At the very point where Ottawa’s winter is unleashing its cold fury upon we hapless inhabitants (-11°C and snowing heavily), the bus system is about to be shut down by a strike.
In response, I humbly propose that all senior people involved in the negotiations between the city and the union have their cars impounded for the duration of the strike. If the city and union representatives had to walk through the freezing landscape to the negotiating table, they might be a bit quicker to resolve the outstanding issues they have about the allocation of sick days and their scheduling arrangements.
[Update: 5 January 2009] On Thursday, the union will be voting on an offer from the city. If it is accepted, buses should start rolling five or six days later, once mechanics have serviced them.
[Update: 8 January 2009] The union rejected the offer. The strike will continue for some unknown span of time.
[Update: 28 January 2009] On the 50th day of the strike, the Canada Industrial Relations Board has ruled that transit is not an ‘essential service.’ Both the city and the union argued in favour of such a ruling.
[Update: 29 January 2009] Threatened with back-to-work legislation, the city and union have reached a deal, ending the strike. Some bus service should resume as of Monday.