Let’s talk about how soft and weak we are as a citizenry. It’s been a day and a half since the strike started and a city full of people that are used to waiting 7 days between pickups are losing their shit. Add to that the fact that Monday isn’t a collection day anywhere in Toronto, so at worst a small portion of households missed this mornings collection.
We’ve all had weeks where we didn’t get the bin out in time and surprise, the world did not end. Yeah it stunk a bit, but the world did not end. 36 hours into a garbage strike one might think we were on the edge of a cliff. The Star, Globe and Sun all have headlines on their main page about overflowing transfer stations and eagle-eyed bylaw enforcers. But why are the transfer stations already “overflowing”? Because Torontonians are freaking the fuck out! I’m sure the city knows that they easiest thing for the first week or so would be to ask people to keep their trash at home, but they know that would just lead to more impatient halfwits dumping their trash into a locl splash-pad.
Here’s another thought. It might be a good thing that every once in a while we get a long, hard look at how much trash we create. If a family had to keep all it’s trash for a month and experience the volume of mess and stink they create, perhaps it would encourage a more sustainable lifestyle. People who favour that sort of thing should be running all across the city this week. They may never get a better chance to show the city it’s own consumption.
As if having a garbage strike isn’t bad enough, we may not even be able to block out the stink of waste with the blessed relief of liquor’s sweet embrace. LCBO employees are set to strike tonight in a contract dispute over wages and work status. The Beer Store, a private conglomerate of Labatt’s, Molson and Sleeman, will still be open (as will some LCBOs, as managers assume the till) so all is not lost for the hapless lush. But one can only assume that this is merely the beginning of an era of labour unrest. Who knows what luxury might disappear. With garbage and liquor gone, clearly nothing’s sacred.
In the city strike, already the overreactions have started. The hospitalization of a striker hit outside the City Hall parking garage will surely lead to sanctimony from both sides. Of course no person should be struck with a car when engaged in a legal strike…BUT…if you block the entrance to a parking garage on a very busy street, you have to expect that eventually a car is going to hit something and in choosing to put people in that position, the union leadership assumes a risk. And let’s be honest, there are a lot of interests secretly hoping this strike will drag on. Miller’s enemies get to skewer him, anti-unionists get to fly their flag, unionists will try to put the focus back on the evil “Man” and the media get to throw gloom and doom on everything.
This strike will end, eventually. The government is unlikely to introduce legislation to put city workers back on the job as they haven’t done it yet in Windsor and that strike has been going on since April. Thus, It’ll be a long, stinky summer…at least until we figure out how to live with the strike. Maybe it’s a good thing the LCBO’s gonna close, we could use a few more clear heads.