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City

Toronto Garbage Strike: Smells like Summer

Posted by Corina / June 23, 2009

christie pits garbageIf you were lucky enough to have missed the garbage strike in Toronto in 2002 (or any of the subsequent service disruptions since) don't worry - in this city it's becoming a regular tradition.

Only a few short years since the last strike, City workers have again walked off the job, shutting down services like summer camps and swimming pools, and suspending Toronto trash collection. Nothing says summer like a stinking city full of kids on summer vacation with nothing to do. And be prepared; after only one day, Torontonians have already begun to nominate street curbs, alleyways, and even parks as unofficial dumping grounds of choice.

I'm beginning to wonder if we should bother with trash collection at all... why not turn Toronto into one giant refuse pile? :P

toronto garbage strike

As you can see, the has city has already made some initial efforts to shut down the flow of garbage to public bins. Unfortunately, citizens seem to have snapped under pressure of having to hold onto their refuse for a few days. Within an hour of seeing the nicely plastic-wrapped bins being set up by city workers, I watched a woman claw her way through to throw out a coffee cup. This alone may not have contributed to the stench now coming from the bin, but after a day's worth of garbage cooking at 27oC in an empty bin (particularly all the poop bags from dog walkers) I can only imagine what these will start to smell like by the end of the week.

The bins, I can live with - it's hard to break old habits, and we've been programmed to throw our garbage into city bins as 'good' Torontonians. The public dumping ground on the corner of Christie Pits however, is another matter. Pictured below, this is simply a demonstration of why the union will continue to resort to service interruption as a viable bargaining tactic - it works.

garbage strike torontoAfter only a day of being asked to help out by a) holding on to their trash, or b) delivering it to any one of the city's transfer stations, some citizens decided the best idea would be to start dumping trash in parks and alleyways. This may be in part due to idiotic protests at the transfer stations, but was this really the only alternative dumping ground for some people in the city? May I suggest something more appropriate than a park... maybe re-direct your trash-rage towards City Hall or CUPE HQ perhaps? :)

Now I don't for a second expect people to cope with an extended strike - there's a reason the summer of 2002 was such a wretched gag-filled stink fest, it went on for WEEKS! - but if this is the best we can do after one day... we're going to have a fairly fetid start to summer in the city.

Photos: photopia, Danielle Scott, syncros on Flickr

Discussion

187 Comments

Jack S. / June 23, 2009 at 09:02 am
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Considering the quantities of garbage being illegally dumped only hours into the strike, it wouldn't surprise me if there was some union handiwork behind all this.
eric / June 23, 2009 at 09:04 am
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When was the last time you saw a garbage strike in Mississauga? Why not privatize it like them and so many other cities, and let these workers realize just how lucky they already are. I am all for workers rights and unions but when unions get this greedy, I say let them see what reality is for so many other people in this economy.
Jerrold / June 23, 2009 at 09:13 am
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Covering city garbage bins with plastic wrap and signs is a rather futile strategy. I don't think there's anything they can do but get the unionized workers back on the job. Did they actually think that people would obey the signs and take their on-the-go waste home?
Carm / June 23, 2009 at 09:20 am
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I say why wait? The city should simply start privatizing while the union is out. If I simply decided not to do my job...back when I had one, thank you economy, I would have been replaced.

Why am I paying huge taxes so that the union can have job security? What the hell is Job Security? Cause I did not have it!!!! Nor does anyone for that matter, unless you hold a city hostage apparently. And 18 days of sick days you can hold over for early retirement? Perhaps these people need to read a news paper and see we are in the midst of a global recession and that the people they are holding hostage, do not have jobs. Hard to sympathize when I am surviving on minute rice!

I say we revolt en massse. If they want to protest the transfer stations and they want to ruin our summer and our city. I say we come together a group and picket them. If groups of citizens block their path to their protest locations and do not let them cross. There are definitely enough of us out of work who could do it :-) Maybe a dose of reality would help. Or dump our garbage at the Cupe HQ. There are way more of us then there are of them...and besides if we all go on strike and don't pay taxes, don't pay parking tickets...there will be no money on the coffers to pay them for their job security and their sick days.
jameasmallon / June 23, 2009 at 09:22 am
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What a bunch of entitled whiners appear whenever a union's on strike. I will only listen to this crap from people who make less than those on strike, and who would demand the same concessions from the Police and Fire Unions (like that'd ever happen) which cost about half of the city budget.
Rikki replying to a comment from jameasmallon / June 23, 2009 at 09:27 am
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Last time I checked, trash collectors, daycare workers and street sweepers never risked the chance of them taking a bullet or dying from smoke inhalation or fire every day they go to work.
Anon / June 23, 2009 at 09:57 am
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I'll be dropping my garbage off here:

The CUPE local 416, 110 Laird Drive.
ugh / June 23, 2009 at 09:58 am
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where are the CUPE HQ? I have a couple of bags.
Samantha replying to a comment from jameasmallon / June 23, 2009 at 10:06 am
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We are entitled because WE PAY THEM!

They work for US, and as such, we resent being used in their fight for, in my opinion, unfair concessions. I certainly don't get to bank sick days. They make more money than me, and it's my taxes that pay for them!

And how am i going to PAY those taxes if I can't go to work because my kid isn't going to Daycare?? We don't ALL get to refuse to work and get paid for it...

That is a luxury saved for UNIONS.

And I Agree Rikki, comparing Firemen and Police to other city workers is RIDICULOUS.

Call me entitled, fine, I feel entitled. But I'm not whining, I'm ANGRY.
Joel M / June 23, 2009 at 10:12 am
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While I think the Union's demands are a bit much in this case, the public's seemingly eagerness to turn this city into a shithole just to prove a point seems quite bizzare.

There is no garbage pickup anywhere in the city on Mondays. yet people began illegally dumping, on a day when nobody had missed a single garbage pickup. I thought this city was supposed to be a leader in waste reduction?

If you want to make this city a smelly mess as soon as possible, you're only playing into the Union's hands.
Mike W replying to a comment from Joel M / June 23, 2009 at 10:36 am
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Some (admittedly random) people have suggested the unions have a hand in building up an initial show of garbage dumping. The video of CUPE strikers in Windsor, Ontario dumping garbage in front of children seems to support this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAqMn4gEe00

I have to agree street dumping is our own collective failure though. We should be dumping it on CUPE HQ at 110 Laird Drive or on/by/in front of the picket lines.
Loozrboy / June 23, 2009 at 10:37 am
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I'm gonna stay the hell out of the debate on the merits of the strike itself, privatization, etc. (since the article's not about that), and instead echo this sentiment: don't be slobs, people. If we all put a little effort into it, I'm sure we can keep this city from turning into a trash-strewn pigsty for a few days at least.
jack / June 23, 2009 at 10:39 am
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it's ok.. a lot of big cities are like this.. we don't have to be spotless on the streets every frigging day
Anon / June 23, 2009 at 10:54 am
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I believe CUPE members are illegally dumping. I mean, seriously, it's been ONE day. We're keeping our garbage in our bin at home, and doing what we can to reduce waste while out (bringing lunch in reusable containers, getting coffee to go in a travel mug, not picking up a free paper on my way to work, etc.). I can certainly see how, after several weeks, the garbage strike would impact citizens (particularly those living downtown without access to a car to visit the far-away drop off stations), but not after ONE day. Something smells.
Yan / June 23, 2009 at 11:21 am
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Thankfully, I live in Vaughan. But parts of Toronto have their garbage removal services private too. Etobicoke citizens, for instance, have a private contractor, so they're not affected by this strike.
Corina replying to a comment from Anon / June 23, 2009 at 11:24 am
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Unfortunately, mob mentality dictates that if there's one garbage bag on the side of the road... it's ok to add more. Unions understand these tactics very well... although I don't think it takes much to start a wave of apathy across the city...

The funny part is that we're typically so polite in Toronto, people are daintily laying pieces of garbage on to the pile, or I saw one woman trying to 'organize' the garbage so that it was less strewn about.

I'm happy to live in a condo with private trash pick up... figure we should be giving the job to people who want to do it properly. I have never been part of a union and have never had the luxury of bargaining through NOT working... no sympathy here.
eric / June 23, 2009 at 11:25 am
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The illegal dumping will ensue and the union is making it almost impossible not to should the strike go on as it is blocking transfer stations. This is what really gets me, fine go on strike, stop picking up the garbage but to block people from dropping it off at the only legal place they can? This is when they cross a line. I'm a homeowner who luckily opted for the large bin, and as such should be fine for up to a month, but I know there are many out there who are not going to be as lucky. What are they to do?

Oh and I make less than these workers for the record, and saying that you don't have a right to complain if you do, is completely irrelevant. For the record these guys are making about 24 an hour. Do the quick math on that and you're looking at about 50k a year. 50k a year for manual labour that requires no special training or education.

Those narrow minded folks who think that we should just shutup and smile through this strike are also ignoring the trickle down effect. Think of the impact this is going to have in the height of our tourism season. Think of the cost of clean up after the fact, and just where that is going to come from.

Ross / June 23, 2009 at 11:34 am
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Any private companies out there who would be willing to take over garbage collection? I bet we could raise a collection community by community to get the trash off the streets... pay those who want to work for a fair market wage.
Adam / June 23, 2009 at 11:45 am
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Ack! Emoticons!
Jason / June 23, 2009 at 11:47 am
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CUPE 416 Headquarters

http://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&;ie=UTF8&q=110+Laird+Drive,+toronto&fb=1&split=1&gl=ca&cid=0,0,17096343639237360590&ei=k_hASoZlk74y16700Ag&ll=43.708788,-79.362016&spn=0.005925,0.013819&t=h&z=16&iwloc=A
chephy / June 23, 2009 at 11:50 am
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I work for the city and I think the strike is dumb. I did enjoy a day of unexpected (even if unpaid) vacation yesterday, but I really hope this idiotic thing does not last. This kind of stuff makes me think that unions should be illegal.
mrs / June 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm
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Carm, I'm with you: Is there a place where people will protest the strikers? Does anyone know?
keven replying to a comment from Samantha / June 23, 2009 at 12:54 pm
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> They work for US, and as such, we resent being used in their fight for, in my opinion, unfair concessions. I certainly don't get to bank sick days. They make more money than me, and it's my taxes that pay for them!

Our (collective) taxes. Not yours.

RE: Banked sick days. This is a great concession!!! This ensures that people retire early to make more jobs for others! CAW has a 30 and out clause in all their collective agreements for the same reason.

Also, it's not someone else's responsibility or fault that you make less money. How can you hold it against them? Do you hate me cause I make more than them? Either join/start a union or go back to school then.

> That is a luxury saved for UNIONS.

