Monday, May 29, 2006

Take back our public services redux

Today’s illegal transit strike in Toronto is a classic example of what a public sector union that delivers a monopoly service is prepared to do, when it decides that it doesn’t like a decision made by officials acting on behalf of the public who supposedly own the service. (To add insult to injury, union officials reportedly went into hiding earlier today, to evade service of a cease-and-desist order obtained by the city early this morning.)

Listening to radio and TV today, I heard the usual entreaties that the TTC should be declared an essential service, or the workers should all be fired a la Reagan and the air traffic controllers, etc. (though Reagan always insisted that he did not fire them -- they abandoned their jobs). These are understandable reactions, but anything that leaves union control intact merely scratches the surface of the problem -- the problem being that the public lost control of its “public” services by allowing them to be unionized.

Time again to revisit my op-ed from last fall, about why unions should not be permitted in the public sector.


Anonymous said...

One more time with feeling …

The only major unions left are in automotive and government. Those in the big 3 automotive are going broke, due to a combination of bad management and their unions trying to outdo each other with dumb decisions in the global marketplace. Those in automotive that are excelling are not unionized.

The TTC today is a taste of what you’d get with CUPE monopoly Day Care.

It’s hard to think of anything the government does that could not be outsourced. So let’s start with all jobs in the Government sector and have them make the case to us why they should not be privatized.

Union workers won’t agree to it yet, but once they were outsourced they would find that private management is no longer Dickinsonian. It treats workers with more respect (with a few exceptions) than the unprofessional government sector, which has become accustomed to hostile negotiations in bad faith with unions. Unfair labour practices lead to failure, succesful entrepreneurs know that and avoid it.

Time to unwind this mess and get value for our tax dollars. We have to replace McGuinty with John Tory and Miller with Jane Pitfield. They should campaign on “outsourcing” the government, an idea Ayn Rand had 50 years ago.


Rob Hunter said...

Does anyone think the wildcat strikers will be punished in any way? I think anything less than serious fines or firings will tell the rest of the unionists they can hold the public hostage any time they like.

On the plus side, until yesterday, I didn't know I could ride my bike to work. I thought it was too far. The ride was pleasant - all downhill going to work - and took only five minutes longer than my usual subway commute. The TTC will now lose some of my business and I couldn't be happier about it….

Sue said...

"Take back the public service" would be nice but the managers, the majority of which are career-civil servants & former union members themselves are happy to keep the status quo. Approving higher salaries & richer benefits for unions, ensured even richer compensation packages for them. I worked for a federal crown corp for several years & saw how both sides used the other side to work the system to their advantage.

And in today's news re Canada Post:

"200 drivers across Canada are refusing to work, citing health and safety problems on rural routes.
"If Canada Post and CUPW [Canadian Union of Post Workers] agree that, yes, that mailbox is unsafe, then delivery to that mail box is immediately halted. Canada Post is legally and criminally responsible to do that," she said....