Tuesday, February 28, 2012

First world risks: Public service strikes

My local built up area has had their main source of public transit go on a strike over a labor dispute back around the first of February. Like all things unionized the discussions have stalled tooth and nail at almost every point of the discussion.

This made me remember a conversation I had with a colleague of mine who holds an MS in Psychology and works for the local children's hospital. He was telling me how CEO's of companies, people who have command in the political realm, put plainly people who control the flow of money and people will if they are mentally unsuited to do work develop character traits akin to someone with psychopathy or sociopathy.

So if theoretically the head of the transit union were to fit the character profile of a psychopath or sociopath would he then be operating in the interest of the public and the transit employees? Or would he to paraphrase Alfred from Batman just want to watch the world burn? I have been warned by another colleague that a key member of the Halifax, Dartmouth and District labour council wishes to see MORE public options strike and shut down operations.

We are facing a dangerous precedent here one that could create conflict.

Think of the most important public service providers in your city and now picture all of them shutting down. People in first world cities are over refined and If the buses stop running and the garbage doesn't get picked up on time people get cranky when enough people get cranky you will eventually see an escalation of tension which if it escalates high enough would create violence. In no way am I saying this is destined to happen and there will be plenty of warning signs but the possibility is there and possibility dictates we anticipate such an event.

The first world has its own dangers. One of them is the fact that the people have become conditioned to rely on government and public works for services they need in their every day life. Roughly a third of the population of my local city rely on public transit just to function day to day.

Not every threat to our safety has the face of the stereotypical "bad guy"


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