s guess.
The city had previously announced a plan to deal with a potential strike on Monday, which includes prohibiting parking on some major arteries, temporary carpool lanes on some streets, and free parking for carpoolers in some city-owned lots. No bike lanes yet, folks.
What can we look forward to this weekend in the countdown to traffic chaos? Well, we’ll see everyone talking disingenuously about being “forced” by management or the union or Jesus or the Trilateral Commission into doing what they desperately don’t want to do, which is inconvenience the public. We can expect lots of journalistic cliches as “talks go down to the wire” in the “11th hour” with negotiators taking “a hard line” on whatever it is they’re talking about in there. And of course, thousands will be thinking “Why didn’t I buy that Segway off eBay when I had the chance?”
Will the the opposing parties manage to hammer out a last minute transit-saving solution this weekend? Will David Miller race home from China in time to swoop in and save the day? Will we get a partial refund on our Metropass this month? Stay tuned
With additional reporting from David Topping. Photo by Jon. from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.

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