G’morning to all you dirty commies. I only got two hours of sleep last night — between my day job, jail support at central booking for one of the librarians and other friends, and then hanging around Union Square for possible park defense (reoccupation, what then!) — so this’ll be a little punchier than usual.
Toronto is near and dear to the hearts of the People’s Library, as a couple of our librarians are currently in residence there.
For those who haven’t yet noticed, Local 4948, Toronto Library Workers Union, went out on strike late this past Sunday, and the libraries in Toronto have been closed since. 2,300 (about 3/4 are women) workers are out, and, to quote Utah Philips, “the issues [are] wages, hours, and conditions, of course.” In particular, the librarians are concerned about job security, especially for part-time employees who already have trouble making ends meet. They’ve been picketing at City Hall and some of the library branches. Patrons are asked not to return materials until things are settled, and overdue fines will not be charged for the duration.
Further, on Tuesday Toronto’s CUPE Local 79, representing 23,000 inside workers – clerks, child care workers, nurses, janitors, and the like — voted in excess of 85% for a strike mandate. Their contract had expired at the end of 2011. If they and the city don’t get things straightened out by this weekend, we could see them out as well.
I love a good strike. And, remember — friends don’t let friends cross picket lines!
Progressive Librarians Guild has the link round-up.