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Both the Ottawa transit and York University strikes are now over. It was good to see cooler heads prevail in the Ottawa transit strike, accepting arbitration in the end. Granted, it took the threat of back-to-work legislation, but it could have been worse.
The York strike seemed less sane by the end. The University administration seemed set on waiting for back-to-work legislation, which is at least partially a win for them. Given the recent pattern, is it now in the best interests of the management of many companies to wait for government to step in? The criteria for those companies seems to have expanded beyond just critical services like police and nurses.
The union didn’t seem any better though, having refused an offer of binding arbitration previously. I can’t understand how any side in a labour dispute, who thought their demands were reasonable, would refuse arbitration when all other options have failed. If your demands are reasonable, the arbitrator would accept them, no?
The only other data point I have on that was listening to an interview on CBC with an older union member. His opinion was that the union had a vocal, young, minority driving the strike on a political agenda rather than common sense.