Sunshine Too Brief


All Contents copyright of
Tazzy at

I'm a self-absorbed Bengali-Torontonian;
Fish comes to me raw, wrappend in seaweed, not cooked in curry;
I love watching thunderstorms and rain;
Sad endings make more sense to me than happy ones;
I hate empty walls.

In the News

Craving of the week-
Dark Chocolate
Reading List-
Midnight's Children
Movie review(out of 5)-
127 hours- *****
Buried- ****
That Girl in Yellow Boots- **
Love of the week-
Seeing James Franco
Aim for the weekend-
Watch 'Going Postal' The Movie

My Novella: Samosa for the Arranged Souls

Introduction & Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapters 3, 4 & 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 6 continues

Chapter 7 & Epilogue

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    Bashing the workforce

    There was a sudden public transit strike this monday in Toronto. From the huffing and puffing that went on such as reflected on this post it'll seem like the sky has fallen. My goodness! There have been strikes before you know! We survived! In 1999 there was one that went for for days right in the middle of my exams. And you know what? I made it to my exam. There are other ways and I atleast didn't have to lose money like the strikers do. There are already signs that this strike wasn't as clear cut illegal as they are making it out to be. Sure it was without warning this time but still I wonder why is it that everytime workers strike people blame the workers as opposed to the admistration? Has everyone forgotten why we have 'unions' in the first place? I hear it all the time from 'uncles/dads'. Anytime someone strikes they are up in arms. Ranting against TTC workers seem particularly harsh and undeserved because of how badly they get treated by the TTC, a lot of which people are not aware of. We have a stroke patient, in the clinic I work at, who used to be a TTC subway operator and the stories we hear from him- so sad! And he isn't even that disgruntled of a worker.

    Imagin this. If you had a job where all you are doing is mindlessly driving people who can't afford a car/dialysis patients/blind and deaf people and still are liable to get fired for bringing in your bus/train 1-minute later than the schedule, on top of getting regularly spit on, punched,kicked, beaten,shot at by your sober and drunk passengers while your company does nothing to protect you or provide you with means of escapeing the assault(like a door) and infact fire you because you tried to protect yourself...maybe just maybe you don't have the heart to look enthusiastic over your job eh? Do you then have the right to stick with the union and stay away from work without pay so that your family can be assured that you'll come home safe? Or do you have to ask for approval from people who do everything possible to make your job harder- like trying to pass you while you are letting off passengers?

    There are lots of people like the blogger whose posted I linked to earlier who seem to think we can just do away with people in general in the workforce. Bring in the Robots! Its the solution to everything eh? Do they actually think we live in a science fiction movie? Does the garbage from your home get automatically packed into conveinent heart shaped packets to be burned as coal in your BBQ yet? No. It gets manually picked up by someone and then sorted. I once knew an engineer who thought "Doctors were uneccesary because we can just have computers doing the work". I really question the sanity of these people!. Why not invent such a system first instead of musicplaying/videorecording cellphones and then talk your big talk! And do they ever stop to think the economic reprecussions of all the manual workforce being out of a job? Ofcourse not.
    As long as you are okay who cares about others;tThey are all stupid anyway-seems to be the general concensus.

    Then the typical immigrant reaction is- "oh 'these white folks' dont' know how to do their work. We'll show thm!". Oh yes, bring in 'over-educated' immigrants into the TTC to drive buses... Try saying that to the people in the bengali community. Thats exactly what they will want to do with all their notions of what is the 'proper job' for an educated Bengali person right? Puleez. How many Desi people do you see doing work thats doesn't involve sitting at a desk? And I'm sure one gets really really wonderful proof of the work ethics of bengali people in Bangladesh eh with all the bribe taking, frequent tea-breaks ? What a bunch of hypocrites!

    *going over to get sick*


    At 3:05 p.m., June 01, 2006, Blogger mezba said...

