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article imageToronto worker's strike is over, services slowly coming back

By KJ Mullins     Aug 2, 2009 in Environment
The Toronto strike has ended after over more than a month. During the time that workers worked the picket line, 25,000 tonnes of garbage has been taken by city residents to make-shift dumps around the city.
That trash is the first order of business as the workers gear up to clean the city that their strike trashed. That clean-up could take a while if the land that garbage has been resting on doesn't meet environmental standards. Those make shift dumps were in areas that Toronto's children play at other times. The pooling water has to be vacuumed up to keep tainted surface water out of the water supply. The soil has to be tested to insure that it's safe to walk on.
The goal is for all of the garbage to removed by Sunday evening. The returning workers started tackling the massive piles of garbage on Saturday.
CTV reports:
"From there we move on to remediation which would include sweeping all the asphalt and hard surfaces, power washing with disinfectant," said Vince Sferrazza, director of policy and planning at Toronto's solid waste management department.
As for the services that residents of Toronto lost yet still paid for with their tax dollar will return in the coming days.
Day cares will reopen after a long weekend on Tuesday. The summer day camps will begin on August 10.
By Wednesday people will be able to swim in the city's pools.
As for trash pick-up, area residents can look forward to residential pickups beginning on Tuesday.
I guess one bloated dead rat next to a children s school play ground doesn t constitute a plague but...
I guess one bloated dead rat next to a children's school play ground doesn't constitute a plague but watching two kids playing thigh deep in the muddy waters formed by a flash flood instead of the closed swimming pool in that same school yard just makes me mad at the city's politicians and striking workers.
flickr Metrix X
The strike has put a dent in public approval of Mayor David Miller. A recent Strategic Counsel poll found 58 per cent of voters may not pick Miller in the next elections. The poll was conducted by CTV and the Globe and Mail between Wednesday and Friday with 750 people polled.
The poll also found that residents are not in favor of city workers banking those hard fought for sick days. Those workers were able to rack up sick leave and vacation credits as they walked the picket lines that left Toronto in a mess.
The Star reports:
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Ward 34, Don Valley East) called the deal "a slap in the face to Torontonians." But deputy mayor Joe Pantalone called it unfair to isolate a single element of a complex agreement.
The sick leave and vacation credit provision was negotiated by Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 79, representing inside workers, and CUPE Local 416, representing outside workers.
The final settlement in ending the strike let workers that are already covered by the current sick leave plan keep that benefit that allows for banking unused time. New hires will have a short-term disability plan that does not allow for banking unused credits.
toronto is going into its second week of a city worker labour strike  which means no garbage pickup....
toronto is going into its second week of a city worker labour strike, which means no garbage pickup. unfortunately for the residents of christie pits, this also means that lots of people are dumping their refuse in the ice rink in the park.
flickr laurie mcgregor
I asked people via Facebook about their feelings on the sick day situation:
Henry Postulart said of the situation:
"I think if you're not performing the work for which you are being paid (and receiving benefits) you should neither be paid nor receive benefits. Are they being paid for the time they were striking?"
Nikki Onstead Williams said, ""Strike means YOU SACRIFICE any benefits at all! You walk off the job, tough titty. So to compensate strikers for their strike time, to me, is unwise."
Malcolm Prier commented :
"Speaking as somebody who hasn't lost his garbage pick-up because he's smart enough to avoid the megacity like it has the plague, I'd have to say it's pretty much down the the leperous retard instincts of the people who decided to over-pay city workers to begin with. As much fun as it is to blame David Miller, it
comes down to city employees being paid for wor they didn't do, if thy pulled this in say, Iraq, they'd be laughed at and scabs would've been brought in ages ago.
It can be summed up in one word...CAVED"
Another woman stated:
"I think the whole situation is ludicrous! The people collecting my garbage are getting a deal than most tax payers in this city are not entitled too. If private companies want to offer and pay for such benefits, that's fine. I have no problem with that, but, when I'm struggling to pay for these benefits through my ever increasing, already high taxes and myself am not entitled to such, it's just not right."
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