October 14, 2010

Sam Katz's Caper: I Smell A Rat - by Margaret Ullrich

Maybe our politicians live way up in the sky, in apartments.  Maybe they just don't have to smell the ...., like the rest of us.

There's talk of a garbage strike in Winnipeg.  

In our city officials' infinite wisdom, the total responsibility for residential garbage pickup in the entire city of Winnipeg was given to BFI.  

On Thursday night the 115 members of Teamsters Local No. 979 voted 94 percent in favor of going on strike.  They've been working without a contract since last November.  Talks with BFI had broken off earlier this month.

When total control was given to BFI, did anyone think to see how things were going with their workers before the garbage collection system - particularly in northwest Winnipeg in February - was changed?

I just love the way the media is making a fuss about what we'll be smelling.  We've had an early spring, and it looks like it'll be a long hot summer.  Garbage and heat equals stink, no doubt about it.

Hey, fellow citizens, I'm originally from New York.  I've been through garbage strikes.  

Big time.  

I'm not worried about the smell.

I'm worried about a 4 letter word.


Yes, rats love garbage.  It's their favorite thing.  And they ain't shy about coming into any neighborhood, including the south side of Winnipeg, and helping themselves to whatever's available.

We're surrounded by acres of fields.  Fields of wheat.  Fields of corn.  Fields of varmints that are going to come to Winnipeg for easy meals.

Rotting piles of garbage do wonders for a city's image.  They'll be something everyone who's been talked into coming to Winnipeg for that 2010 Homecoming is going to remember.  And tell others about.

The job of garbage collection used to be shared by private contractors and city employees, who never went on strike.  In 2005, Winnipeg gave the whole job to BFI.

Three weeks after we got stuck with BFI's rolling garbage carts, the chairman of the public works committee was saying the plan was a mistake.

Yah think?

(Originally posted April 26, 2010)  

Have a great day.  How can you miss - you're in Winnipeg!

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