    Hi Tazzy, welcome back to the blogosphere.

    The huffing and puffing, as you put it, is because this is an ILLEGAL strike. I would not post such a bashing of the TTC workers if this was a legal strike. Yes, I too did suffer during the 1999 strike (it was during my exams as well), but a) people had prior notice well in advance b) the union was in a legal position to strike.

    why is it that everytime workers strike people blame the workers as opposed to the admistration? Has everyone forgotten why we have 'unions' in the first place? I hear it all the time from 'uncles/dads'. Anytime someone strikes they are up in arms.

    The union signed a contract with the TTC last year in good faith. That meant they would not strike until the contract was over. If there were concerns over safety, operator health, etc. the union could have raised those issues DURING the negotiation. Instead, they chose to get a pay raise. As such, they said their priorities were pay over safety. if they were not satisfied with their employer on safety, they could have gone on strike then.

    Imagin this. If you had a job where all ...
    ... while you are letting off passengers?

    If the TTC job was indeed this bad we would not see the TTC workers remain at the same job for over 30 years. I have ridden the TTC (and continue to do so when the car is needed by others) for over 5 years and NEVER have I witnessed an untoward incident. There will be some tiffs/arguments/spats during the night when picking up drunk/gangsta style people but that is in the minority.

    If a person does not like working in the TTC he can resign and work elsewhere. The fact that TTC workers do NOT do so is proof that the job has a lot of perks. IMO on the most part it's very highly paid for a not-so-skilled job.

    There are lots of people like the blogger whose posted I linked to earlier who seem to think we can just do away with people in general in the workforce. Bring in the Robots!

    I can assure you as an IT worker that I am as scared of my job being outsourced as an unskilled labourer over a 'robot' taking over. However certain functions in the transit are now being done effectively by automated gates. In London, UK and in Singapore I used the smart card and did not see too many ticket collectors and the system was much better. If the TTC is going to cut jobs without reducing public safety, we should support it as we as taxpayers carry the cost burden of extra jobs.

    And finally the issue of migrant workers. Many of them drive taxis because they cannot find work in their field (this is a whole separate issue). For many, driving a taxi is much more dangerous than driving a bus. And I think immigrants in North America have very good work ethics.

    If the TTC union decides to illegally walk off again, I stand by my statement that we should ARREST the union leaders, FIRE off a bunch of workers, and open up immigration in the bus/tram driver category. Remember Ronald Reagan and the air traffic controller strike, or even B'desh's own Zia and the pilot strike? Same thing.

    At 9:22 a.m., June 02, 2006, Blogger Simika said...

    to the previous poster, what i don't understand is the separation of immigrant vs. "labour" work & ethics. As though there are no immigrants working at the TTC!

    At 9:47 a.m., June 02, 2006, Blogger Tazzy said...

    Mezba: We just will have to agree to disagree won't we?
    First of all everyone IS an immigrant here and its not like TTC is stopping new immigrants from applying! Go ahead tell your friends....see if they last more than a few months in an organization that runs itself like the military.
    As for job perks....ofcourse there has to be..any white collar manual workforce deserves to get paid more than us because we refuse to do the work they are doing.
    Just you because you and I havn't seen TTC worker being assaulted in the years we rode the TTC twice a day doesn't mean it doesn't happen(A daily shift for them lasts 13 hours! are you willing to ride one for that long to verify?), Its insulting not to mention silly to suggest so otherwise. I havn't see anyone have a stroke in front of me Either and yet there are hundreds happening every month.

    Anyway, no one fully knows why and how the strike came about, but it was inevitable. I can say that the cab drivers are very happy that it happened as they are now optimistic that maybe the city will forgoe touristic ambitions and install safety glasses for them too, just as the TTC workers are asking. Its TTC's first time ever to go on strike without a notice- risking no pay and jail time. It can only be interpreted as a last resort.

    My vote will always be for the people as they are ones that make the organization.


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