Are cities like Toronto and Vancouver throwing money in the can by refusing to privatize garbage pickup?
Nothing like the stifling heat of summertime and a tenuous tourist season to encourage civic workers for a little garbage action.
And why not?
If you are going to have to walk a picket line, it might as well be in the sun. It seems to be keeping the Windsor city workers content as they complete their second month of job action.
Not surprisingly, public opinion has taken a decided turn for the worse. The National Post is even reporting that Windsor residents are taking it upon themselves to mow city lawns and figure out alternative service providers for garbage pick up.
Now with the City of Toronto dispute distracting the public sector union folks, perhaps the Windsor government will finally look at contracting out garbage services. When Winnipeg finally completed contracting out in 2006, a move which it did in two stages, it saved in excess of $5.7 million. Winnipeg has about 700,000 people.
Cities aren’t exactly comparable, but residents of Windsor and Toronto shouldn’t have to put up with garbage strikes (and other striking civic services) every five-seven years.
CUPE Local 416 must have a tin ear for the economic challenges facing many southern Ontario workers and striking over sick pay isn’t going to garner a lot of support from jobless in Windsor, the number of whom topped 12% in April 2009.
There is absolutely no reason for Windsor or Toronto to bend over backwards to settle. The CTF (www.taxpayer.com) is suggesting legislating back to work and then examining contracting out certain civic services.
The union isn’t expecting a quick settlement and they shouldn’t. There is absolutely no political benefit for Windsor or Toronto politicians to a resolution that is completely out of line with current economic circumstances.
Erin Chutter serves as a board director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation