Friday, November 21, 2003

Have you ever tried to get from one end of the Montreal Island to the other on foot? It could take hours, even days if you are among the minority of islanders without a vehicle. For these people, the citys mass transit system is the only viable option. Sadly, Montreal is currently in the grips of a massive transit strike.

Sure, there are more troubling things going on around the world. Drive-by donkey-cart rocket attacks in Iraq; Turkey still sorting through the rubble from Thursday's terrorist bombings; Michael Jackson, once America's Idol, now accused of abusing even more young boys. Still, for the citizens of Montreal, this transit strike is hitting them where it hurts.

It began Sunday, November 16th, and since then, buses and metro (subway) service has only been running during rush hour. Service won't even exist over the weekend! This is going to put a lot of pressure on the city to make a deal but these gun-to-your-head tactics aren't going to appeal to the thousands of Montrealers left stranded without a bus or metro & in risk of losing their jobs.

I hope that everything gets sorted out as soon as possible because my sister is one of the hassled-many, and it must be difficult for her to walk all the way downtown from St-Henri Metro! Good luck, sis, and let's hope the STM union is satisfied by the raise the city of Montreal offers them. (The employees on strike already receive an average annual salary of $47,000! This is no small chunk of change. They're requesting an increase of 8.7 percent over the next four years! Whatever. Let's get these buses back on the road!)

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