Privatization of garbage collection ‘concerning’: union

Decisions in two large Ontario municipalities result of bitter strikes; political posturing
By Danielle Harder
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 05/30/2011

First Windsor, now Toronto. For the second time, a large Canadian city is privatizing garbage collection on the heels of a drawn-out strike by municipal workers.

Toronto’s city council recently voted in favour of contracting out garbage collection on the west side of Yonge Street by 2013, a move that will eliminate 300 city jobs. In 2009, those workers walked the picket line for 39 days as piles of trash built up around the city.

Mayor Rob Ford and several councillors say privatization would avoid any future disruption and save the city close to $8 million a year (a figure disputed by the union). Councillors add they have the public onside. A survey of 500 Toronto residents by Ipsos-Reid found 61 per cent supported the plan.