Thursday, December 11, 2008

Manifestation! Workers of the World: Manifest!

The bus drivers of the Ottawa City Transportation conglomerate, or as they like to call themselves OCTranspo, have been having a manifestation since Wednesday.

Hye-Sung told me that it was a planned manifestation - she saw it on the news.  What she really meant was that the bus drivers were going on strike.  Manifestation is one of the French terms for going on strike.

The bus drivers have been manifesting since Wednesday.  The day the entire city was blanketed in snow.  Traffic is awful: snow piles are everywhere: loads of people just bite the bullet and walk to work.  Half the staff at the museum has either come in late or left early in a futile attempt to avoid the madness on the roads.  Supervisor John gave Hye-Sung and I a serious little talk about making sure that we were very careful walking to and from the museum, which was really nice of him.

The definition of the English manifestation (courtesy of the Oxford English Dictionary, which my computer miraculously contains and updates as needed) is as follows: an event, action, or object that clearly shows or embodies something, esp. theory or an abstract idea.

I believe the abstract idea that OCTranspo is manifesting is that they feel it is okay for people like me to slog forty minutes through twelve inches of squeeky snow in freezing temperatures to and from work.

Why are they striking any way?  What benefits can they gain?  I mean, really.  This is Canada, which is fairly socialist in several aspects.  Not really face-punching material, but definitely a trial and/or tribulation.


Mum said...

Oh no, a manifestation!(That's a new use of the word for me too.) How long will it last? I sure hope they settle soon. I don't like to think of you hiking to and from the museum in the cold and snow.

Ynn said...

I love the term-it sounds so much more righteous than "strike". Strike sounds aggressive; this sounds logical, reasonable and well though out. However, for your sake I hope they manifestation
ends soon. Why do it now? Because it is so totally inconvenient-same reason teachers usually start school and then strike. Do it when it can make the greatest number of people angry.

Mary Ann said...

That is very unfortunate with all the winter weather.
I do like the term, "manifestation". I agree with Lynn. It is a much more dignified word than "strike."
Anyway, be careful trudging through the snow and I hope you have someone with you.

DPLK said...

Woah, we in Pittsburgh nearly got put in the same position--the port authority had been threatening to strike for awhile, and for pretty good cause since the bus drivers had been working without a contract for quite some time... the medschool and other organizations started polling students about if they used buses as primary transportation, so that in a case of a strike, the med school was trying to arrange shuttles for the interim.

Luckily, they reached a tentative agreement and direct conflict and strife was avoided...

Hope that everything gets settled soon...keep warm!