Union thug Bob Kinnear lashed out at the media, management and most of all, the customers
Toronto’s public transit system: a world class joke
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The Toronto Transit Commission has been getting a lot of publicity lately; all of it bad. It began when a customer snapped a cell phone picture of a TTC ticket taker, having a nice long snooze in the booth where he was supposed to insure that riders entering the subway paid their fare. The picture was then posted on You Tube and went viral. It wasn’t long before more amateur camera buffs were posting their pictures.
A picture of another ticket taker with his feet up reading a newspaper; one of a bus driver having a cigarette on the bus; a picture taken of a bus driver lined up in a donut shop buying a coffee while his passengers waited. For the benefit of those who do not have access to the Internet, these pictures were duly shown in newspapers and on television by the mainstream media.
The employees’ first reaction was to whine and complain about what a tough job they have as if that somehow justifies breaking the rules. The poor babies and they are babies. It’s always tough dealing with the public, some of whom should really not be allowed out in public unsupervised. In that respect the jobs of the pampered drivers, operators and ticket takers is no different than anyone else who deals with the public on a continuing basis. It’s not brain surgery which is a good thing; people would have their heads cut open and the surgeon would then go out and get a coffee.
TTC management, in an attempt to placate transit riders issued memos to their employees asking them to shape up and follow the rules. Added to that was the comment that the vast majority of transit employees are good workers who don’t break the rules. They may be shocked to learn that the unwashed masses who use public transit already know that. When a problem develops, it is always self serving to try and concentrate on what is not a problem. It was done solely to placate the city’s beloved transit union. We’re not likely to hear Defense Minister Peter MacKay say that the vast majority of military commanders don’t conduct home invasions and murder women. It’s not the issue and either are the hard working TTC employees.
Then the transit union got into the act and union thug Bob Kinnear lashed out at the media, management and most of all, the customers. He warned the customers not to harass employees or spit at them or ridicule them. That was fair enough; spitting at someone is criminal assault and the employees should not have to take harassment But the angry union boss went on and told people not to take any more pictures, told the media not to publish any such pictures and stop calling his employees underworked and overpaid. Well, despite the socialists that run the city, we still live in a democracy where we are free to call transit workers lazy and overpaid if we want to. And, obviously to the chagrin of Kinnear, we still have freedom of the press in Canada and the media has an obligation to publish photos that show his taxpayer and customer funded brothers and sisters goofing off on the job. Kinnear is perfectly happy with the status quo that will never change unless an angry public demands it after being informed by the media. Nice try, Bobby.
Kinnear’s most insulting statement came when he lashed out at transit riders for begrudging operators for taking bathroom breaks in the middle of their run. That was not the complaint. Reasonable people don’t begrudge drivers bathroom breaks. It’s when they are seen lining up and then coming back with a coffee that angers them.
If all that wasn’t enough a young woman, armed with a bunch of text messages, approached the Toronto Star to tell all about her one year affair with TTC Chair and mayoral candidate, Adam Giambrone; an affair that she said started when she was 19-years-old. After trying to dodge the bullet, Giambrone, who is allegedly in a common law relationship with a woman, confessed not only to have affair with the woman but to having others as well. Although he has now dropped out of the mayoralty race, he remains the head of the Toronto Transit Commission. In light of what he has faced in the last few days, he’s taking some personal time off which is more understandable than not being able to drive a bus past Wilson Avenue without stopping for a coffee. And the mayor sees nothing wrong with Giambrone continuing to chair the TTC during these difficult times. Giambrone’s his protégé; according to the woman, Mayor David Miller is Giambrone’s “god”.
It is actually too bad that Giambrone dropped out of the race to be mayor. If we need anything in these municipal elections it’s humour. And the little boy would have been good for a laugh without ever mentioning his sexcapades. His two main opponents in the race was George Smitherman. But times being what they are, you just can’t make fun of a pudgy gay guy like you can make fun of Adam.
More importantly, Giambrone is too immature to chair the TTC and should be removed if he won’t step down. If what the young woman told the Star is true, he’s not fit to be in any position of authority. She told them that they had had sex on Giambrone’s couch in his council office. While normally that would be no big deal, someone who as sex with a teeny bopper in their office is in no position to criticize ticket takers who nap or read newspapers while on the job. More importantly she told the paper that he revealed confidential information to her such as the large fare hike before it was made public. Now more than ever, the TTC needs a man or a woman as chair; not an arrogant little boy.
Public transit in Canada’s largest city has truly become a joke – and a disgraceful one at that.Arthur Weinreb -- Bio and Archives | Click to view Comments