Ya damn them for having a collective voice while the rest of us are too passive to organize a union so that we may praise our living (and high) wages, retirement packages etc.
Chester Pape replying to a comment from Rikki / June 23, 2009 at 12:55 pm
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The idea that police and fire are dangerous jobs is, at least in Canada, an urban myth. Fishermen, Farmers and Construction workers are all MUCH more likely to be killed on the job than a cop or a firefighter. I'll bet that statistically garbage collection is more dangerous than policing.
Dan / June 23, 2009 at 01:06 pm
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What a shame to see so many knee-jerk anti-labour comments. I always thought blogto was somehow different from the Toronto Sun. Judging from this blog maybe not. Does anyone here realize the City has put forward 100+ pages of demands? That the whole sick day issue may just be a red herring? Yeah, damn the union for trying to improve their members' working conditions. Let's leave everything to the market. Cause if everyone just got paid less, we'd all be better off. Sheesh. Look outside your own inconveniences and think for a second before just raving like a Fox News commentator.
steve / June 23, 2009 at 01:19 pm
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Obliterate unions before it is too late. We saw what happened to GM and it is partially because of unions. Now, we taxpayers had to bail them out so they could pay their pensions. Unions were created to keep underage children from working and to keep employees safe. Our standards do not require unions anymore...unless we want to bankrupt our entire country. Monitored private collection works. CUPE does not work.
Rian replying to a comment from Chester Pape / June 23, 2009 at 01:25 pm
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I've always wanted to visit the Toronto Garbage Collector's Memorial. I hear it's quite a moving sight to see.
steve replying to a comment from Dan / June 23, 2009 at 01:26 pm
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It is not about being paid less..it is about being paid a fair wage compared to the market and about being efficient with (your)taxpayers money. These jobs require no education or training and offer better pay than a graduate will get after obtaining a degree. What does that tell our youth? It tells them to do less, achieve nothing and get rewarded for it. It's a system that creates underachievers and a welfare state. It is neither smart nor progressive and it sure the hell isn't "Fox News" reactionism.
Tony replying to a comment from Dan / June 23, 2009 at 01:27 pm
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Dan, you should visit NOW's website. Solidarity abounds!
Rikki replying to a comment from Dan / June 23, 2009 at 01:30 pm
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Oh I'm sorry Socrates, I didn't realize we weren't conforming to your standards. I'm sure the boards over at NOW Magazine will be happy to oblige you.
Anon2 replying to a comment from Anon / June 23, 2009 at 02:56 pm
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Don't forget CUPE Local 79 34 St.Patrick Street, toronto
somechick / June 23, 2009 at 03:12 pm
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I don't feel sorry for garbage collectors at all. They chose the job that they have, regardless of how stinky it is. They are part of a union that gives them all kinds of cushiony benefits most people don't get. Like an above post - I don't have job security, pension, dental plans, retirement packages etc... That's the reality. If I don't like my job and I can quit and find another. Toronto residents pay enough taxes already and we've had to deal with all kinds of garbage bin revamps and organizing to make "their job" easier.

I also think it's awful that workin parents may have to use their vacation time to look after their kids since the daycares are closed.
Alogon replying to a comment from jameasmallon / June 23, 2009 at 03:16 pm
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That is the point! Many people paying the union salaries make LESS than the union on strike. So how is that entitled, as you put it? How is that unfair, as the unions put it?

My friend, the whiners are all on the picket line looking for job security to do jobs that don't seem to require much intelligence, skill or even the ability to read. Why should people with higher education be jobless or working poor when these jokers with less qualification demand "job security" and "bankable sick days"?

You are most likely related to or a CUPE member yourself. My experience working in a union showed me their real worth - jobs for union "leaders" and protection for the worst employees.
Alogon replying to a comment from chephy / June 23, 2009 at 03:22 pm
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You're not the first city worker I have heard or read say this. You guys should get together and put pressure on your unions - they sure as hell ain't listening to us!
Alogon replying to a comment from keven / June 23, 2009 at 03:34 pm
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"RE: Banked sick days. This is a great concession!!! This ensures that people retire early to make more jobs for others! CAW has a 30 and out clause in all their collective agreements for the same reason."

Dude! Do you even read what you write? That is a lousy concession! Even if it did make more room for new workers do you realize we would be paying people up to 6 months for nothing and these new workers would also be getting paid?

Your point about hating someone who makes more money is incomplete. No one hates them for only making more money, they hate them for being mediocre employees with little qualification and perhaps an inferior education that make more money than out-of-work university grads.
I / June 23, 2009 at 03:37 pm
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They should all be fired. How many thousands of people would love to have these jobs at 1/2 their pay. Why does the government seem so good at attracting the laziest most useless employees.
keven replying to a comment from somechick / June 23, 2009 at 04:01 pm
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>I don't have job security, pension, dental plans, retirement packages etc

I don't feel sorry for YOU at all. YOU chose the job that YOU have, regardless of how crappy YOUR employer treats YOU.
Alogon replying to a comment from Chester Pape / June 23, 2009 at 04:03 pm
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"I'll bet that statistically garbage collection is more dangerous than policing." Possibly, but I will reckon that is would be because garbage workers end up doing more actual work than Toronto's finest waste of taxpayer money.

But your point is well taken. I cringe everytime I hear the tired old line about risking their lives constantly. Please, by the time the cops show up, 4 hours later, the danger is gone. ETF are the ones who risk their lives on gun calls, the regular beat cop mostly picks his ass.
keven replying to a comment from Alogon / June 23, 2009 at 04:10 pm
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yea you're right. Ensuring job creation for a new generation of people who may be more taxing to the system via EI or welfare is a HORRIBLE thing :P

Do you even think before you write? Dude?

Judging someone's intelligence? Calling people who you know NOTHING about 'mediocre' (I've never had a problem getting my garbage picked up, they seem to do their job just fine!). Your judgments on education and the amount of money they make is not incomplete as you put it, it's shallow and stupid.

Hey, it's not the garbage collector's fault you're too un-intelligent to invest a bunch of money into your education to work in the private sector only to get paid less. That's between you and the private sector you work in.

The hate is in the words here. Enough people have written their displeasure over the amount of money garbage collectors make.

Seems a lot of people are more pissed in these comments for making their OWN wrong choices and getting paid less then those with an 'inferior education' (smarter then you apparently).

>Only a few short years since the last strike, City workers have again walked off the job,

an (almost) decade is a "few short years"? Wow!
terry / June 23, 2009 at 04:24 pm
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as inconvenient as this all may be, why not try and view this as a giant (albeit unintended) social experiment in waste reduction. we all talk the talk about green this and reuse that- now necessity dictates we walk the walk.
eric / June 23, 2009 at 04:45 pm
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A further point. The costly upgrade to our new bins is a huge benefit to these workers, as now an automated arm actually lifts and dumps them. Yes they're jobs have become easier.

In response to Dan, if there is something unfair or unreasonable that the city has listed in its 100+ pages of demands why is CUPE not coming forth with it? They certainly have the voice to do so, so tell us what is so unfair, tell us what is unreasonable from their end. Until then the majority will continue to see CUPE as being spoiled and unreasonable. Not that Miller would ever be re-elected anyway, but if he and the rest of the city council truly are equally to blame for this tell the public why and set him on the curb ready for collection.

Brett / June 23, 2009 at 04:47 pm
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This is why I'm proud to be a resident of Etobicoke.
Corina replying to a comment from keven / June 23, 2009 at 05:36 pm
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2009 - 2002 = 7 years since the last summer garbage strike, not 10.

In your fevered need to post a comment, you may or may not recall that we had a similar strike threatened in winter of 2006. There's probably a few more examples.

How would you define union dysfunction via strike mandates?
Alogon replying to a comment from keven / June 23, 2009 at 05:41 pm
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Wow, you are a treat. You chastise me and then do the same things you rail about. First off, do you read well? Paying 2 people (one to do a job, the other to retire) for the same work is idiocy! How is that creating jobs? How is a job "created" by someone leaving their job? IT'S THE SAME JOB! Dummy, public sector work "creates" jobs on tax income. In a shrinking economy and, therefore, shrinking tax base those jobs come with too high a price, especially when the people those taxes employ want enormous benefits as well. Second, I do have an education, most likely far superior to yours. Third, I do know something about these people, even if only through their actions. Fourth, you have no problem having your garbage picked up? Really? Look at any street after these guys roll though and see the crap all over the road - seems even picking up garbage may be too hard for some of these dudes. Fifth, I make more money than they do but I don't have the luxurious benefits.
Lastly, to use your words, shallow and stupid is believing that picking up trash deserves better than minimum wage and huge benefits. Apply that label to your forehead.
Alogon replying to a comment from terry / June 23, 2009 at 05:43 pm
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Excellent point. Time to put the money where the mouth is (in more than one way).
Pringle / June 23, 2009 at 06:29 pm
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I used to be in favour of unions, but after reading these comments and the ones at the Toronto Star site, I'm convinced! Fire them all! No benefits for anyone! To hell with the middle class! No-one without a university degree deserves to make more than ten bucks an hour! YES!
Bill D. replying to a comment from somechick / June 23, 2009 at 06:34 pm
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That's stupid. Other working stiffs have something you don't have, so they shouldn't have it, either? Yeah, go ahead and quit your job and find something better! It's that easy, right?
Justin / June 23, 2009 at 06:58 pm
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The smell isn't (overpoweringly) bad so far...I like chaos(fun garbage strike kind, not Iran election kind); it'd be neat to see how long this strike lasts, hopefully to the point of finding out once and for all if Mrs. Pasquale's garbage can beat Mrs. Darvinder's in a trashbag sled race down the Davenport dip.

Seriously though, an old friend is thrilled about all this - http://img198.imageshack.us/img198/6616/mmgarbage.jpg
wolfmanharv replying to a comment from Rikki / June 23, 2009 at 07:19 pm
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Paramedics take that risk ALL THE TIME and they are in the union
David / June 23, 2009 at 07:29 pm
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I can't believe that people are generating so much trash that they are dumping it illegally within 12 hours of a strike or enduring much time and aggravation to drop it off at one of the transfer stations (contractors excepted). My normal collection is Wednesday and missing one collection is no big deal. If we get up to three or four skipped collections, it may be more of an annoyance.

P.S. I dropped off some dry wall remnants at Bermondsey last Thursday and it took an hour in and out with no picketers.
Dan / June 23, 2009 at 10:24 pm
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So basically the main argument here is because most people's jobs are crappy, why should anyone else have it better? If you're unhappy at your work place, organize. It is your right after all.
MD / June 24, 2009 at 01:23 am
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Just saw this article on the Globe and Mail about a couple of young guys making a business out of this - collecting trash on request in a cube van and dealing with the drop off.

LOTS of potential.
Globe article: http://bit.ly/hytQk
Website of business: http://www.StrikeGarbage.com
keven replying to a comment from steve / June 24, 2009 at 08:14 am
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I had no idea production workers designed cars and made top level executive decisions :P
keven replying to a comment from Alogon / June 24, 2009 at 08:34 am
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so sorry, I figured this would all be so obvious to someone has highly educated as yourself who makes so much money.

>Paying 2 people (one to do a job, the other to retire) for the same work is idiocy! How is that creating jobs? How is a job "created" by someone leaving their job? IT'S THE SAME JOB!

A job is created when someone leaves, thus opening a position for someone else. :P
The amount of money the system would pay for someone who isn't working is MUCH higher than paying someone to take 40 sick days before they retire. :P
Sick days are also banked by the company/city too. The money isn't floating around in thin air, it earns insane amount of interest, thus paying for itself (and then some). :P

A good education doesn't seem to buy much nowadays. I would suggest you learn a bit about macro-economics.

>Dummy, public sector work "creates" jobs on tax income. In a shrinking economy and, therefore, shrinking tax base those jobs come with too high a price

Did I miss the memo where I received a tax cut cause of the "shrinking economy"? Employment taxes do not in any way pay for garbage collectors or our civic economics. I'm not even sure what your logic is here.

>Second, I do have an education, most likely far superior to yours.

There you go making snap judgments again. I had no idea we knew each other so intimately.

>Third, I do know something about these people, even if only through their actions.

Yea, those damn lazy Mexicans eh? You sound like a bigot.

>Fourth, you have no problem having your garbage picked up? Really?

I put my garbage out, when I get home from work it's gone! So no, I have no problems getting my garbage picked up.

