Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Strike One! Strike Two!

Thought about taking the train to work today. Can't. Transit strike.

Thought about stopping off at the store for some cat food. Can't. Grocery store strike.

On the news today, I heard that both strike situations are looking worse and there's no end in sight. If we're lucky, they might actually start negotiating with respect to the transit strike sometime tomorrow.

OK, here's the thing. I respect Unions' right to strike. It's the atomic bomb of labor negotiations, and sometimes you just gotta pull out the ultimate sanction. (I also respect employers' right to lock-out employees. Same sorta thing.) And I don't really know enough about the fine details of either of these strikes to know who I should be sympathetic with -- but my educated guess is that we're dealing with one of those "not enough money to go around, so who is going to bear the brunt of it" situations. Welcome to California.

But what does roast my cookies about these strikes is that there are no actual negotiations going on this very second. Busses and trains aren't running, grocery stores aren't selling food (which I now understand is going to be going bad on distribution center shelves) and nobody is sitting the hell down at a table talking about how to bring this situation to an end.

I repeat: I respect the rights of Unions to strike. Truly I do. But surely they've got to understand that the strike itself is good for nobody. I mean, the employees aren't getting paid, the employer isn't doing any business at all (which can't possibly help with the whole "not enough money" thing) and there are -- particularly with these strikes -- massive consequences to third parties. We're talking about food and transportation here. This isn't like you're taking baseball away from us, you're taking away pretty basic stuff. (We can probably get food from markets not subject to the strike, but for the people who depend on public transit to get to their jobs... dang.)

So, no, I don't object to the strikes in any philosophical sense -- what I do object to is a strike where labor and management are not working around the freakin' clock to try to negotiate an end to the strike. I don't care if the "other side" is being unreasonable and not moving from its position, keep trying. You might not owe it to the public to go to work, but you do owe it to the public to stay at the negotiating table.


rinakatay21 said...

Amen, girly! People can't get their perscriptions at the pharmacies in the grocery stores, the bakeries are closed...come on now..people NEED food and more importantly their perscriptions!

andreakingme said...

Spot-on rant, Treadmill girl. Now, you need to mail it out in letter form to some official . . .

I heard about the garbage workers strike, but I wasn't aware of the grocery store workers strike. Where are you going to buy your Twinkies now?