Thursday, 23 July 2009

Lessons from the Windsor Municipal Strike

Three things I have learned from the Municipal strike in Windsor, Ontario.

1. We refer to strikes as "labour disruptions, labour unrest, labour this, labour that... " Without taking one side or the other, is it equally possible to refer to this strike as "management unrest, management strife, etc."? Just asking...

2. People went hungry. No matter whether you agree with the issues they struck for, people on the picket line did not bring in enough strike pay to even cover the mortgage, let alone car payments and food. You have to respect that there are still people in this society who are willing to sacrifice personally for what they believe to be the collective good and that isn't a bad message to be sending to the kids (bad behaviour from one or two idiots aside).

3. If you manage your garbage very carefully be composting, recycling, rinsing and considering the end result in your purchasing decisions, you can really increase your diversion rate from the landfill. I think we're all a lot more aware of how much garbage we produce because we had to haul it away ourselves.

4. A little wildflower growth ain't all bad. It's possible we've overmanicured the public greenspace and this strike has taught us that we don't have to be so damned pristine. I hope that we'll let the grass grow in select areas by cutting back from the road a few feet and letting the rest get a little wild in a controlled fashion. It's a beautiful thing in the right places.

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