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2008 04 27
Turns Out We Didn’t Dodge The Strike Bullet After All
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WInnipeg general strikers tip streetcar over—1919—a scene that stranded Toronto TTC users might have replicated if they could of early Saturday morning

Our collective relief over the announced TTC strike settlement wasn't enough to actually prevent a walkout by TTC workers who voted to reject the agreement their leadership accepted. In spite of the union promise to provide 48 hours notice of a strike action, they walked off at 12:00 AM Saturday morning with 90 minutes notice—stranding thousands of commuters. Right now the Ontario Legislature is about to meet to issue a back-to-work order.

Why did the initial agreement fail? Ron Nurwisah at the National Post has been live-blogging the strike, its causes, and its repercussions. The Toronto Star is all over this story with continuous updates on its web site including person on the street interviews that are worth reading.

My favourite take so far? Well, that's got to be poet Philip Quinn's TTC poetry site with the latest addition, "Strike me dead." Here it is:

Woke up at my girlfriend’s to the news, that the TTC is on strike

Drivers, trains, buses, nothing’s moving

Woke up to the news


How am I going to??????
And then do that?

Fucking walking?

I might as well stay here, stay in bed until this thing is settled.
It’s going to put the entire city to sleep

But I join the other sleep walkers at Bloor Street, in small clusters, drinking coffee and muttering about the TTC strike that seized the city at midnight

in small clusters
drinking coffee, the paper cup clenched strongly in a working man’s grip

the needs of many should outweigh the needs of the few, the man beside me said. It’s turning the city into a cripple.

this old man made up of tall buildings and decayed roads hobbling along with a bad limp, that's our city alright

in small clusters we debate the strike
in small enraged clusters, we feel the anger
solidarity with all brothers and sisters who ride the underground

every possible swear word, doesn’t even begin to describe the TTC, said another man

But now I’m walking the backbone of the city, Yonge Street, the hump past the cemetery
Breaking my back, carrying a sports bag with all my worldlies

Who said the world could stop?
Who said that they could say no to the contract?

I’m walking my way back home
Thumb ready to pop out like a flick knife
At the first chance of a ride in a car

(from The SubWay, a collection of poetry)

[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 04/27 at 03:57 PM

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