>Apply that label to your forehead.

I have no idea what this means. Mind you, I'm not nearly as edumacated as you. :P
keven replying to a comment from Corina / June 24, 2009 at 08:51 am
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>2009 - 2002 = 7 years since the last summer garbage strike, not 10.

Which is why I said "almost". You know as in, slightly short of; not quite; nearly.

>In your fevered need to post a comment, you may or may not recall that we had a similar strike threatened in winter of 2006.

But there was no strike. So, your point is? Contracts end, new ones need to be drafted and arbitrated. If anything you're only further proving that garbage collectors aren't nearly as evil-incarnate as people are making them to be. If they were, there would have been a strike in 2006.

>There's probably a few more examples.

Or there isn't.

>How would you define union dysfunction via strike mandates?

union dysfunction via strike mandates? Striking is a RIGHT. A union FUNCTIONS for the purpose of fair collective agreements for it's membership. A strike is a consequence to the company/city for not being fair in it's bargaining with the union. There is nothing dysfunctional about fighting for ones rights.

To put it in slightly more related terms: When you go purchase say a car or house, if the salesperson is not willing to budge on the sticker price, do you still buy? Especially when you have the option to walk away? If the union accepted everything/anything the company/city offered then THIS would be highly dysfunctional. Then one could argue that unions are crap. But this isn't the case. Therefore, unions are doing exactly what is expected of them.

Everytime we banter about same sex benefits, a 5 day work week, weekends, medicare, better child care (the list goes on and on and on) we can thank unions. Companies and government aren't the tooth fairy here.
eric / June 24, 2009 at 08:56 am
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Anyone else just get their bill for water/sewage/ and oh waste management this week? Ah the timing.
apetimberlake / June 24, 2009 at 10:26 am
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IS RIBFEAST CANCELLED BECAUSE OF THESE SHITIDIOTS STRIKING!!!
Alogon replying to a comment from keven / June 24, 2009 at 02:00 pm
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I will explain it nice & simple for you since you don't seem to understand.
"A job is created when someone leaves, thus opening a position for someone else. :P"
Opening an existing job is not creating a job. If you read your own sentence you would have got that. Look up the word create.

"The amount of money the system would pay for someone who isn't working is MUCH higher than paying someone to take 40 sick days before they retire. :P

Proof of this?

"Sick days are also banked by the company/city too. The money isn't floating around in thin air, it earns insane amount of interest, thus paying for itself (and then some). :P"

The money is the regular wage the person would have been paid had they worked the entire year. It isn't extra money. And where are these high interest loans? You talk to me about economics yet you don't grasp the current 0-1% lending rates we are seeing.

"Did I miss the memo where I received a tax cut cause of the "shrinking economy"? Employment taxes do not in any way pay for garbage collectors or our civic economics. I'm not even sure what your logic is here."

Obvious you can't grasp the logic, you seem to be thick. Did I say anything about a tax break? Did I say anything about employment taxes? People no longer able to pay rent or mortgages due to being out of work and companies closing lessens the property tax base.
Not only that but the city handles social assistance too, which increases in a recession and also comes from property taxes. There are also other considerations -perhaps you should take that micro-economics class.

"There you go making snap judgments again. I had no idea we knew each other so intimately."

I never made a snap judgement about you. I made a guess on probability based on your words and displayed level of intelligence. Besides, you made snap judgements about me first, read your reply to me. Pot or kettle?

"Yea, those damn lazy Mexicans eh? You sound like a bigot."
No clue where you get this from. Also, classic refuge of the person without a real argument - call them a bigot or racist. But hey, that is a step up, you could have called me a nazi. I make my comment on the workers based on their performance of their jobs as I have witnessed and on their obtuse and illegal use of intimidation in trying to block access to dump sites and City Hall.
Grow up.

"I put my garbage out, when I get home from work it's gone! So no, I have no problems getting my garbage picked up."

You may be one of a lucky few. In my polling, a majority of people find trash strewn about their street and lawn for which the union dudes refuse to pick up and leave for by-law officers or street sweepers.

"Apply that label to your forehead.
I have no idea what this means. Mind you, I'm not nearly as edumacated as you. :P"

It means take the label "shallow and stupid" you tried to give me and place it on yourself. Yes, it is clear that you are not as well educated as myself but again, remember, you initiated the attack on education level in your first post and your subsequent reply to me.
Alogon replying to a comment from Alogon / June 24, 2009 at 02:02 pm
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My post above should say "0-1% interest rates".
Mr. Z / June 24, 2009 at 03:30 pm
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The raccoons are the only ones are benefiting from the strike.
Gabby / June 24, 2009 at 03:43 pm
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The greedy, selfish inside and outside "workers" need a harsh dose of reality. No one in the real world get 18 sick days a year--forget about banking them. Unfortunately, the spineless Mayor Miller and the completely out-of-touch Premier McGuinty will never risk the alienation of the unions and developers by legislating those deadbeats back to work. Fire them all I say!
apetimberlake replying to a comment from Gabby / June 24, 2009 at 04:02 pm
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You can't say that the mayor is spineless, he had a reputation for being a very powerful lawyer and i am certain can negotiate very well.
Gabby replying to a comment from apetimberlake / June 24, 2009 at 04:17 pm
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My point is that he's not inclined to negotiate. The unions and the developers have his ear. Those people who use subsidized day care and depend upon public parks and pools don't matter to him, McGuinty or that union who is holding us hostage.
Gabby replying to a comment from apetimberlake / June 24, 2009 at 04:22 pm
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My point is that Miller is not inclined to negotiate. He has the ear of the unions and developers. Those who use subsidized daycare and depend upon public parks and pools don't matter to him, to McGuinty or that union who is selfishly holding us hostage--again.
No Friend of David Miller's. / June 24, 2009 at 05:05 pm
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I took a look at the issues from both sides of the block.
I personally don't usually support unions. I read the prior comments & heard the folks screaming that they should privatize, fire, dump illegally at CUPE's HG, Etc... I read how the union believes its entitled yada yada. But I also looked at what these folks do to run the largest city in Canada. Its not just garbage, its child care, water testing, road construction, community centres, pools, daycamps & so many other city services. As far as I can see we the people of the city are spoiled. Would you want the person taking care of your child to earn minium wage? Would you be willing to lift other peoples smelly trash? Are you educated enough to test our drinking water? Can you even do any of these jobes? I mean for real lol. I've heard the comment the city doesn't have the money. But did our illustrious mayor not spend loads of money on things that don't truly concern us? Examples such as the $1 million dollar CNE bathrooms & giving cash to Africa. I'm sure there is plenty more where that came from. On the issue of taxes, they pay taxes also. City council will vote themselves a beautiful raise but will screw the city workers at the same time. I point the finger where it truly belongs. DAVID MILLER. All of you who dared to vote that clown in for the second time deserve this. All those who did not vote for him. I feel your pain. My feeling is we need people to run this city properly. Both CUPE & David Miller should get up off their backsides & figure this out. Toronto & the illegal dumpers hould be ashamed of themselves. But it begs to differ , just watching the news. We need these city services.

Just had to get my perspective off my chest.
Inform yourselves.
Hopefully all will be solved in time.
Lindsay / June 24, 2009 at 05:27 pm
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May I suggest the front lawn of the union boss as a public dumping ground?
sympathy for the garbageman / June 24, 2009 at 07:45 pm
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really???? if 14 sick days and $24/hour is so amazing, GET JOBS AS GARBAGEMEN INSTEAD OF YOUR TERRIBLE, LOW PAYING, CRY-ME-A-RIVER CURRENT JOB.

until we're all clamouring for jobs as garbage collectors, they are NOT making enough.

i would happily give my tax dollars PERSONALLY to the garbage collectors, day care workers, and all the other essential services that keep our city running, but instead they're squandered by corrupt politicians on fancy hotels and meals i couldn't dream of being able to afford.
Randy replying to a comment from Gabby / June 24, 2009 at 07:46 pm
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Your trying to tell me Lastman did better in the last strike.
GImme a break.
Ihatebadservice.ca / June 24, 2009 at 09:21 pm
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Calling for your garbage strike stories !

Share your stories at http://iHateBadService.ca and make your voice heard !
Joe24pack / June 24, 2009 at 10:09 pm
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Every time cities need money they do this.
The plan is to leave them out X number of days to save money
so they can pay them without sweating it. They will be ordered
back in less than 3 weeks. It is the same old same old.
24,000 out of work saves a ton of money daily and not to
mention the equipment savings.
Dan McIntyre / June 25, 2009 at 11:17 am
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The newspaper says that David Miller lives close to and passes High Park subway station every day on his way into work.

I would suggest leaving your garbage there at High Park subway station but at the Quebec Avenue entrance just north of Bloor Street West so you don't block the buses leaving from the High Park Avenue exit.

Please spread this around.
Bobby / June 25, 2009 at 05:29 pm
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i respect the garbage collectors and their rights, however i feel that they should relize how lucky they are, becuase they get paid higher than gabage collectors in other ciries and they have better benifits that many other jobs do offer. also, many of the garbage workers are not even residents in toronto, so they really don't care if our city is piled in garbage because it is none of their concern . so in my opion i feel lyk the city should only hire those who are residents in Toronto, because those are the people who actually care about our city. Think about it, how are we able to elect someone to be the mayor for a city that he is not part of? it is the same way in garbage collects.
Elaine Ha / June 27, 2009 at 01:49 pm
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I am currently living in downtown Toronto for the summer. I don't have a car and my garbage is starting to smell. Furthermore, none of the drop of garbage sites are even near my home. What on earth am I suppose to do?

Any ideas?
Makinaw Dandy / June 28, 2009 at 08:20 pm
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I think that public servants should not have the right to strike. They are already making about 150% higher wages, have more pleasant working conditions, pension plans and so on.

The following should not have the right to strike:
1. Provincial or federal government employees
2. Health Care workers including doctors, nurses, hospital staff and administrators
3. Transit employees (bus drivers, pilots, etc.
4. Garbage removal workers
5. Electrical grid workers or water sanitation workers.
6. School teachers or university professors.
7. Police or fire fighters.

In exchange for us taxpayers paying such high wages (much higher than public sector), we should expect reliability. If society is to function, we cannot be constantly held hostage by public employees who enjoy a monopoly on their industry.
Sue replying to a comment from Makinaw Dandy / June 30, 2009 at 10:06 am
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How does one best deal with this situation?
Get out of the city for a while! Leave the heat and smell behind and go spend a week up North where the air is fresh, the environment, beach and water are clean.
Contact Rockview Camp Cottage Resort today to make arrangements.
Call us toll free at 877.752.3067 or send us an e-mail to info@rockview.on.ca
We are looking forward to hearing from you.
April replying to a comment from Sue / June 30, 2009 at 10:30 am
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I can't really believe I am taking the time to dignify this with a response, but WOW that comment is in such poor taste. Taking advantage of this situation to promote your cottage getaway? Maybe I will come visit you, and dump my garbage on your lawn.
Michelle replying to a comment from Sue / July 1, 2009 at 12:33 am
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I agree with April about the tasteless advertisement.

The above "keven" is ridiculously dense and irrelevant. ":P" after every sentence... what are you, 12?
Russ / July 1, 2009 at 12:46 pm
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<i>Just a thought</i> ... If Toronto residents are really fed up being held hostage under mounds of garbage, why not simply <b>dump your garbage off in front of those picket lines</b> of striking civil servants? Similarly, why not <b>dump your garbage off at municipal offices, police stations, the mayor's residence, the residence's of City councilors</b>, etc.? Wouldn't that make cleanup easier once the strike is over? (<i>Always think ahead!</i>).

