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Privatization of garbage pick-up in Toronto

deveator

TRIBE Member
What are peoples thoughts on this? I think it would be good for the city. Seems to have worked well for Etobicoke the last couple of years.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
I dunno, i just think its gonna result in a bunch of labour action.

I saw the headline on the sun and I was like "oh shit, here comes another strike"

Look the IDEA might make sense, coming after decades of messaging about how the "private sector does it better", the convenient omission of the countless examples that prove THEY DON'T, i can see how people glom onto it.

But as a citizen of the city, my thoughts weren't about how garbage would get better - it was about how a mayor antagonistic to unions was going to set us off on a few more years of fun labour action by doing shit like this.

Remember the Harris years? A Work to Rule or a strike every year?

Thats what we're in for.
 

agentRC4

TRIBE Member
I like it. Everyone I know in Etobicoke loves it.

The unions can't strike as they are going to go public once the union contracts are up. First one is December 31, 2011. The city gave the union the 90 day notice.

The big question is will the city let the union tender an offer?

I like the fact that the city is quoting a $20 million dollar savings and independent think tanks are doubling that estimate to $40 million.
 
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I_bRAD

TRIBE Member
A couple of vague ideals does not 20 million savings make. Is that the best argument on the "for" side then?

Is that 20 million a year? Is that 20 million over the next 20 million years?

How much lower would the salaries be?

How are we going to guarantee good service at lower salaries?

Why shouldn't the current employees make what they do now?

I hear people all the time complaining about salaries of public labour, but if it's such a sweet deal why aren't they doing it?

Who will provide the specialized equipment? Will the city still be responsible for machinery and maintenance or are they outsourcing the whole thing?

If that's the case, who says a private company can't hold the city "hostage" any more than the union can?
 

sianspherica

TRIBE Member
I'm not seeing any real evidence on here how exactly it's going to benefit the city.

Can someone provide any real examples or links on how privitization of garbage pickup has benefitted other cities? Real examples/evidence, not anecdotal.
 
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LeoGirl

TRIBE Member
great idea.

fuck the union. I don't understand the purpose of them anymore. 40 years ago maybe, but now? they seem to cause more agony than good - of course, unions only make the news when they're stirring up shit, so I'm not being completely objective.

If Jabba the Hut actually pulls it off, I might gain a little respect for him.
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
The incentive to privatize is simple - business will want to win the contract, and to maintain the contract in good standing lest they lose the contract the next time around. There are plenty of garbage collection companies operating in the area who would be only too happy to compete for the contract and take over. Negotiations with them would not, thankfully, have anything to do with how many sick days they can bank for life, for example.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
I'm not seeing any real evidence on here how exactly it's going to benefit the city.

Can someone provide any real examples or links on how privitization of garbage pickup has benefitted other cities? Real examples/evidence, not anecdotal.
great idea.

fuck the union.
This is the "benefit" everyone is thinking of. Makes people feel good to stick it to someone.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
The incentive to privatize is simple - business will want to win the contract, and to maintain the contract in good standing lest they lose the contract the next time around. There are plenty of garbage collection companies operating in the area who would be only too happy to compete for the contract and take over. Negotiations with them would not, thankfully, have anything to do with how many sick days they can bank for life, for example.
Ah yes, the miracle of the free market harnessed once again for the common good! Let the savings rain (or trickle?) down upon us!

Hallelujah!

jesus was a banker
 

acheron

TRIBE Member
given a choice between being hamstrung with a union who pretty much get whatever they want, and a tendered contract to private business I would definitely take the tender. This isn't New Jersey.
 
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praktik

TRIBE Member
ok I just think - especially given recent history - that we should all be taking the free market pablum with a grain of salt.

Rational actors a little more irrational than we previously thought.

Sometimes the profit motive doesn't just motivate someone to "keep a contract", sometimes it motivates people to cut corners...
 

workdowntown

TRIBE Member
Privatisation in general = less public accountability, market manipulation and higher costs in the long-run IMHO.

