Okay, so I’ve avoided commenting on the bus strike so far. It doesn’t really have a significant impact on my life – my husband and I both commute by car (show me a route that doesn’t take over an hour and three buses to get to work vs. a twenty-minute drive!). But I know people who have had to rearrange their lives because of this ridiculous labour dispute. Not to mention the people this strike is really hurting – the poor and the disadvantaged in our city who don’t have the voice or the political clout to defend themselves, let alone fight back against this corruption and bureaucracy.

Let’s call this what it is – a pissing contest between a hot-headed union rep and an ignorant mayor. If it were up to me (and oh, do I wish it was!), I would have canned them all long ago and found people who were interested in actually doing their jobs – which is, need I remind you, to negotiate a mutually agreeable settlement. And if this isn’t possible? Arbitration. Let a third party decide what’s really critical and come to a conclusion quickly and efficiently.

But alas, both sides dug in long ago and are now playing a war of media attrition. Who’s side is right? Who’s side has the support of the citizens of Ottawa?

Personally, I believe unions had their time and place in labour history. Now, they are woefully out-of-touch with the reality of These Economic Times and quite possibly irrelevant in today’s labour climate. But if they want to be unreasonable and demand ridiculously high wages and benefits and lose all their jobs to the foreign market or to non-unionized workers who appreciate a fair-wage job (hello, auto industry!), then so be it. They’ll learn on their own eventually or they’ll all be out of jobs.

I also believe the City of Ottawa has been shameful in its handling of this strike. The word “clusterf**k” seems apt, if you’ll excuse my language. They took their fight to the media like children, they had no contingency plans, they forced a vote they weren’t confident they’d win (or so O’Brien let slip on a CBC radio interview on the eve of the vote), and they’ve been ridiculously incapable, ineffective and useless.

I, for one, do not plan on voting for anyone involved in this debacle in the future. I will not support such incompetence and I wish I could withold my tax money from their salaries. I also will not be taking an OC Transpo bus or any form of public transit when (or if) they start running again, at least for the forseable future.

Can you blame me for not wanting to become dependent on a system that could be better managed by my cat?

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