In early September, Greyhound Canada threatened to cut route services in less popular routes in Manitoba and north-western Ontario unless the federal government subsidized them with an additional $15 million.
Bus service in these areas is important to those who do not have access to private transportation. It is especially important for those who need to access larger towns for services like medical care, which might not be available locally.
Greyhound Canada already receives subsidies from the government on the condition that it services the less profitable routes. But now, the company is claiming that it is not making enough profits from running these routes. Greyhound claims that it has been hit by the crisis and needs a “bail-out.”
This is typical of corporate bosses as we have seen in the auto industry. They are going through a crisis, which really just means they are making less profit than they are used to. But because the whole system depends on profit and they can’t increase profits by expanding operations, they are trying to find ways to secure profits by dipping directly into the pockets of taxpayers (i.e. the working class).
The public can clearly see that this is a ploy of intimidation by the corporation to shake more money out of the workers through the government. Although the company threatened to cut routes in October, it opened a $6.3 million bus terminal in August in Winnipeg. This shows how deceptive this intimidation attempt is.
Canadian workers must answer this corporate greed with a resounding “No!” The bosses are using intimidation by withholding service. The workers must fight back against attempts of the bosses to make workers pay for their crisis. They must say no to subsidizing the profits of the bosses!
By using these tactics Greyhound has essentially admitted that the capitalist market and private profit does not work to meet the needs of the population. We should take them at their word and lighten their burden. The way to fight back against Greyhound and provide service to working class communities is to nationalize the bus service in Canada. Instead of contracting out a vital service to a company that will gouge us for profit, we can run a nationalized affordable bus service as part of a wider socialist system of affordable transportation. When the bosses cut service, nationalization under workers’ control is a tool for the working class to show the bosses that their tactics will not work and workers will not bend before their demands.