If anything, once opposing sides in this dispute are directly exposed to the rotting refuse they so flagrantly inflict on local citizenry, the smell alone might help remind them that their primary commitment is to the taxpayer!

<i>Personally, and as a rural resident, I have no great love for the hopelessly gridlocked, multi-confused 'Big Smoke' or whatever misery its residents so willfully endure. It could be argued that the smell of rotting garbage is a noticable improvement. It's all part of the "Manhattanization" experiment you sewer rats were all so fond of</i>.
Sheila / July 1, 2009 at 02:48 pm
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This garbage strike is not supported by a majority of the citizens of Toronto. My suggestion is to dump your trash at the homes of the Cupe members that are striking as well as the Mayor's house and council members . Citizens of this city should become active in resisting this smelly onslaught on our beautiful city.
Ps Toronto is going to the rats.
Bill / July 1, 2009 at 06:33 pm
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We just had our garbage picked up by this company, http://www.trashtoronto.com saved us the hassles of dealing with the strike.
Sam replying to a comment from eric / July 2, 2009 at 10:11 am
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I agree 100% with Eric, there is no reason that garbage collection is not privatized. I have a friend who is a garbage collector, with no university degree, making over $80k, and benefits way better than me working in a bank. These union workers are over paid and they are getting greedier and greedier. It's time to privatize garbage collection, and we should support a new Mayer who is for privatization of these services.
Paul / July 2, 2009 at 01:03 pm
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Sam, if you think your friend's job is so great, why don't you do it?
Alogon replying to a comment from Paul / July 2, 2009 at 01:07 pm
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He doesn't think it's so great, he thinks it's overpaid.
Besides, he can't get the job with the stranglehold the union has since jobs will be held for life regardless of merit.
keven / July 2, 2009 at 01:48 pm
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privatization doesn't mean no union. The transit system in BC is privatized, but still unionized by the CAW.
A union can be started by anyone, in any industry. It's a right as a citizen of this country. All you need is democratic support from your co-workers.
Phillip B / July 2, 2009 at 03:46 pm
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Privitize the city's garbage collection and split it up so not one can keep hostage the whole city.
Time to get tought Mr Miller.
Paul replying to a comment from Alogon / July 2, 2009 at 05:36 pm
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And who does Sam propose should do these poorly paid, undesirable jobs that he's proposing to create?

Garbage collector is not a job with a lot of upward mobility. Paying rockbottom wages for this kind of work creates a permanent underclass and costs society in all kinds of ways. Henry Ford paid his workers well enough so they could afford his cars. The city should pay its workers well enough that they don't have to depend on social services.
Devolutionx / July 2, 2009 at 06:17 pm
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I see that this doesnt only happen in Montreal
Alogon replying to a comment from Paul / July 2, 2009 at 09:39 pm
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Re: garbage collector wages.
That is an unfair analogy. Henry Ford ran a (profitable) business, Ford's workers directly contributed to that profitability. The city doesn't sell or create a product to generate revenue. Taxes are the only way to pay these city workers. If the city was generating a profit based on the work of garbage collectors, then by all rights demand more money.
As far as a permanent underclass, it is unavoidable in a class system. There will always be those without the intelligence, drive or capability to become high-paid CEOs and the like, should we rewrite Capitalism to suit the genetics of the weakest member of society? Unfortunately, there are jobs that pay low because they are menial. They aren't meant to have upward mobility and if one chooses such a career as a permanent goal then everyone else can't be expected to pick-up the tab.
As for depending on social services, when I entered my career and was "paying my dues" I survived on less than $30,000 before taxes and needed no social assistance. No one is saying pay them $4.00 an hour but surely you can see the madness of overcompensating people for the job they do - $30+ an hour to do menial work is unheard of in the private sector. This is just about people who don't wish to pursue personal advancement and do a brainless job for literally, going by their demands, life. You wish to reward underachievement?
Alogon replying to a comment from Alogon / July 2, 2009 at 09:47 pm
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Forgot to add... that these same people want to buy houses, cars, vacations and then retire well while doing a menial job. That is ridiculous. Isn't Capitalism supposed to reward hard work and drive? Instead you think people who pick up trash should on homes and drive new cars? Might as well make working retail at the Gap a $25/hour job with benefits and a pension plan - don't forget bankable sick days!
Willy replying to a comment from Carm / July 3, 2009 at 12:17 am
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Bang on brother. I say we have a day where we all take a bag of garbage (or more) and dump it at CUPE headquarters or whatever is in your area. More to the point, bring your green bin (you must have opened this lately and smelled the stench) and dump it where they are striking. I can't imagine anyone showing up for strike duty if we all do this. How about 100,000 strong doing this on Sunday July 19th. After this, on every Sunday (when some of us are off work) we dump bags of garbage on the city hall property as opposed to our parks. I, and most I have spoken with wonder how Union workers can look at themselves in the mirror every day with what they are doing. We as a city need to revolt against what is morally wrong. The awful thing is that David Miller is a socialist and no matter what he says he is for the unions. He will wait for McGinty to legislate these workers back to work after a month or two (which is largly unjustified) and they will get what they want. This is a no win situation as a decent mayor (ie; Hazel) would end this quickly by privitizing the gargabe. Hey Rob Ford, Case Ootes, get on the band wagon. Get out there (you have my support) and get on David Miller. We need to get the people of Toronto mad enough to get this dictator out of power. Start working now and give Toronto a reason for you to run and win the mayorship.
Michael Gee / July 3, 2009 at 11:03 am
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Get rid of CUPE, fire all the strikers, and hire people who will work!!! Bankable sick days? What a joke!!! Isn't the city broke enough? They can't even fix all the pot-holes. Perhaps they should fill them up with the garbage in the parks!!!
Michael Gee replying to a comment from Russ / July 3, 2009 at 11:09 am
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Personally as a city resident I think that it's way to easy to an arm-chair quarterback. Saying that the smell is an improvement is just rude. You don't like T.O.- Stay Home.
somebody / July 3, 2009 at 11:43 am
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Heres how to contact CUPE Local 79

**TAXPAYERS SHOULD NOT BE PAYING FOR 18 UNUSED SICK DAYS**

34 St. Patrick Street, Toronto, Ontario M5T 1V1
Phone: 416 977-1629 Fax: 416 977-9546
General Email local79@cupelocal79.org
Health and Safety enquiries healthsafety@cupelocal79.org
Benefits enquiries benefitsrep@cupelocal79.org
WSIB and LTD enquiries wsibrep@cupelocal79.org or
ldeffett@cupelocal79.org


and use their union offices as dump sites too!


HEADQUARTERS
34 St. Patrick St.
Toronto, ON
M5T 1V1
416 977-1629 x555, x556, x557

EAST/NORTHEAST DISTRICT
1350 Ellesmere Rd.-
Unit# 201
Scarborough, ON
M1H 3H2
416 298-8574

WEST/NORTHWEST
DISTRICT
385 The West Mall - Unit# 3
Etobicoke, ON
M9C 1E7
416 622-9019
somebody / July 3, 2009 at 01:14 pm
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can we have a public referundum on whether TAXPAYER DOLLARS should be used to fund 18 unused sick days instead of spending TAX DOLLARS on transit, infrastructure, and social housing??
Dave replying to a comment from Michael Gee / July 3, 2009 at 01:22 pm
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It seems somewhat surreal to me that these guys have chosen now to dig in and strike. Yes I realize that this is related to the term of their contract. However do they not realize that we are a serious recession with many people out of work, or barely scraping by. Many municipalities in the US are teetering on bankruptcy. I have hope (albeit small) that some adult will come along and simply say no to these demands. There's only several thousand people from the Windsor and Oshawa areas that would love to have a crack at these jobs. I'd say welcome to Toronto - we have jobs for you.
Dave replying to a comment from Michael Gee / July 3, 2009 at 01:30 pm
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July 19th sounds like a good idea to me - I'd even suggest July 12th. Call it a "Citizens Strike Deadline". David Miller - your done - please stop wasting our money, please step aside.
keven replying to a comment from somebody / July 3, 2009 at 01:59 pm
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yea cause an extra 20k will bail any of what you've mentioned out :P
Lloyd replying to a comment from Alogon / July 3, 2009 at 02:21 pm
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Alogon, I've read this entire thread, and agree with you almost 100%. That keven guy has made some hilarious comments such as the "creating" jobs comment, and out of the blue, accusing you of hating Mexicans, LOL. What happens when someone can't conjure up any decent arguments? Straw man arguments of course.

Back to the main topic: Ideally, we would have Miller and his self-back-patting colleagues take a pay cut as well as the city workers. We need them to do their tax paying jobs, but as stated 1000 times, they're overpaid and spoiled. Job security, high wages, and other benefits? Would be nice for me to have that. Sometimes I feel a city worker has to get caught murdering someone before they get reprimanded. I'm not so militant to say, "Fire them all", but I'm all for a huge pay cut, and then they themselves can decide if they want to "fire" themselves or not.

We pay the taxes and deserve respect just as they do. Blocking drop off stations is disrespectful and dirty. You aren't winning anyone's sympathy for that move. It's becoming more clear now that unions today are becoming more self-serving and useless to society as a whole, and corrupt like much of the government. I don't mind dismantling unions making them obsolete, but only if we have a solid plan to strictly enforce labour laws.

If privatization of city labour has worked for other municipalities, then I bet it would work just fine here, plus the benefits of saving tax payers' money, and something that isn't monopolized and can't hold the entire city as hostages.

Ann / July 3, 2009 at 02:54 pm
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Does anybody here know the addresses of the Mayor and city councillors?

Remember, just a year ago city council gave themselves a big retroactive salary increase which did not set a very good example for these employees.
somebody / July 3, 2009 at 03:05 pm
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how to find your local councillor

http://app.city.toronto.on.ca/im/council/councillors.jsp
mayor_miller@toronto.ca
Alogon replying to a comment from Lloyd / July 3, 2009 at 05:25 pm
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Exactly, Lloyd.
I, nor likely anyone else, would begrudge a union to picket at a site, but I think we all prefer to be talked to rather than bullied like some kind of school yard shakedown.
The union doesn't seem to get that these are OUR garbage sites, city hall, parking lots, etc. I believe the union impeding our access to these places on top of the work stoppage is like a kick in the groin to a lot of people
I am with you all the way re: substituting unions for proper labour laws with teeth. Laws that treat employee and employer fairly.
ali / July 3, 2009 at 06:51 pm
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when they gonna start their work?
DS / July 6, 2009 at 06:07 pm
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The fact that there is a strike does not explain the trash that is appearing all over the streets of Toronto--that is just the work of inconsiderate people who are too lazy or ignorant to take steps to help ALL of Toronto survive this strike. It doesn't matter is one agrees with management or union, each person in Toronto needs to work a little bit harder to keep his or her neighbourhood free of trash and all of the negatives that come with it. I don't live in Toronto, but I get to watch the news each day. There are, what, 2 million people? Work together to keep Toronto clean Take some pride in your city--you chose to live there.
Mike W replying to a comment from DS / July 6, 2009 at 11:10 pm
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Sorry but did you think no one littered before the strike? People litter AND throw trash where it belongs, city workers clean up and empty the cans. When the workers are on strike the garbage accumulates, mystery solved.
ria / July 7, 2009 at 10:14 am
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u dum fucking idiots!!!!!!!!!!!!

why do cops have to charge us for illegal dumping garbage while we pay money for toronto is garbage workers to take our garbage out.

we as a community work our ass off and pay the biles. and yet there not taking the garbage.
i think its issued for toronto garbage company's issue to give a rise for employees. beacuse they deserve for their hard work. its not a matter of payment its alos a matter our society hearlth issue. Our society is having poor health issue due to garbage.

its also a matter our our city standards. its summer time and people copme to visit our city!! as beautiful city Not a trash city!!

