The issue of conflict resolution in the public sector is not a new thing. Usually, there is often a conflict of interest between the employer and the workers representatives at the union. Usually, most of these disputes end up being resolved by a court ruling. In the case of the 2006 wildcat strike at the Toronto Transit Commission, the strike was illegal in the first place, and it is also apparent that the union representatives were not too keen to resolve the conflict just yet.
Usually when a strike occurs in the public sector, it is the public that suffers as they cannot get transport to their destination. In considering the ugly scenario where a union official had to flush out passengers from a bus, this is an indication of a barbaric move by a union official. The best way to resolve conflicts is through dialogue. It may not be possible for each party to fully have their way. For this reason, a compromise suffices.
Labor dispute sessions are usually stormy, and the one between the lawyers of the union and TTC management was no different. However, it would not be fair to heap all the blame on the union, as the management also failed, when they arrived at a decision to deploy cleaning and maintenance workers fr4om the day shift to the night shift. Also, the issue of health premiums crops up, and it would thus be improper to insinuate that the union did not have valid grievances.
Perhaps what we should realize here is that their way of expressing their anger for non-attended grievances (by downing their tools) led to the closure of the transit system, thus inconveniencing hundreds of thousands of commuters. Commuters are not concerned about the accusation and details of labor conflicts in public transport. For them, a strike amounts to a betrayal, as workers holds them hostages towards the addressing of their grievances. For the workers, commuters are just but another bargaining chip, and this is a very bad precedent to set.
Legal action should thus be filed towards the perpetrators, as the strike had already been declared illegal.
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“Strike blindsides commuters: Wildcat strike catches morning TTC riders by surprise, disrupts transit well into the evening. Toronto Star, May 30. Retrieved November 28, 2008 from http://www. spcregion. org/region/downloads/0506/TorontoStar_TransitStrike_053006. pdf