Saturday, April 26, 2008

TTC Union Chief Bob Kinnear: "The dangers of...angry and irrational members of the public"

TTC Union head honcho Bob Kinnear will never live this one down, I'm predicting: "We will not expose our members to the dangers of assaults from angry and irrational members of the public."

Whether or not TTC employees have a decent case that they need additional protections and the ability not to lose pay if they are injured or assaulted on the job is beside the point.

For a guy leading up the public fight for a better deal, calling Torontonians "angry and irrational" isn't going to go over well in the ongoing PR battle over this surprise strike. Nor is the "irrational" way in which this surprise strike was launched, just before midnight last night, stranding many people downtown with no way of getting home except an overly expensive cab ride.

Kinnear's blunder will make legislating them back to work all the more easy for Dalton McGuinty, unless NDP Leader Howard Hampton gives Toronto yet another slap in the face and backs the union in the legislature tomorrow. If the TTC isn't back in operation by Monday, there'll be hell to pay.


Dr.Dawg said...

Where's the context? Let me provide it for you--the rest of Kinnear's statement:

The reports from our members of increases in threats and abuse from passengers last weekend, after we gave our original 48-hours' notice, has left us no choice but to withdraw our services immediately. We have a legal responsibility to protect the safety of our members and so does the TTC.

Anonymous said...


I made a comment at Peterborough Politics. My blame is not towards Kinnear, who is struggling to deal with the TTC rank and file, but at Miller and Giambrone.

Taking shots at Howie is a bit of a low blow. He is a dead man walking with little chance of having his leadership mandate renewed. I think this exercise shows just how marginalized the Ontario NDP remains with Howie not having any influence at all in Toronto City Council, even with his allies in charge.

Matt Guerin said...

Maybe it's a low blow today, but I remember well Howie's 1999 initial refusal to speed through similar back to work legislation during that year's TTC strike. It was a major head ache.

I'm pleased that Howie had agreed to the legislation before the House tomorrow though. It seems the government did its home work and is putting forth a reasonable bill to fix the situation.

But I do agree that this won't make Miller or Giambrone look too good to have let it come to this.

Greg said...

I think it is a bit harsh to blame Miller and Giambrone. The union did have a tentative deal and it did not send out any signal whatever that the membership would turn it down.

David Olive has a quite different view about the performance of the mayor and premier in today's Star. Give it a read. I think he is right. The union committed suicide here. It is as simple as that.