Toronto library workers strike; ebook service remains operational
March 19, 2012 | 8:42 am
By Joanna Cabot
On the local news this morning, the news that the union of city library employees are striking. At issue: job security provisions, According to this article the issue is job security provisions”
“Under a recently signed agreement with city outside workers belonging to Local 416, only those employed by the city 15 years will get security giving them continued employment if their jobs are made redundant by outsourcing. An agreement like that for library workers would leave about 70 per cent vulnerable, said O’Reilly, because so many are part-timers.”
Another article reporting on the subject off-handedly concluded with a remark that the library’s e-services will operate as usual. I have really mixed feelings about that. The patron in me is glad I can pick up my e-holds and reserve books as usual; I pretty much only use the library for its e-services these days. On the other hand, I suppose that’s a form of virtual picket crossing and that’s probably wrong. And I suppose it’s people like me who made the library workers vulnerable to job loss in the first place by ceasing to make use of their core service.
I do sympathize with the striking workers—nobody wants to be out of a job. But at the same time, I know that heavily socialist Canada has huge problems with the whole union system. So much of the workforce is unionized that it’s absolutely choking our city budget, and I know a battle on this has been brewing for some time in more than one sector. If we truly need fewer librarians, whatever the reason, I am not sure I’m in favour of a union contract that forces taxpayer me to pay for them anyway.