Public Values

Toronto to privatize waste collection, cut jobs and wages

Only the first step in more privatization to come, says councillor.

Warner: Just saving from reducing wages is not socially efficient.Mayor Rob Ford plans to privatize waste collection, cut at least three hundred public jobs, reduce wages, and hire strike-breakers in case anyone resists. And Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong said this was just "a first base" for more privatization to come, "opening the door to the dismantling of public and social services," writes Carl Bronski for a publication of the International Committee of the Fourth International.

"The actions of Ford, a multi-millionaire who postures as a defender of the beleaguered tax-payer, are being closely watched and egged on by Toronto's corporate elite, with a view to inflicting a major defeat on the working class that will reverberate across the country," notes Bronski, citing a recent op-ed in the National Post by John Mraz that "urged big business to prepare for a major class confrontation in Toronto in the months ahead."

Mildred Warner, a professor of city and regional planning at Cornell University who specializes in the delivery of local government services, says that since private waste collectors can't offer advantages of scale or new technology, just saving from reducing wages and benefits is not socially efficient. She warns that if wages are too low, costs return through social service programs.

Links and sources
  Toronto announces privatization of municipal workforce
  To save money, keep some trash collection public

Posted: February 24, 2011

  Public services

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