While there is the foregone conclusion that Unions have the right to strike and that employers have the right to lock them out, things that have been said in recent days has made me look at some of these issues from a slightly different perspective.
While many of us have an opinion on who is right and who is wrong in the current transit dispute, there are some who are taking the brunt of the punishment and they are in all reality not involved.
The poor, who rely on public transit to get to things from jobs to shopping to doctors and even the food bank.
The seniors who during the middle of summer often use the bus to get around town because winter is so treacherous for them with all the ice and snow.
Tourists who come to town with the intent of using public transit to get around town to various sites and events within town and who plan their trip financially accordingly.
These are the people most affected by a transit dispute and these people are always told by both sides to “blame the other guy, he is being unreasonable”
One big concern I have always had with transit disputes is that there are always people who will lose their jobs because they are unable to get to work.
There are of course the drive with friends option which works for a little while, but that grows old with time. There are the cabs, but math on that option does not work well.
For example using 20 dollars to get to work in a cab (not unreasonable) 5 days a week becomes 200 dollars a week. 10/hr pays approx 800 a pay before deductions. after deductions you can expect approx 650 per 2 week period. Add to that the 200/wk cab costs and you now bring home 250 every 2 weeks with which you need to buy groceries, pay rent, phone, cable and anything else you need to survive.
Now not everyone is on 10 dollars an hour, some make more. But some work less then 40 hours a week as well.
Sometimes we need to look extremely closely at the situation that is being created and determine if it is the best interest of either party to continue with the status quo.
My suggestion as it has been for a long time.
Put the buses back on the road
two council members and two union members sit down 3 hours a day with an arbitrator every day until there is a deal.
The time for solving this problem is long since past and now it is time to actually put actions to words. The citizens of the City of moncton are fed up. We want our buses on the road, we want them on the road now. No more games, fix the problem end of story.