If the toronto's garbage cant scarifies a rise for the emplpyees then why are they getting paid soo much for their greedy stomach????



its the same way that we are the reason everyday there are thousand of children and people dyeing of hunger.Beacse Heartless people like us are soo Heartless and selfish!!
Lloyd replying to a comment from ria / July 7, 2009 at 10:24 am
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Dear ria,

I have no idea what you're trying to say.
Paul / July 7, 2009 at 11:12 am
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Ann, the "big retroactive salary increase" still leaves Toronto councillors underpaid compared to any nearby (& much smaller) municipality, and includes cost of living adjustments... no increase in buying power. People who think their representatives should be poorly paid deserve the representation they get.

http://v1.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090706.escenic_1208616/BNStory/MARCUS+GEE
Alogon replying to a comment from ria / July 7, 2009 at 04:34 pm
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Ria;

I, for one, believe if someone is going to call people out (who you refer to exactly is unclear) for being "dum fucking idiots" it behooves the denouncer to at least make a coherent statement devoid of glaring orthographical and grammatical errors.
DS replying to a comment from Mike W / July 7, 2009 at 11:18 pm
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Duh! Since the garbage collectors aren't collecting, it seems that it would make sense to try to find ways NOT to leave trash all over the streets. It has only been two weeks...not two months and it hasn't even gotten hot yet. Watch the news; they are always giving tips to help you Torontonians survive this...I guess the government can always call in the army....lol
Rick / July 8, 2009 at 08:56 am
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If any union member tried to blockade me from dumping my garbage off at a city declared dumping spot...expect to be sent to the hospital, as I would expect to be going to jail.
Alogon replying to a comment from Rick / July 8, 2009 at 10:42 am
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Then we would have to organize a "Free Rick" campaign.
I am making buttons as you read this, Rick. Just promise to videotape it for Live Leak.

(This is all in jest, I am in no way advocating violence. But I think a lot of us certainly feel the same frustration as Rick)
Sally Reid / July 8, 2009 at 04:09 pm
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The garbage strike is a disgrace, and a sound testament to our need as a city to both replace our politicians, they are clearly incompetent, AND dismantle the unions. NOW. Both politicians and union leaders share the blame in this embarrassing, disgusting and insulting debacle. And while they flip the proverbial bird to all the rest of us in the city, we must continue to live in the filth with no voice, reminding us daily our system needs to change. A class action suit would be justified. End this NOW!
J.S. / July 9, 2009 at 02:08 pm
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WHY HAVEN'T YOU TAKEN GARBAGES FULL AND DUMPED IT ON DAVID MILLERS DESK? OR IN FRONT OF CITY HALL DOORS. ARE YOU JUST PLAIN STUPID?
Paul / July 9, 2009 at 02:21 pm
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This strike has certainly brought the psychotics and fascists out of the woodwork.
Mike W replying to a comment from Paul / July 9, 2009 at 04:06 pm
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I KNOW! First they stop taking my garbage, then they're preventing my from dropping off my garbage, for their own gain. What assholes.

Lloyd replying to a comment from J.S. / July 9, 2009 at 11:42 pm
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Hey J.S., please show us the way by filming yourself in action and posting it here. Show us that superior IQ and lion heart of yours.
Earl / July 11, 2009 at 12:04 am
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I sit here and find it very interesting that the union boss's and members are put off by Mayor Miller's going public. Given that these negotiations are being made on our collective behalf, as citizens of Toronto, for our collective benefit should we not at least be made aware of what the negotiations are about and where we are at with them. These services are just that, services, which invokes in my mind some sense that I am somehow a customer, purchasing a good or service, and that I should be entitled to some level of customer service. I also took the liberty of reviewing the public wage disclosure and found several of the outdoor workers listed, to include Mr. Ferguson's apparently hard done by paramedics making well into the 6 figure arena. I am no fan of Mayor Miller and I would certainly jump at the chance to publicly debate his economic plans for the city, but he and the councilors were elected to represent the citizens of Toronto in such issues. There is no doubt that we should perhaps rethink that position however when the unions say that it is the city that is responsible then in fact they are blaming us, the citizens, since our representatives are the ones the unions are pinning the blame on. Like several people have commented before me, it is time for the people to take back the power and review our elected representatives, reign in the amount of power they wield by implementing a Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, and dissolve the unions in favor of outsourced services with proper Service Level Agreements in place.
Oleg / July 11, 2009 at 01:00 am
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You guys will be surprised to know that city managers as well as union managers have been getting triple pay (300%) all these days while strike continues. That's just kind of a game for them. The longer the better!
tara replying to a comment from Oleg / July 11, 2009 at 05:58 am
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You can't be serious! What a travesty.
Cassiel Dubois replying to a comment from Dan / July 11, 2009 at 06:25 am
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strikers are breaking the law standing on front of vehicles.

I would like to know why pushing garbage on wheels should be paid much more than trained architects who are responsible for buildings not falling down.

We've really fallen as a society.
Alogon replying to a comment from Earl / July 11, 2009 at 10:15 am
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Well Earl, you are exactly right, you are a purchaser of services and you do have a right (as we all do) to know what the cost is. The union wants to say shame on Miller for "going public" yet that is all they do when it serves them. The unions have been saying that the city's offers have been insulting, well, now we know just how "insulting" those offers are and I would say the union has pretty thin skin. Raises and buyouts in a major recession? Jeez, I would love to be insulted in such a way.
As for Ann Dembinski the local 79 head, the loudest mouth in the group, she should shut the hell up. She cries about the city making the offer public and says it is bad faith negotiating but this bitch had the nerve to go on air and claim that the city was being sexist in it's treatment of her union since a lot of them are women. Puh-leeze!
The union is just mad that it can't hide behind the fact that we don't know what is being offered so they can go to the media and say the city is torturing them. They are upset that we now know the extent of their greed and how justified we are to hate them for it. Now they want to "step up" their harassment of citizens doing what they are legally entitled to do?
All the unemployed should wear signs and picket the union, make them wait 15 minutes before each one of them can leave the picket area. Limit them to 1 lunch for every 5 people on the line, throw trash under their car wheels when they leave their houses in the mornings, blockade ambulances that their family members are riding in, and finally take a steaming dump on their lawns because that is what they are doing to us.
As for those who want to take the glib approach and mock the suggestion of privatizing as destroying unions and wages - get this - private companies are unionized too. garbage collection is privatized in Etobicoke and, guess what, those people are unionized. So if we went private in Toronto there wouldn't be line-ups at the food bank as these morons suggest, just fair negotiation with an employer who has to deal with the realities of the economy and no city to hold hostage.
Alogon replying to a comment from Oleg / July 11, 2009 at 10:33 am
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"You guys will be surprised to know that city managers as well as union managers have been getting triple pay (300%) all these days while strike continues."
I am calling you out on that statement. Where is the evidence to back up such an outrageous claim? I can find no reference to anyone getting triple pay. There is overtime but if someone is working 12-14 hour days they are entitled to it. Don't spread misinformation to further your own personal agenda and if it isn't misinformation provide evidence to back it up.
Jen / July 11, 2009 at 11:53 am
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Syd Vicious is once again at it again. The three month York University strike wasn't enough for him to demonstrate his power as union president, no he has to make his power known Toronto wide.

I support unions, but ever since he has been union president, he has instigated one strike after another to show how powerful his reach is. Maybe that arises from the fact that he unsuccessfully ran for office. He doesn't care about the people involved in all of this, not the people on strike and certainly not Torontonians.

Maybe if you had a more reasonable union leader, then the city and the union could actually negotiate, but Syd Vicious will never willingly and fairly negotiate a deal.
John / July 11, 2009 at 11:59 am
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Let the waste pile up. Use police force to stop CUPE thugs trying to interfere with people going about their lawful business at transfer stations. Under no circumstances offer CUPE one iota more than the last offer before the strike began. Do not legislate back to work. Keep them out until they crawl back or leave or starve -five weeks, ten, whatever it takes. Do not use wages money saved by not being paid to finance union demands or make better offers. Break this damn strike. Be seen to break it, hard.

Let all the world know withdrawl of services no longer works, even in a big city and even in the summer.

Has anyone ever noticed that union contracts, over time, never get rolled back? Every round of bargaining it is something more the union wants, and the idea that, "this time it's the employer's turn" to get some concessions never seems to enter the union boss heads.

Is there no legal way to end their employment and contract out the work to private companies? Where, oh where, is MIke Harris when we need him!
Lloyd replying to a comment from Oleg / July 11, 2009 at 12:13 pm
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"You guys will be surprised to know that city managers as well as union managers have been getting triple pay (300%) all these days while strike continues. That's just kind of a game for them. The longer the better!"

Source please?
Lloyd replying to a comment from Oleg / July 11, 2009 at 12:14 pm
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I'm very curious to know why the police haven't arrested anyone preventing someone from dropping off their trash at drop off sites. Anyone have a valid reason -- preferably with legal explanations?
Oleg replying to a comment from Jen / July 11, 2009 at 12:20 pm
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I can't give you these guys paystubs, and they definitely don't want to make this information public. During strike they have to be on duty 24/7 and that's exactly what they kept telling us for 20 days already. Don't you think they work for free??))) We "work" day and night, day and night. I know those guys well, cause I work for the city, all of them have 100+ grand/year bunch of sick days, and up to 90 days stress leave/year.
Its a separate world! They are completely out of reality.
JJ / July 11, 2009 at 12:29 pm
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The deal is more than fair. They should take it and be glad.
Alogon replying to a comment from Lloyd / July 11, 2009 at 02:41 pm
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Besides the fact they they are generally lazy?
Well, in Canada there is no legal reason why the police have not arrested any picketers harassing folk. The law states that picketers can give out information on the line, not obstruct or impede anyone. Now the courts have gone over this and the generally accepted rule is that 5 minutes is about all that is needed to sufficiently explain their position. The strikers are not legally allowed to impede the economic rights of 3rd parties or obstruct, interfere or deny access to the employer's premises. The strikers have no legal right to decide how/who/what/how much/where citizens conduct themselves at these city owned sites and they are abusing the limited rights afforded to them by law.
I can give you my take on it, which I feel is correct - the police won't lay a hand on their union cronies. The police have a much better time tackling innocent, solitary citizens with no affiliation to them. I can tell you that the police have constantly let me down in this city. I personally have seen them let assaults for which they had good information or that happened in front of them go unpunished. I have seen them not do their jobs time and time again. I have seen the police break the very rules they harshly hold against the private citizen. I have zero faith in the police to do their jobs well and can feel assured that if they can get away without doing paperwork then everything can slide unless they are personally affected or ordered to do something.
I also believe the city hasn't given the police enough of a directive by seeking injunctions against the picketers and has most likely, privately, ordered kid gloves for the CUPE members. The citizens, on the other hand, can expect swift retribution if they tried to get away with any of the transgressions served on them by the union.
Oleg / July 11, 2009 at 03:17 pm
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"Municipal workers reject city's latest contract offer".
Translation..
“Show must go on”
Guys, try to think logically instead of being brainwashed by media.
City of Toronto as well as all others municipalities in this country were established and registered as business corporation.
What is the main goal for any business? Profit! Right? Not to serve you guys, but profit!!
Now imagine. 30000 employees with average daily pay of $130-150 forced to stay home for three weeks. It’s 4.3 million dollars a day profit!!
Zero investment and 4.3 million daily. That’s the business to die for isn’t it?
I think most of the city strikers not quite good in math otherwise they would already made calculations and realized that even 3% per year increase and 50% sick days payout will not compensate them their losses.

