Since it looks like Toronto may well be paralyzed by a municipal workers strike as of midnight tonight, why not start a thread on it. I have to say that I have somewhat mixed views on this. I would say that in the vast, vast, vast majority of labour disputes - I side with labour. When the municipal workers went on strike in 2002, I was 100% on their side since it was obvious that Lastman and co. were trying to break the union with contracting out etc... But this time I'm a bit more conflicted. We and pro-union mayor and council and we are also in the midtst of a huge downturn and the city is facing a massive deficit etc... and it looks like we could have a paralyzing strike over whther or not city workers should be able to bank all of the "sick days" that they don't use because they are not sick and then cash out when they retire for all the accumulated cahs value of those days.
I'm sorry but i just don't get it. To me "sick days" are there for people who are SICK. Its something that is there for compassionate grounds. If you don't get sick then your reward is not being sick. This idea that the 18 days of sick days per year is some sort of entitlement that a person has even if they are perfectly healthy just doesn't make sense to me.
When you consider all the really serious issues that face working people and when you consider how many people working in sweatshops like Wall-Mart would benefit from being in a union - this just seems silly and likely to be a public relations fiasco for the labour movement. If I felt for one minute that the city employees were about to strike over something that seemed at all justifiable - I'd be 100% in their corner - but being able to get six months pay when you retire as a reward for not using your so-called sick days doesn't cut it.