Advocates of privatization “seldom take into account the real-world market strategies of public contracting in which establishing monopolies, influencing public officials, and obtaining hidden subsidies are commonly used to enrich private investors at public expense. When contracting is examined against these real world constraints, the evidence indicates that the market for contracted services operates less like textbook competition and more like textbook monopoly or oligopoly, in which prices are driven as much by relative bargaining power and political considerations as by underlying production cost. Contrary to the claim that privatization will lessen the political factor in operating urban transportation systems, developing experience suggests the opposite is true.” (Sclar, Schaeffer and Brandwein p. 2) The empirical record indicates several counterintuitive outcomes from privatization. For example, the cost to the tax payer goes up (Sclar, Schaeffer and Brandwein p. 3), not down. More political influence occurs, not less. (Sclar, Schaeffer and Brandwein p. 2) “
 

I_bRAD

TRIBE Member
A: They would lose the contract
So what, they just got a better one in winnipeg. How long do you think it would take to set up a garbage pickup system, from scratch, for a city of several million? I bet it would take longer than the last strike lasted several fold.
 

Vincent Vega

TRIBE Member
Why don't we just get slaves to do the garbage pickup then?
Alternatively..... how about we monopolize taxi service through the city government then, like garbage collecting and transit? We can unionize all the drivers, they can freely strike just as garbage collectors and bus drivers do. How about that?
 
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Vincent Vega

TRIBE Member
ok I just think - especially given recent history - that we should all be taking the free market pablum with a grain of salt.
The bigger question here (at least for me) is not whether the private sector can/will do it better, but whether this particular service is one that needs to be provided under monopoly by the municipal government. And if it is, then why?
 

I_bRAD

TRIBE Member
Hmm... lets see. What do we need to run a city? Water treatment? Food sources? garbage removal? oh yeah, and taxis.

Better a government monopoly than a private oligopoly running the show. You think bob with his pickup truck is going to get the contract (he'll work for $8 an hour!) or do you think it's going to go to some large corporation sucking money OUT of the city rather than putting money back into the local economy.
 

praktik

TRIBE Member
Alternatively..... how about we monopolize taxi service through the city government then, like garbage collecting and transit? We can unionize all the drivers, they can freely strike just as garbage collectors and bus drivers do. How about that?
Actually that would be awesome.

Taxi drivers are little more than slaves heaving bricks so the Pharoahs (plate holders) can get that pyramid (cottage in the muskoka) to go along with their harem (trophy wives).

I would totally support a public taxi service with all current drivers allowed immediate access to the union and to move to the city shop. Heck - I'm sure with better wages and benefits (you wouldn't believe the list of medical issues faced by a typical taxi driver: sleeplessnes, RSI's, back issues) the city could still extract a nice profit to put to use for taxpayers.

Just might not be as much as the current set of leeches preying on the weak, who then toss them out when they're used up and they can't drive anymore like the cumrags they use to mop up the back seat.
 
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workdowntown

TRIBE Member
There's also the argument that you get what you pay for.

So if company X and friends can offer to do the garbage collection for so much less, what guarantee do the public have that the service will be acceptable, timely and the kind of service a metropolis like Toronto requires?

I already know the response is "well if they fuck up they don't get another contract" but what happens in the interim while the city waits for said contract to run out? How much will the city pay to end the contract/how long would we wait until another competitor has a shot at 'succeeding/fucking up"?
 

DJ Vuvu Zela

TRIBE Member
I live in etobicoke.

It was nice that we weren't affected by the garbage strike.

There's been a few times where I've been pissed at how my garbage collection was handled. Several times the big bins are lying sideways on my driveway. A few times they've been in the middle of the street (which is pretty fucking ridiculous).

When i lived in Mississauga it didn't seem so half assed (i'm not sure if they've privatized....??)

One thing i do have a problem with is yard waste collection. The fuckers who do this are real lazy shits. Don't even try to dump the fucking leaves out of the containers. (not sure if yard waste is privatized)
 
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