Notaunionfan replying to a comment from Makinaw Dandy / July 11, 2009 at 03:21 pm
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I don't know if you've ever worked for gov, provincial or feds but I can tell you from my experience that not all offices are a pleasure to work in. When you bust your ass doing your job (because you have pride) but buddy in the cubicle beside you is sitting with his feet up making plans for sporting events on the weekends, day in and day out, you get a bit sick of unions. It took over 2 years to fire his lazy ass and what do you think happened to staff morale over that time watching the bullshit managers have to go through to appease the union just to get rid of someone who didn't do a lick of work? That, and the fact you pay union dues from day one of employment but have no union protection for 6 months? Can you say theft?
Jason / July 11, 2009 at 05:19 pm
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Why can't we clean those stupid road bins? I mean -- we pay taxes right? And the garbage workers aren't working right? I just went to http://www.garbagehelp.com and saw like 50 companies/ individuals EAGER to work and pick up our dirty trash. !Wake up Government!
Charles / July 11, 2009 at 05:26 pm
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We the 18 thousand inside workers of Local 79 and the 600 garbagemen and women are not to blame for the shape the economy is in.Remember,it was the C.e.o's and the Management that brought their companies down.
The Mayor and his people are employed by the city as we are.We are all under the same Rules and Laws.The difference is.They have the money,they have a budget,they run things.It is very unfair for people to say it is the workers who are to blame.We got these jobs on our own merits.Nothing was handed to us.Yes it is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world.Remember,it is garbage.It will always be there and it will grow as we grow.We are all to blame for garbage.But only a chosen few are willing to sweat and bust their balls making an honest living.God Bless us all and say a special prayer for us that no one dies from this.
Mason / July 11, 2009 at 06:53 pm
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"But only a chosen few are willing to sweat and bust their balls making an honest living.God Bless us all and say a special prayer for us that no one dies from this"

You're joking, right? I'm certainly not one to pray, but if I did I'd be praying for the mothers who are burdened with less money having to find alternative day care, or the seasonal workers left jobless due to no access to the island or the children bitten by rats or rodents over-populated by neglected garbage or....

Part of the blame for this economy's shape DOES lie with you, the unions and others who think they DO deserve handouts and unreasonable expectations of unlimited, bankable "sick" days and guaranteed jobs. Save the sob storeys for the Union Hall Job Fair...oh, wait, you all still have yours while 350,000 of us continue looking for work we want, respect and earn.

Get back to work.
Alogon replying to a comment from Oleg / July 12, 2009 at 11:59 am
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Don't start off saying think logically and then make a statement like "City of Toronto as well as all others municipalities in this country were established and registered as business corporation." Where do you get an idea like that? That is so far off. Municipalities are not corporations under the Business Corporations Act but are municipalities under the Municipal Act. Cities don't issue shares.
You make no sense.
Alogon replying to a comment from Charles / July 12, 2009 at 12:09 pm
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Well, we the 2.4 million+ people of the city, are not to blame for the economy. As for CEOs and Management bringing companies down, that is a glib statement and illustrates a fundamental lack of understanding of world economy.
To say nothing was handed to you is insulting. You have had nothing but better working conditions and wages handed to you while the rest of the people in private sector jobs who also "willing to sweat and bust their balls making an honest living" got shafted, all the while paying more taxes to keep you cushy.
Dangerous? Please, sitting in a garbage truck operating a robotic arm means you rarely, if ever, even personally touch a bin. You want dangerous? Try elevator repair person, we know for a fact one poor guy died last month doing that job. When did the last Municipal garbage worker die?
Public / July 13, 2009 at 02:29 am
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It is legal for a picket to use peaceful persuasion towards persons about to enter or leave picketed premises. However, this does not extend to the use of force, threats, threatening gestures, or blocking access to or from the picketed premises.

There is a legal obligation on any person attempting to drive a vehicle across a picket line to do so in a manner that will not endanger the life of any person.

I suggest, everyone park there vehicle, and walk in their garbage. The picketers CAN NOT stop a pedestrian from entering or leaving the picketed premise under any circumstances.
Alogon replying to a comment from Public / July 13, 2009 at 04:31 pm
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"The picketers CAN NOT stop a pedestrian from entering or leaving the picketed premise under any circumstances." Oh, but they do.

http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2009/06/25/9918466-sun.html

Cynalis / July 13, 2009 at 06:34 pm
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I have to side with the union on this one.. tell me anyone out there who wouldn't fight for their wages/sick days/pension when they have it good. Yes the economy is bad right now but they are signing a 4 yr contract and what happens when the economy rebounds? It starts with a little off here and then each year a little bit more. I think it is sad that the union who are city employees are treated so badly when TTC seems to get everything they ask for everytime...by the way they have the best benefits and sick days etc out there and they are not even City employees. The city has been working without a contract since Jan.. nice to see how Miller treats his own...what happened to his Campaign "Keep our City Clean" I know the Police, Fire and TTC are watching this very closely because they know if the city employees are shafted they are next! Why isn't Miller opening garbage sites in High Park where he lives or the RICH neighbourhoods....amazing the City has no $$ to spend yet can pay for survellance cameras, found extra $$ for the TTC, and paying Manager's overtime etc. You would think that after H1N1 and SARS Miller would be worried about a pandemic breaking out. I guess not as long as it's not in his neighbourhood. That's right just keep freezing your dog poop. You won't find me eating out in Toronto with Health Inspectors on strike and rats running rampant....Interesting how Miller makes this a Garbage strike....I feel sorry for all the people who rely on daycare etc. Miller won't be getting my vote! Let's open the dump in High Park and see how fast the garbage stink forces Miller to take this seriously!
Mason / July 13, 2009 at 09:56 pm
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The more this strike continues, the more it becomes obvious that CUPE, other unions and those that support them are losing a grasp on reality.

ARGUMENT: "Manager's make more money" "TTC employees make more money" yadda yadda yadda. What's next "Doctors make more money."

REALITY. Yes, they do. Stop bitching about it and do something to earn/qualify for that job so you can brag to your buddies that "you make more money than a garbage collector."

ARGUMENT: The contract ended 31-Dec. Why has the City dragged it's feet?

REALITY: Why didn't the union exercise it's right to strike on 1-Jan. I'm sure piles of Christmas wrap and New Years Eve trash could send a message. Oh, wait, it's January. It's cold. Let's wait until summer.

ARGUMENT: Police, Fire and the TTC are watching closely...they're next!

REALITY: The same TTC workers you say are overpaid? No one is "next" unless they are demanding unreasonable and irrational conditions for their contract.

ARGUMENT: They're signing a four-year contract and what if the economy improves?

REALITY: Sounds like a good clause for a contract. Base wages, benefits, etc. on a set, neutral economic factor. Times are good everyone benefits, times are bad, the hit is manageable and fair. Almost sounds like performance-based wages. What's the union's stance on this concept. And while we're at it, city taxi companies were given a $1 hike in the sitting fee due to the "enormous" increase in fuel costs. When the prices went down, did they give back the hike? Um, no.

ARGUMENT: You'd think Mayor Miller would be worried about a pandemic like, wait for it, SARS and N1H1 to hit because of rotting garbage.

REALITY: Might want to check something more than your union newsletter...those aren't germinated or caused by selfish city workers holding us hostage.

ARGUMENT: I feel sorry for all the people who rely on daycare!

REALITY: Really? Hundreds if not thousands of families are now experiencing a true hardship scrambling for care for their children. Why? Because civic workers want 18 sick days per year to equate to wages not their intended purpose. Oh, and the ability to "bank" those until retirement.

ana replying to a comment from J.S. / July 13, 2009 at 10:34 pm
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THROW THOSE GARBAGE TO THE STRIKERS, FIRE THEM.....THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE LOOKING FOR JOB
arg / July 13, 2009 at 11:56 pm
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I just watched the ctv news and it stated that the striking garbage (city workers, sanitation engineers or whatever they want to call themselves) are illegally stopping people from using the collection centres by delaying them when they bring their garbage to those collection sites. Maybe if people started taking their garbage to the striker's houses and dropping off the bags on their lawns they might, just might realize the error of their ways.
Mike W replying to a comment from Mason / July 14, 2009 at 12:06 am
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Taken apart sentenace by sentance. Nicely stated.
Public replying to a comment from Alogon / July 14, 2009 at 03:29 am
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Walk across it. They cannot touch anyone. They have no legal right to stop any pedestrian to and from. If they touch you, then that my friend is called assault. Ignore them and walk across.
Alogon replying to a comment from Public / July 14, 2009 at 09:19 am
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I agree, but did you read the story from the link I provided? The strikers did assault a man and the police did nothing. Should we risk a beating because we are right? Can't ignore being pushed to the ground and ganged up on. Should we risk an assault charge merely for defending ourselves? The problem is that the police don't seem ready to protect us.
Lloyd replying to a comment from Cynalis / July 14, 2009 at 09:58 am
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Cynalis, as already and easily pointed out, you have some weak justifications for this strike. It's greedy and selfish. How about some Golden Rule application here.

Personally, I'm not affected by the strike, so I'm more or less a "third party", and I completely sympathize with the victims: the tax payer.

This bullying and hostage taking has got to stop. Something more violent can happen. The drop site bullies are able to do what they do because they can swarm a victim, plus the police won't do anything about people breaking the law... unless you practice self-defence. Then I bet you're going to jail with smelly garbage hands.
Mike W replying to a comment from Alogon / July 14, 2009 at 10:23 am
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It's alarming that it's basically common knowledge that we can't rely on police at these pickets, and that the picketers know this.
Dave / July 14, 2009 at 03:45 pm
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Ok let me get this straight -- the worst economic crisis in 70 years, 10s of thousands losing jobs in the auto sector (Ontario's backbone), layoffs everywhere (including me), municipalities by the dozens in the US on the verge of bankruptcy --- sounds like a perfect time to extort extra pay from Toronto taxpayers. I really think we should talk pay cut...I'm not kidding. It's the right thing to do. The union wants a nice 4 week summer vacation to seque into arbitration -- their strategy is obvious. Next time you take a cab ask them how bad this strike is impacting Toronto -- it's significant. Stop negotiating and legislate these pathetic, selfish, narrow-minded bums back to work. While I feel powerless now, every interaction I have with these bums in the future will be antagostic.
Alogon / July 14, 2009 at 04:25 pm
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Now all I can say is WTF?! Just check this out:
www.toronto.ca/offer
then go to the sick pay calculator or if you want to go directly;
http://www.toronto.ca/offer/calc_payout.htm

Try entering in the figures for a someone like a city bricklayer, $31.73/hour, with 20 years and 120 sick days.
Then for a critical care paramedic at $45.15/hour with the same figures.
Try it for 25 years employees with those numbers . I think you will be further entrenched in opposition to this sick-day fiasco. Again, WTF?!
(wage figures directly from CUPE 416 collective agreement http://www.toronto.ca/employment/pdf/local416_collective_agreement_05-08.pdf)
Ben / July 14, 2009 at 11:23 pm
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I feel ashamed we live in a city where this sort of extortion can even take place. City workers, who are overpaid in most of the jobs they are employed in asking for extras while other people in this country are very much struggling to make ends meet. And they are EXTRAS too; in no other career would you see these demands be entertained, ever. I understand the high salary base for a group of individuals that are doing jobs that any mentally competent person would avoid, but at what point is the line between "self interest" and "greed" so thick that crossing it becomes a premeditated and deplorable act? I honestly think we've seen the union cross this line here in 2009.

