Media Appearances

Normally, I prefer to let people stumble across me on various programs, but since I haven’t been posting items about the labour negotiations, thought that the really diehard fans (blush) would want to know that I did Goldhawk Live on Thursday evening on Rogers Cable 10.  It repeats at various times over the next day.

The calls from viewers were interesting and covered a wide range of potential strike impacts.  What was particularly notable was not just the primary effects — people who would not have transport to work or school — but the secondary effects on parents and others who are suddenly thrust into the roll of car pool provider for their families.

Also, for early risers, I will be on Metro Morning on Friday, April 18 at 6:15 am.

9 thoughts on “Media Appearances

  1. Please delete my previous comment.

    I rode the TTC today (Thursday) and as always I said Thank You when I got off. I heard the person behind me, and on one occasion two behind me, also say Thank You. Bob Kinnear is probably not in tune with the populace when he says the majority are not on side with him and the membership. I am in full support of the Transit Union and I wish them well at settling their issues. The politics of resentmentent are in full force at some other web sites. For the record, I do not believe TTC employees are overpaid. I do not believe their contract grievances should result in any drastic action but I understand that, as is legal under Ontario law, the Union may withdraw services. We need to work through this process, and if there is a strike and in the event of back to work legislation, live with the (inevitably pro union) arbitration.


  2. Bob has never once criticized the public, his statement is being taken out of context. What he was expressing is that there may be some animosity towards our members if we go out on strike. Bob loves the public that’s why he has been the most diligent presidents we have ever had in getting our message out to the public.

    Thank you for your kind words and support and hopefully we can work this out.


  3. “Bob loves the public” is a bit much.

    The public loves the TTC, but not the union because of their wildcat actions. If the rank and file want to preserve and improve that bond, they need to ditch this guy who has never apologized to “the public he loves” for that wildcat strike.

    Rank and file deserve better than this slicked goon. Despite his actions, people in general seem to want the best for employees.


  4. Bob Kinnear “loves the public”? The public does not love him back. Especially after the 1 day wildcat strike. Sure, Kinnear can have an axe to grind but he has no right to take it out on the travelling public in such a sudden manner. Imagine my shock and anger that day when I found out that I could not go to work that day. I may not like unions in general but that single act may have turned him into Public Enemy #1. A lot of people from what I hear do not like him at all. The Leftist rags were especially vitriolic in this regard, one of them even calling for his ouster. My fiance is prepared for a long, drawn out strike and will be staying with a friend downtown if it happens. Talk about disruption in daily lives.

    Now something interesting that I want to point out. Today’s Sun survey asked if the TTC should be an essential service, and 87% says it shouldn’t. Compare that to 83% saying the exact opposite to the Star’s survey a few weeks back. Either this means that the majority of Sun’s readership either drive or live and work outside the Toronto area and could care less about the TTC strike, or they are concerned about binding arbitration favouring the union itself. Either way, as a right-winger, I am thoroughly perplexed, transit workers should be declared essential in any case.


  5. I also did CBC on Friday, standing in front of a camera on Front Street…

    One of the topics was essential service, and I noted that when researching a recent column there was not much interest in this among various political parties. The Tories in particular did not seem keen.

    From ‘Making TTC an Essential Service’ (my title) in Metro on Thursday, 28 Mar 2008:


    On Friday, after premier McGuinty mused about the province declaring TTC essential (if the city asks) I understand John Tory supported the idea — although the Star reports him as criticizing the preem for speaking up while negotiations are underway:



  6. Unlike many others I do support the union and their desire to get more for their members.

    However I also think that at times like these (on the verge of a strike) that the rank and file should quietly reflect to themselves that they are DAMN LUCKY and fortunate to be in the position they are – good, secure municipal government jobs with an excellent rate of compensation. Those folks have bought some nice houses with big SUV’s in front of them because of the ATU. There are many people working in worse jobs for a lot less pay and benefits. In fact the union is likely the only thing separating many of those workers from ten dollars an hour or more less per hour.


  7. Kill me for my ignorance, but what is “metro morning”?

    Steve: Metro Morning is CBC 1’s morning show, the top rated in its time slot. A podcast of my interview is available until Thursday, April 24 (they leave them online one week). Look on the main site, or in their 5-day archive.

    Also, I’m not so sure we should all be tag-teaming on Bob. I remember in the last strike he had to go and almost litererally BEG some of the workers to “think about the public”.

    Steve: I’m not hearing huge choruses of operators and other TTC staff demanding major concessions “or else”, and can’t help thinking this is a case where Bob Kinnear wants a strike just to show Gary Webster who’s on top. See yesterday’s Globe article. Negotiations are poorly served if either side has a personal grudge.

    As for the TTC being an essential service. I say 50% yes and 50% no.

    huh? IIRC, something like 15% of paramedics are allowed to strike at any one time. Perhaps we should allow 50% of TTC workers to strike. Cut all service in half. This will have a two fold effect – first it will let people know there is a strike (imagine the crowds) and second it will let people get to where they need to go.

    Steve: The system’s operation depends on everyone being there and taking away half of the staff would be astoundingly complex. Moreover, it would lead to hopelessly overcrowded and undependable service.

    I always say “have a good day” when I hop off a bus. I don’t have a problem with this or that driver. The drivers, on their own, are great people and I chat them up whenever I get the chance. I also don’t have a problem with Bob Kinnear. Put them together, however, and you get a union – a public sector union – and that I do have a problem with. Frankly, I don’t think that any public sector employee should be allowed to strike, TTC, Police, Bureaucrat, or otherwise.


  8. Steve: I am of two minds about posting this, but there’s something I want to say as you will see later.

    I just read the article that Steve posted earlier.

    Gary Webster should be commended for his role in the 1996 talks in which he was able to amplify the TTC’s situation to the union and take significant concessions out of it. With the Harris Tories withdrawing funding to the TTC, I would imagine that the service cuts that happened afterward would be a whole lot worse if the union got what it wanted. Then there would be even more layoffs.

    Getting to the negotiated settlement, it is of my belief that Mr. Webster folded like a cheap lawnchair. Giving the Union everything it wants is tantamount to selling the house to pay off the mafia. Sure I may be harsh but this is not what I was looking for regarding a negotiated settlement. The so-called “highest paid in the GTA” clause will do nothing more than to encourage worker apathy and laziness. While I agree of the top-up for injured workers, I think that is as much as they should have received.

    Steve: You have no idea of who did what, whether anyone “folded”, or what the dynamics of the bargaining were. It’s amusing that some media like to tar the left with claims of a bank-breaking settlement when that flagrant friend of labour, Mel Lastman, gave away the store in municipal negotiations years ago. But is must be the left’s fauly because they’re in bed with labour, don’t ya know.

    The highest-paid-in-the-GTA clause is a total non issue and serves mainly as backside covering for local 113. They were already the highest paid, once you allow for the different timing of increases coming into effect, and would have been even with the originally proposed 2 percent increase. By the time of the next contract, I would not be surprised to see moves to put all of the regional companies into one big Metrolinx operation with one big contract. This will bring bus drivers in sleepy outlying systems up to the level of the TTC, not the other way around.

    Toronto residents had better be prepared for an even tighter financial straitjacket. And we still have the Police and the Garbagemen (sic Outside Workers union) to deal with.

    As the Toronto Sun correctly pointed out, the people who should be on strike over this sweetheart deal should be taxpayers.

    Steve: And I am sure that the Sun will be out there cheering all the way for the cops while suggesting that the outside workers (who include far more than the garbage crews) are lazy, overpaid bums.


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