Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How A Labour Dispute Can Kill Off The World’s Human Population

Canada’s largest city has been without some essential services for the past month, thanks to a strike by the city’s 24,000 inside and outside unionized workers.

Paramedics, daycare centers, public parks, municipal offices, and garbage collection have all been affected by the strike.

The most visible concern affecting Toronto residents are the massive piles of trash, overflowing in community center parking lots, public basketball courts, baseball diamonds, and even children’s playgrounds.

The so-called “garbage strike” hasn’t crippled the prosperous city, ofte

Toronto Garbage StrikeImage by artriguing via Flickr

n referred to as the economic engine of the country – but it could in far reaching ways.
As the mounds of garbage fill the city’s makeshift temporary landfill sites fill – which residents have to cart their own trash too – countries around the world issue travel advisories, warning people not to come to Toronto.

Rats, raccoons, cockroaches, seagulls, and other wildlife are having the time of their lives, feasting on the simmering stinking mess. They could bring and spread diseases to people, at a time when the World Health Organization (WHO) is already concerned about the H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic sweeping across the globe.

WHO’s six-stage scale is at level six – the pandemic stage – as H1N1 Swine Flu has proven deadly to thousands worldwide.

With the ongoing strike – now over a month old – new concerns are popping up, as the city’s health department won’t be properly prepared to handle any sudden outbreaks of the deadly H1N1 Swine Flu.

WHO says the deadly bug’s infection rates have recently begun to decline, but as new strains of the virus have been found in the population, they are anti

Plague Of Rats Strikes Toronto Blamed On City ...Image by Metrix X via Flickr

cipating a relapse of the outbreak – one which may not be as easy to fend off, thanks to mutations making it more resilient against anti-viral medications like Tamil Flu.

If that more resistant strain hits Canada’s largest city and the local healthcare system isn’t ready, chaos will be the result. Millions of people commute back and forth from the neighboring communities outside Toronto, all of whom could fall sick, and possibly die, due to an uncontrolled outbreak. As Toronto is the hub for much of Canada’s travel, with over 50% of those coming to Canada by air, landing at the city’s Pearson International Airport, any outbreak could easily affect citizens from other countries.

If the city’s health department – which is on strike – fails to act immediately upon discovering an outbreak of the H1N1 Swine Flu, infected individuals could board planes heading for other countries, and create a global catastrophe.

All because the unions representing the city’s inside and outside workers can’t come to reasonable terms with the City of Toronto on issues of job security and sick leave.

Toronto Garbage StrikeImage by artriguing via Flickr

Ironic how the union is holding the city hostage over sick leave benefits, when the H1N1 Swine Flu could make much of the city, the country, the continent, and even the world, extremely sick, just because some staffers aren’t working because of the strike.

Scientists have been predicting the next great pandemic, far worse than the bubonic plague which wiped out most of Europe’s population, for the past decade. These scientists, using models charted over time, show how pandemics occur every century, and show how we are overdue for our century’s outbreak.

Due to economic, geographic, social, and other demographic conditions, these scientists predicted that the next great plague would come from a third-world country, where clean water and food sources are scarce.

Toronto, one of the world’s most prosperous cities, was never thought of as being a potential source for the next great pandemic. But because of the labour dispute between the city and its staff, it could be just that.

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