I will not support these workers from now forward, I won't vote for a pro-union mayor ever again, I will support privatization of these jobs any chance I can get, why? because enough is enough, we've lived with these strikes and work stoppages time and time again, and all it amounts to is more and more money out of taxpayers pockets who, on average make far less than these select few. I doubt the issue would be so great if these workers were supplying the quality of service that was somewhere even close to parity with what they are being paid (Ever wonder why people react so strongly to TTC strikes and fare increases?). This goes for the fund-siphoning hacks at city hall as well, the ones who constantly allow this type of thing to happen if only to preserve their own short lived reign over Canada's most poorly managed city.

The cities residents should be ashamed of themselves too, throwing garbage into the streets thinking it will prove a point, talk of not patronizing restaurants because they "inevitably have rat problems now" as if the owner's don't take pride in their business and just happen to think the same way these jaded losers feel. Take some pride in your city, show these overpaid imbeciles we don't need them. Take the opportunity to amass a mountain of garbage which you'll gladly take to the curb the moment they get back to work, stick a post it note on it that tells them to go fuck themselves. Build that addition to your house, no one's looking anyway. Take the opportunity to rip off that all but meaningless PASS certificate from your restaurant, we all know it's a sham anyway. These people need to be shown that they are indeed expendable, and that they should - like any taxpayer-funded employee - be accountable to the people who pay their salaries.



People ofte
andrea kovacs / July 16, 2009 at 03:31 am
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it is very selfish from the union they panish children not be able to use swimming pool end all the parent. and how about if we just think back for a second sars .how that little bug come in canada and cause people to die. and how much money this city last. what can happen if for some reason from all the garbage new bug born. goes into the air gets in to animals then human.or we just lucky this summer not humid .i wonder what would union workers would say about money. or the city.is everything money this days. where is earth day o ok its only 1day or a month.and looks like the rest of the year we dont care. for me to breath fresh air is more importand then money.
Mike Gee replying to a comment from John / July 16, 2009 at 08:03 pm
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Right On Brother! I agree one hundred percent that these lazy s.o.b.s need to suffer. However I rely on the Toronto Ferry to work and I just found out my wife is pregnant so I have to say the city should do whatever it takes to get these ass-clowns back to work!!!
Jude / July 17, 2009 at 06:29 pm
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If people would take more responsibility for themselves instead of thinking that someone else should be taking care of them, then I'm sure that 26 days of non collection of garbage would not be the problem it appears to be. Come on people! With a little effort and care, the garbage would not be piling up! Recycle, freeze the food scraps, compost, etc. Letting this pile up is giving in to the Union. I guess you WANT to pay more taxes?!? You can't have it both ways. I don't live anywhere near TO, so my opinion is unbiased. TO residents...take some personal pride in your city!
Lloyd replying to a comment from Jude / July 17, 2009 at 09:19 pm
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Dear Jude,

Thanks for your concern.

I live downtown and walk the streets everyday -- from Front and University to Yonge and Dundas, and more. Yes the garbage/recycling units are full, messy, and unpleasant to look at, but for your information the city still looks quite clean (of course the temporary garbage sites are terrible, but I'll let you figure out why). I can tell people have hung on to their garbage to put them into private sites (malls, hotels, food courts, work, et cetera. Thank goodness the strikers aren't there to block those sites too.

I'm sure there are bad apples that litter and refuse to pick up after their pets (the same people who are pricks before the strike anyway), but it's very safe to say that the majority of us ARE TAKING CARE OF OURSELVES and our streets.

As for home owners and such, I don't think you get it: people ARE taking care of their mess, but they are illegally being blocked. Get it?

We CAN take care of ourselves, but we need people to do their jobs. Say do you know anyone who's supposed to do their job, but refuse to do it, and went on strike, took the city hostage, and illegally block city appointed garbage drop sites?

So since I actually live and walk the streets every day in Toronto, and haven't made any sweeping assumptions, I can testify for certain that the city does NOT look like a zombie apocalypse.

Easy with the victim blaming eh.

Yours truly,

A VERY clean Torontonian.
Dan Mahoney replying to a comment from Anon / July 18, 2009 at 10:35 am
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This entire strike is disgusting. I agree with some of the comments made--PRIVATIZE GARBAGE!! It would be cheaper in the long run and guarantee no service disruptions. It would also teach CUPE union idiots that reality does exists. Toronto can't afford to pay people high wages who have grade 8 educations and do a job that anyone can do. Perhaps offer these jobs to the thousands of unemployed people out there. I'm sure they would take the job.
Also, city councillors need to lead by example and drop thier nice pay increase they gave themselves. How can you expect people to respect you when you line your own pockets with our tax money. EVERYONE NEEDS TO HAVE A REALITY CHECK, FAST!!
andrea replying to a comment from Lloyd / July 19, 2009 at 01:16 am
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hear, hear.

we live in Parkdale, and nowhere I've walked has become a horricyng ratking-zone...yet. But we're going out to sweep up, and clean up.
Dave / July 19, 2009 at 12:58 pm
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RIP CUPE

Simple Formulae for the Next Mayor

Reduce Taxes = Contracting Out (as much as feasible) = Significantly Reduced CUPE = Happy Torontoians

Signed - The Silent Majority that Just Spoke Up
Sandy replying to a comment from Cynalis / July 19, 2009 at 11:45 pm
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How can you side with the union? They are endangering your health, my health, and the health of all of us who PAY FOR SERVICES THAT WE ARE BEING DENIED.

THEY DON'T LIKE THEIR JOB? THEY WANT MORE SICK TIME? THEN QUIT! DON'T CONTINUE ACTING LIKE PIGS. GET A JOB THAT GIVES THEM THE LEISURE TIME, AND GREAT PAY, AND THE GREAT BENEFITS, THAT THEY FOOLISHLY SEEM TO THINK IS THEIR RIGHT, AND NOT A COURTESY OFFERED BY A CIVILIZED COMMUNITY.

What about our rights - we who want nothing more than what our taxes should provide. A garbage-free city.

Perhaps the people of Toronto should take them, and mayor miller (notice no capitalization of first names that denote respect?) to court and sue the pants off them.

I'm curious to know if anyone who supports this strike has an education.

They are cheating us. They are delinquents who have no right to live in a civilized society.

Perhaps they should live with the rats in Toronto. Perhaps you should join them. You, who enjoy garbage.
Corina / July 20, 2009 at 08:49 am
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Has anyone actually physically done anything to protest this strike? I'm curious - investigating citizen run initiatives, but all I see here is a lot of chirping...

If you or your neighbourhood is doing something about this strike, let me know - would love to include you in the coverage.

ie: Niagara Community has a Stanley Park clean up... good idea. My friend also threw a bag of poop at transfer station protestors... also good.

Let me know. :)
Alogon replying to a comment from Corina / July 20, 2009 at 10:00 am
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I don't know how you could have missed the people protesting the strikers at City Hall.
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/toronto/archive/2009/07/15/301650.aspx
toronto citizen replying to a comment from Jack S. / July 20, 2009 at 10:41 pm
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First off, I would like to reflect on this statement..."no CUPE worker can be fired, contracted out or even laid off. "

Why can't the city suspend the workers without pay? This is not against CUPE rules!

I have been having my trash removed every 2 weeks for 20.00 a month, which amounts to $240.00 per year ( which is a far cry from what my taxes actually pay in trash removal).

I agree, people should get raises, I have not had one in 4 years, however I still do my job, and keep a roof over my head and put food on the table for my family. It's been very tight.

However, I am not entitled to 20 + days of sick leave, I have at most 3 weeks vacation ( sick leave is part of that)...and I have no carry over to cash out on sick days at the end of each year or retirement. There are no golden parachutes, no golden hand cuffs, and no guarantee that I will have my job a year from now.

With EI on the brink of explosion, if I am fired or quit, there is no guarantee of government assistance.

The world right now is undergoing a financial quagmire, and the audacity of union workers to go on strike-especially for essential services-is disgusting!

Why strike in a downturn? Think people, strike when there are funds and the economy is strong ...you get more when there is more!

Instead of striking and making this a dirty, smelly city ( yes it smells), they should be thrilled they have a job, keep Toronto beautiful, and encourage visitors from around the world to visit.

They bring dollars to our economy, that helps all!

Lower your guard CUPE, don't leave Toronto citizens with a bitter taste in their mouths!

Get it together people, we need you, and there is probably a better time to strike than now!



thestrikefuckinsucks / July 21, 2009 at 08:48 pm
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We still have a strike?

City workers are paid a lot for the kinds of skills they require. For example, garbage men: pick up garbage, put it in the garbage truck, drive to the next house, repeat. OMG that's one hell of a prestigious job, they definitely deserve good pay and whatever the hell they want. Okay, so I'm sure they do more than just that but lets face it..not much more. People with no education and no valuable skills should just take whatever is being offered to them and be grateful that someone is even offering them a job and if they would like more out of their lives then go back to school and get a real job.

Heck, even people with real jobs and with real skills are getting laid off due to the economy, so why are those city workers with so much less to offer demanding more and more? Unions are useless in developed countries, we already have minimum wage to protect the workers' pay and all that other crap to protect the safety of employees. If the workers seriously think they REALLY deserve more, then maybe they can find that elsewhere with another employer...but COME ON they won't. Like I said, they have hardly anything to offer to society, just suck it in and be happy with your current pay and benefits (you guys are garbage :D)
Alness Traveller / July 22, 2009 at 08:50 am
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Every morning these low lifes (10 lone souls out of this whole site!) are observed at the Alness Street and Finch location burning what I would think to be an illegal fire and sit around it while one lone picketer is walking the street. The rest of these overpaid, under educated, self centered dirtbags sit around from 7 to noon putting in little more than they do when they are actually employed. The most obvious effort observed is of them openly urinating in public against the fence in plain view of "passerbys" and the hired security guards on the property. I also was under the impression that was illegal in this city and specifically on public property. I think this is simply an indication of this unions memberships lack of regard for the public or their employer.
There appears to be a growing pile of garbage against the fence here, maybe this is a private dump for the members?
This group of scruffy burnouts have accomplished nothing positive for the unions plight on their behalf with their public school behavior in a very public place. If we can't get rid of the union is there some way to clean up some of the crap inside of it?
The day of the union has passed and unfortunately this union CUPE appears to have a small core which bullies the rest of the membership as well as the public. There are alot of very highly skilled motivated people out there now that would take a job like this in a heartbeat. A union like this is a safe haven for someone who wants to rise only to the level of all the other members and likely only has that skill level. Those that want to rise to their potential and excel at what they do cannot survive in this kind of enviroment.
It is time to get rid of this union that continually holds the people of this city hostage the same people who pay their members wages. Businesses have been failing and leaving Toronto at an alarming rate due to high taxation to support unreasonable expectations of these bottom dwellers.
Solid taxpaying business owners have lost an entire tourist season due to this militant group. At risk now is the Caribana festival and the CNE. We have no public pools, no island travel, lake parking taken up with dumps, tourism warning against this city and businesses failing by the day due to this groups lack of concern for the very city they work for.
It is time to clean this union out of here for good.
MattasHell / July 22, 2009 at 11:36 pm
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I fell unions are an anachronism. But Mayor Miller for all his recent "tough" talk about the garbage strike is an unrepentant fan of them. It's just politically prudent for him to play tough now and presume the electorate have smaller IQ's and shorter memories than he does, ( He really seems to think so.) If CUPE really wanted to make him look like a fool without refuge they would have suspended the strike for one week as a goodwill gesture, cleaned up the city and had the citizenry on it's side.
Unfortunately it's to late now and both need to go.
Do away with as many union positions within municipal government as possible, to do so requires a campaign based on ABM...Anyone but Miller.
The system has gone off the rails. The public service used to mean just that. Now the public serves the "servants".
MattasHell / July 22, 2009 at 11:46 pm
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Oops. I start a perfectly good rant by typo-ing the second word.
I meant "feel" of course
Corina replying to a comment from Alogon / July 22, 2009 at 11:57 pm
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Actually, I meant did anyone leaving a comment here do anything in protest - hard to miss all the public protests happening here n there.
Danny / July 23, 2009 at 01:31 am
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If you`re not happy with your job, just Quit! Jeez ... those people are ruining our summer. Fire them all!!! Pretty sure that there are hundreds of people who wants those jobs. Union is useless, Yes they really are. :(
Another Alness Observer / July 24, 2009 at 10:06 am
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I hope this group at the Finch and Alness site are not representative of this unions overall membership but sadly I think they are. The parking lot owned by the City of Toronto has been turned into a eyesore. The recent construction of a "lean to" in this parking lot is a good example of not only the lack of skill they have in general and their continued disregard for property that is owned by others. Yesterday when passing by I noted the fire barrel these idiots have been using to entertain themselves was burning unattended within a few feet of their woodpile.
Picketing is a word that has been seriously misused by this union. What I see is a circle of lawn chairs where these fat assed morons sit around for their mandatory 5 hours displaying childish behavior and as mentioned by someone else publicly urinating. This must be CUPEs style of picketing.
Are these the kind of people we want driving and maintaining city property? I would not be surprised if most of these union members do not even live in Toronto so what interest do they really have in Toronto other than sucking out their insanely high pay. This whole refuse collection process needs to be transferred to private businesses by wards which will at the very least get rid of this hostage taking union.
Below is an interesting comment circulating currently.

