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Why did the Ontario NDP agree to back to work legislation for the TTC?

You might ask that, as some in the NDP/left blogosphere have, and I think it boils down to 2 words: realism, and protection.

First the realism part. The NDP has a base of support in the Toronto area. If they refused to support this back-to-work legislation for an intensely unpopular strike before it had even started, the Liberals would remind EVERYONE of that in the next election – not that the voters would need much reminding, and I really think they knew they would have paid an electoral price.

Secondly, there are some people who I’ve talked with who feel doing this action will protect the NDP from alienating Adam Giambrone, current head of the TTC and potential provincial NDP future leader, or at least star NDP provincial candidate, from lasting political damage and tarnishing his star – at least with the NDP.

Faced with both scenarios, the NDP had no choice but to support the legislation.


5 comments to Why did the Ontario NDP agree to back to work legislation for the TTC?

  • mushroom

    If Giambrone is the future star of the Ontario NDP, then his credibility is lost among the union rank and file over the TTC strike. Pleading poverty and using an arbitrator to possibly take away past bargaining concessions shows what type of politician he is.

    Note also that Hampton stalled back to work legislation during the TTC strike in 1999. Did him no favours, despite the fact that Harris was eroding trade union rights. Hampton backed similar legislation during the CUPE garbage strike in 2002 so this is safe area for him. Since there is jockeying for the NDP leadership position post-Hampton, it would look bad if Tabuns, Prue, and DiNovo to raise a commotion over this issue.

  • I understand the reasons for it, but I think we can officially declare the old NDP — i.e. the official arm of the labour movement — pretty much dead, if we haven’t done so already.

  • I think you’re correct that political expediency is the motivating factor here… but if the NDP thinks this type of mentality will help it in the long run, the party brass is crazy. I’m embarassed for the NDP today.

  • Joseph Angolano

    While Giambrone is a dedicated Dipper, it made total sense for the NDP to do support him over the unions in this.

    Some in the NDP think that Giambrone is a future star for them, and he think that he is taking a principled stance in this labour negotiation.

    I’m sure the NDP would love to have Giambrone run for them in the next election. If so, they can’t alienate him by taking the side of the unions. The NDP can be sure of trade union support in the next election, but there is no question that they will harm their chances of getting Giambrone to run for them if they supported this very unpopular strike by the TTC union.

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