Wednesday, January 31, 2007

CN May Strike GO Transit

I was just reading in the news today about the potential CN Strike.

The full article is at:

Here are some snips I found important:

"GO Transit riders could face service disruptions in less than two weeks if CN conductors walk off the job when they are in a legal strike position on Feb.9."

"A strike would come at a difficult time for GO Transit, which has already gotten off to a bad start in 2007, with freezing temperatures causing switch problems and many train delays."

After 30 years of winters you think GO Transit would be used to it by now. I think they are relying on us commuters being used to it.

"In addition, CN chopped 34 engineers in late December as a cost-saving move for GO, causing some irritation among engineers. GO Transit reported that there were delays because the engineers had initial problems adapting to the new procedures."

Not only is it irritating engineers but as noted in a previous posting here it is a serious safety risk for us passengers.

"We're going to do everything in our power to try to keep GO out of this fight," Beatty said. "Our view is, `Why affect the citizens of Toronto?' The GO Train is a separate entity all together."

The conductors who continue to work during a strike would be asked to contribute their earnings to a charity, according to the union's proposal.

At least the engineers and conductors care about the passengers.

"It boils down to abuse, harassment and intimidation on the property," Beatty said.

For example, he said, conductors working in a north Toronto yard are not allowed coffee breaks and only get a 20-minute meal break during a nine-hour shift, he said.

Beatty also cited examples of improper investigations.

"Every little hiccup that happens, they call our people in for investigations and they call them in on their time off," Beatty said. "Not only are the people working their normal hours, they're also being hauled in on their time off for these, quite frankly, silly little ridiculous investigations."

Beatty called the tactics "strictly in-your-face intimidation."

Beatty predicts that when a strike mandate is called next week, the percentage support will be in the high 80s or low 90s.

"That gives you an indication they're fed up," the union spokesman said.

The conductors have been without a contract since Dec. 31.

I think an investigation should be done into where GO Transit is putting the money it receives from ticket sales and the Government. I would just like to point out that at Burlingtion Station it says there is lots of parking at Appleby but does not tell people that it is not wheelchair accessible so people who cannot find parking at Burlington and go to Appleby with their kids in a stroller or someone in a wheelchair are stuck carrying all the stuff down the stairs and back up. The thing is its not just a couple stairs its a staircase of say 30 or 40 stairs down and then back up to get the train.

Let's investigate where its needed and stop wasting our money where its not.

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