GWYN MORGAN

Last updated on Monday, Jul. 20, 2009 08:02AM EDT


Gwyn Morgan is the retired founding CEO of EnCana Corp.

Competition is key to the vastly superior living standards of capitalist nations. It stimulates cost efficiency and innovation, while providing the public with the ability to "shop around" for the best combination of price and service. Private sector monopolies are either illegal, or tightly regulated.

But when it comes to taxpayer-financed services such as health care, education, water supply, public transit and garbage pickup, various levels of government are the dominant monopoly provider. Consequently, cost efficiency and innovation are light years behind where they would be in a free-enterprise, competitive environment. While public sector monopolies are seldom regulated, we can generally trust public officials to avoid deliberate abuse of government monopoly power. But what if the power to abuse is in the hands of another entity?

Torontonians are being forced to endure a stinky summer, held hostage by monopolistic public sector unions. In last winter's bitter cold, Ottawa residents were held hostage by a transit strike timed to coincide with the World Junior Hockey Championships. Big international events are manna from heaven for union organizers. City councillors in Vancouver and Whistler, B.C., paid dearly for peace at the 2010 Winter Olympics, granting municipal workers a 12-per-cent wage hike over three years, igniting a growing backlash over the tax hangover residents will suffer for years after the 17-day Olympic party is over.

Even before this difficult recession, unionized public employee compensation was way beyond competitive "real world" levels. Now, when the average Canadian feels fortunate just to have a job, and many are losing them, public sector unions feel entitled to permanent employment and defend their excessive wages and astoundingly generous benefits as a sacred right.

Private sector union membership has steadily fallen, mainly because of the decline or failure of the businesses that employ them. In a competitive, globalized world, there is little room for the rigid work rules, prohibition from rewarding superior employee performance, strikebound production losses, and adversarial atmosphere that renders unionized companies uncompetitive. Witness the performance differences between Air Canada and WestJet, or General Motors and Toyota.

Now the only safe harbours for big labour are public sector monopolies, where competitive alternatives are few or non-existent. Another advantage for union leaders is that those on the other side of the bargaining table don't have to worry that too rich a settlement might drive them out of business. Union leaders are acutely aware that their survival depends on a continuation of their monopoly powers and, all too often, strike-bound public officials support this quest by acceding to "no contracting out" clauses.

This mission to maintain Big Labour's power manifests itself in other harmful ways. For example, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) recently celebrated a successful grievance against PeerScholar, a new online application at University of Toronto wherein students can file papers for grading by fellow students who have completed the same assignment. CUPE spokesman Michael Swayze justified blocking this innovative educational advancement on the basis that "if students are doing marking, then they're in our bargaining unit and must be paid."

This illustrates another glaring flaw in our labour laws: the requirement that anyone doing work which could be done by union members must join the union, even if they don't want to. So we have two toxic levels of public sector monopoly power: government-imposed restrictions against private service providers, and unions that are legally empowered to deprive individuals of the right to work outside a union.

When it comes to the delivery of public services, Canadians are amazingly tolerant of behaviour and service levels they would never put up with from any private business. But the time is nearing when, abused by the workers they are being taxed to pay, Canadians will cry "enough."

Bureaucratic, uncaring and unaccountable "service" delivery experiences bring that breaking point nearer. Images of beleaguered Torontonians struggling to cross picket lines so they can dispose of their smelly garbage will only accelerate the outrage. The contrasting images of residents of nearby Etobicoke serenely putting out their garbage for pickup by privately contracted workers, and the happy Toronto parents who chose "for-profit" daycare while 57 municipal centres are temporarily closed, clearly illustrate that we just don't have to put up with it any more.

The fact that we've seen it all so many times before has spawned a sort of numbed resignation. But what we haven't seen before is the confluence of a painful recession and the spectre of public sector unions using their powers to abuse the very people who pay their wages. Once public outrage catches fire, these unions will have depleted their bank account of goodwill, and will never again be able convince people they serve any positive purpose. Then there is the stark reality that their high wage levels and outrageous benefits programs are simply unaffordable as federal, provincial and municipal governments sink deeper into the red.

Now is the time to end public sector unions' monopoly power by moving ahead with private sector contracting of government services, under terms that provide real-world compensation and accountability.

Steve Suarez
Partner
416.862.5905 DIRECT
416.862.6666 FACSIMILE
ssuarez@osler.com
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Box 50, 1 First Canadian Place
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5X 1B8
Alogon replying to a comment from Another Alness Observer / July 24, 2009 at 12:01 pm
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While I agree with the sentiments expressed, I find it odd that a lawyer would make a statement like "unions that are legally empowered to deprive individuals of the right to work outside a union". This is not true. The courts have argued back and forth regarding the right to associate and it's corollary, the right NOT to associate. In fact the courts have even come up with what is known as the "Rand Formula". This formula provides an employee the ability to opt out of a union. Because the formula calculates a payment of mandatory union dues (can't escape those), it allows the worker to share in the collective benefits but not be a member of the union.
So, the statement purported above to be made by this lawyer seems a little vague or maybe intentionally framed in a disingenuous way.
cara / July 24, 2009 at 05:09 pm
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Clean the fucking streets up already! Toronto looks disgusting.
New Dump Site at Amesbury - July 25 (Sat), 2009 / July 25, 2009 at 11:35 am
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Simplest Terms - VERMIN SMORGASBORD & BIRTH EXPLOSION RESULTING!

*** WE NEED 'Hazel McCallion' to put a stop to this 'BS' ***

How would 'Miller and the councillors' like to have the garbage dumped in their front / back yard?

I'm interested in participating in a class action lawsuit, any chance of this taking place???
Bodyshot / July 25, 2009 at 01:57 pm
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My head is spinning and I am ready to spew chunks everywhere. The grap that comes out of Ferguson's mouth is absurd. This ultimatium he announced is laughable. This sense of entitlement employees have to demand this and demand that is unforgivable. Watching video highlights of this or ANY union strike is "they better give us what we want or else..." sounds like a 2yr old crying for ice cream.

Now - I'm not a legal-begal so I would like some intelligent feedback; the contract is completed. They are striking for a new contract, correct? If I do work on contract and the contract expires I can't strike and picket and insult my employeer and expect to get a new contract. By walking away from the talks - doesn't that open the door for the city to tender service to alternative service providers?

Mayor Miller - stay the course. Don't give-in to CUPE demands. Keep the public up to date and don't allow CUPE spinmasters to downplay the negotiations.

For all you CUPE supporters who are crying foul - don't cry for the cameras when your property taxes go up to pay for these salary increases.



ng / July 25, 2009 at 03:38 pm
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We consume and waste too much. Cut back on garbage and we won't need to pay so much to these already highly paid workers.
ng / July 25, 2009 at 03:40 pm
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immigrants built this country...we need more and more too keep this country functioning. bring in thousands of people from emerging nations to fulfill this important city service and they'd happily do it for half the cost.
Robert / July 26, 2009 at 10:49 am
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A MESSAGE TO TORONTO CITY HALL. I am from Edmonton (THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE) and am comming to TORONTO next Thursday and I expect you to have the place cleaned up by then. There is no excuse for the garbage ridden rat infested city streets. GET IT CLEANED UP BEFORE I ARRIVE. You have six (6) days left.
Vancouverite in TO replying to a comment from Robert / July 26, 2009 at 05:39 pm
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Robert - now there's a threat that we can take seriously. If you cannot contribute meaningfully to a debate than STFU.
robert replying to a comment from Vancouverite in TO / July 26, 2009 at 06:04 pm
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STFU. Very intelligent comment. You can increase your vocabulary by starting with Dr Seuss books. You have my sympathy.
Patrick replying to a comment from Jack S. / July 26, 2009 at 09:15 pm
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Why don't we get rid of the whole lot of lazy workers and hire people who need and want the job? Why waste our time with these princesses??
smartidea / July 26, 2009 at 11:38 pm
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THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE: PRIVITIZATION!!!!!! C'MON MAYOR DO NOTHING MILLER, AT LEAST DO THIS...!!!
observer / July 26, 2009 at 11:55 pm
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try another approach: http://www.startech.net/plasma.html
Give these guys a call, and get them in the discussion. Garbage would probably be picked up within 3 days, if this solution was even a fizzle of a thought.
Al / July 27, 2009 at 11:12 pm
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Place your garbage where the picket lines are..... how long will it last????
dawn / August 4, 2009 at 02:06 am
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Ok now where is my refund for services NOT rendered?
jew boy / September 10, 2009 at 12:54 pm
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I believethat u guys should have just recycled and stop being whiny babies
leafs hater / June 9, 2010 at 10:43 am
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i dont understand why people dont just put their garbage in the garbage, its sort of like common sense.. im on 13 and i understand how stupid toronto is being. like really ? and yea we should fire the workers who are doing shit all. and the mayor is doing nothing, and now the earth is even worse because of that STUPID OIL SPILL ! like c'mon world ! SERIOUSLY?
leafs hater / June 9, 2010 at 10:43 am
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onlyy*
GS replying to a comment from eric / June 23, 2011 at 11:32 pm
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yeah man I total agree with that. All this strike going on here and there, it's just because the organisation has monopoly power.
Marc Bernstein / June 12, 2013 at 07:20 pm
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Dump all of the trash along with both live and dead insects
on Sid Ryan's lawn!
To: Sid Ryan: UP YOURS!

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