Comment from an STM maintenance worker
A Metroblogging Montreal reader left this comment on Laiya’s post about the looming STM strike, and I thought that it deserved a wider audience. If any other STM employees happen to be reading, I encourage you to share your thoughts with us here.
Just to let you guys know, that maintenance people at the STM are not ONLY the people who clean the stations and garages. I work as a maintenance employee at the STM and my job involves repairing electronic equipment, which, with the aging of our metro, fails more often. We are asked to patch equipment that is over 40 years old with parts that we do not have. Our job just keeps on getting harder and harder over the years. Meanwhile, the personnel that retires is not being replaced/re-hired, so we end up with more and more work for the same salary.
It’s unfortunate that the strike affects the public, and personally, I am against it, BUT it is the only way that our employer and the general population will listen to us. We have tried talking to our employer, and they have closed their ears, saying that they cannot negotiate with us, even though our collective agreement has been expired since January.
I know that the majority of people are not on our side, but understand that this strike is not illegal, it has been allowed by our government. Essential services will continue, and the maintenance employees, although on strike, will still be working at maintaining the Montreal metro and repairing all of the obsolete equipment, so that you can get to work/school/etc on time.
I am not asking for sympathies, just for a bit of understanding. We do not want to take the population hostage, and believe it or not, but we are also left to ourselves when it comes to transportation, since we (dept I work for) start and finish at a time that essential services are not operational. I will be biking to and from work for the duration of the strike.
Hope we don’t end up going on strike, and that the STM has the decency to at least start negotiating with its employees, but if we do go on strike, rest assured that it’s not a vacation for us, on the contrary it’s more of a hassle than anything else.
Posted by: STM Guy at May 10, 2007 09:49 PM