Posted on | February 8, 2011 | No Comments
While some may find the suburbs boring, I have to admit that the 450 landscape is rather colourful these days. Thus I had the chance to sit in a bus last week-end, which was driven by Santa Claus himself! SuperBowl Sunday special? Not at all… today’s driver wore a splendid pink bib. I know some people consider this a fetish, but this was grotesque rather than sexy, believe me. It’s official: unions are stepping up the pressure again.
I’m not privy to all the details in this conflict, but I’ve discover after a quick search that one of the union’s demands is to install portable WC along the drivers’ runs. I’m no expert, but I can hardly imagine a driver abandoning his 30 minutes run, leaving a busload of passengers stranded on the street, in order to relieve himself urgently. Considering the number of convenience stores, gas stations and other public areas, it would be a lot more sensible to allow drivers finishing their runs to visit these places. That still leaves the risk of leaving a bus on its own for a few minutes (WC or not). Some office workers make do with one pause every two hours. Our colourful drivers could probably hold back another half-hour.
Since I know one of these drivers, I can assure you that their working conditions are quite comfortable. And while often in privately held companies unions play a major role in defending important stakeholders (employees), in the case of public services the stakeholders are passengers and taxpayers, and these are spurned by the union. I witnessed today my bib-wearing driver performing unsightly gestures and yelling abuse towards some car drivers on the road. This is rather disquieting and highlights the ignorance of a simple fact: the RTL service must be courteous to all South Shore residents, whether they are passengers or not at this time.
But these means of pressure have opened my eyes to a fact: some unions do not realize when the cup is full, and that they are not the only stakeholders entitled to a slice of the pie.
Les moyens de pression m’ont effectivement conscientisé – au fait que certains syndicats ne réalisent pas quand la coupe est pleine, et qu’ils ne sont pas les seuls ayant-droits à réclamer leur part du gâteau. Unfortunately, this has a negative impact on the credibility of unions who fight in businesses were working conditions are indeed unacceptable.