Category Archives: Toronto Strike

More strike winners and losers

(Originally written Aug. 7 for Town Crier.)

Did Mayor David Miller, businesses and society as a whole win or lose in the city strike?
I am looking at it from all three sides. I have also examined the labour dispute and its aftermath from perspective of the city, unions and residents. For that part of the story, click here.

Businesses
It’s all losses as far as I can tell. 
Many small businesses that get city trash pick-up could take garbage to temporary dumps, but let’s face it some of them had to pony up cash for a private hauler.
Some businesses also had to cancel or relocate scheduled events because the city was not issuing permits or cleaning up garbage. In some cases, non-union staff and management helped with clean up of major street festivals such as the Pride parade.

Mayor David Miller
Miller has been badly beaten up by the media, councillors in opposition to him, unions and residents. He probably lost more than most when it comes to public perception. Continue reading

Daycare, garbage, EMS essential services?

Toronto councillor wants these city services deemed essential
The issue will be up for debate at power Exec Committee Sept 8
By Kris Scheuer
(Originally written Aug. 7 for Town Crier.)

Enduring 39 days without trash pick-up, city-run daycare and full emergency medical service wasn’t anyone’s idea of a great way to start the summer.
While Torontonians don’t want to see another strike like it anytime soon St. Paul’s councillor Michael Walker wants to go a step further. 
He doesn’t want them to strike again … ever.
The midtown rep thinks its wrong and is advocating for essential services status for all these city programs. 
Walker brought forward three motions to city council Aug. 6 to ask that the province mandate daycare and children’s services, garbage collection and EMS as essential services, like police and fire, which would legally prohibit striking.
There was no debate on any of his recommendations, but rather these motions were referred off to the Executive Committee’s September 8 meeting.
Walker outlines his argument for each programs being declared essential. Continue reading

Pools reopen post city strike

Labour unrest over, city starts to reopen pools week of August 4
By Kris Scheuer

It’s finally starting to feel like summer. The weather is heating up and the strike is over – so let the celebrating begin.
One way Torontonians of all ages like to enjoy the weather is by splashing around in a pool.
The good news is all city pools and splash pads will reopen starting on August 4. For an exact schedule see list below. Continue reading

Who voted for new union contracts

Toronto city council approved new deals two unions
Here’s how each politician voted
By Kris Scheuer

The strike is over after city council approved new contracts for CUPE locals 416 and 79.
The final vote was a close one at 21-17 in a heated debate on July 31.
Want to know how every politician voted? Continue reading

Council votes for union deal, ends strike

Toronto’s 39-day strike is over as politicians approve new labour contracts
July 31 close call vote came after a heated all day debate at city hall
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for the Town Crier July 31.)

Council’s final decision to vote for the new union deals was a squeaker at 21-17.
Another seven councillors were absent from the vote or had to sit out because of conflicts of interest during the all-day debate July 31.
Don Valley East councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong voted against the deal.
“I’m standing up for this city and my constituents because they stood up for Toronto (during the strike),” he said during the debate that began at 9:30 this morning.
Etobicoke-North councilllor Rob Ford also voted the deals down. “The average person out there doesn’t get to bank sick days,” the outspoken councillor said. “The mayor said negotiations were a matter of give and take. The mayor was giving and the unions were taking.” Continue reading

Council approves union deal, strike over

Politicians approve contracts with CUPE locals 416 and 79
Labour disruption now over, city services start back
By Kris Scheuer
(Written July 31 for Town Crier)

The 39-day strike is now over as city council has ratified all new contracts with both unions around 6:30 tonight.
“I am very pleased to be able to advise Torontonians that the labour disruption with CUPE locals 416 and 79 is finally over with a council ratification today,” Mayor David Miller told the media following the vote.
“I wish to thank Torontonians for their patience and understanding.”
Union staff started to empty 5,000 litter bins at the strike of midnight this morning even before a council vote was held.
Now that the strike’s officially over, workers will immediately begin the work of cleaning up the 26 temporary dumps of 25,000 tonnes of trash.

Continue reading

CUPE local 416 votes yes for contract

Garbage collectors vote for new deal, back to work at 12:01 July 31
By Kris Scheuer
Good news Toronto. It’s official, CUPE local 416 members ratify new contract offer from the city.
It’s July 30 at 11:36 p.m. and I just read the confirmation from the source, the union’s website.
“Ratified Collective Agreement. Local 416 outside members have ratified the collective agreement. All members should return to the regular shift as of 12:01 am Friday July 31/09.”
Union members returning to work after the strike of midnight are going to start emptying trash cans on the streets and picking up litter. You should see a difference by the time you wake up Friday morning. And beginning next Tuesday, garbage will picked up from homes and small business customers on regular collection days. Continue reading

The good, the bad and the smelly

Evidence from garbage strike is we still have long way to go in conservation quest
(Originally written July 17 by Kris Scheuer for Town Crier.)

Conservation and consumption.
There’s both good news and a shocking reality check when it comes to how much we conserve and consume in Toronto.
We are becoming more aware of ways we can cut back on our use of everything from energy to plastic bags.
But on the other hand, the garbage strike that hit the city at midnight June 22 made it oh so obvious that we are still producing far too much waste.
While it’s true that as the clock struck midnight, it had been two weeks since the last regularly scheduled garbage pickup for some folks, there were already reports of people illegally dumping waste in parks like Christie Pits on day 1 of the strike.
Continue reading

CUPE local 79 returns to work

City’s inside workers back on job at 12:01 tonight
Daycare workers, nurses in homes for aged among returning strikers
By Kris Scheuer

City council still has to vote on Friday for this union’s four new contracts.
But no matter, the light at the end of the tunnel is striking workers will be back on the job just after midnight tonight.
“Please report for work at your next regularly scheduled shift or workday as of 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 31,” says a statement on CUPE local 79‘s website tonight. Continue reading

City starts cleaning up garbage tonight

Alberta-St.Clair 3.jpg
Street trash on St. Clair West. Photo Kris Scheuer/Town Crier.

City starts picking up litter and street trash at midnight
Regular garbage collection resumes next week
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier July 30.)
Toronto should look a little cleaner and smell better starting tomorrow.
That’s because litter and garbage will start to be cleaned up off the streets as early as midnight tonight Geoff Rathbone, general manager of Solid Waste Management told a press conference this afternoon.
“As you can imagine cleaning up the city will be a large and complex operation,” he said around 3 p.m. “We will commence work early tomorrow morning by beginning the process of emptying and returning to service the city’s 5,000 litter bins.”
If city council approves the contracts for CUPE local 416 tomorrow, the 26 temporary dumps will be emptied of about 25,000 tonnes of garbage starting on Aug. 2.
“Our goals are the removal of the waste from all sites by Sunday evening to allow for the sites to return to normal operations,” Rathbone said. Continue reading