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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
She used to work in a diner / never saw a woman look finer / I used to order just to watch her float across the floor
— Neil Young, Unknown Legend
November 28, 2003
Are east coast ferries more important than west coast ferries?

According to a story on CBC Newsworld’s web site, the Canada Industrial Relations Board has just declared ferries that run from Port-aux-Basques, NF to North Sydney, NS an essential service.

(That sound you just heard - the distant one in your head - is BC Ferries’ union leaders collectively grabbing at straws.)

This now means that ferry workers can’t strike. Give that BC Ferries is currently in negotiations for a new contract, this is BIG news on the west coast (although I hvae yet to hear anybody talk about it.)

What impact the newly privatized nature of the BC service has, I’m not sure.

I’ve always proposed a simple solution to the problem of public transportation utilities and strikes - one that would apply to buses, subways, ferries and just about any other scheduled operation: when contracts are negotiated, the Union needs to agree to a holiday service level (say, 50% of normal service.) Any strike would be required to maintain this holiday service level at a minimum, thus avoiding the wholesale shutdown of critical services such as the TTC or the entire Translink service. Basically, the idea is that the worst case scenario is Christmas Day service.

I’m sure somebody will point out to me why this is unworkable for some obscure legal reason: phooey - it’s just a matter of political will.

Posted by skooter at 9:27 AM This entry is filed under Politics.

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