Elevators have become the norm and we often take them for granted. In a condo of more than 20 storeys, there are usually 3 to 4 elevators in service and we rely on these everyday to get around. We sometimes experience a delay, of up to 10min when one elevator is put into service. Yet, day to day we are pretty lucky that the wait is not that drastic and we go about our day as usual, maybe slightly irritated that this mornings wait was an unusual 10min.
However, in Ontario, the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) have been on strike against the National Elevator Escalator Association (NEEA) since the end of April. The Digital Journal has reported that the average wage of an elevator mechanic is $112,000 in Ontario. This leaves many to question: “Why the strike?” They do not ask for higher wages but rather a safer work environment and a signed contract.
This week some of those mechanics on strike have been ordered back to work in the Greater Toronto Area. However, those forced back to work are still not servicing job sites such as hospitals, nursing homes or residential buildings, but rather the residential construction industry. The NEEA passed a never-used clause in the Labour Act forcing those back on the job that work in the construction, especially residential construction industry.
This strike has left many Mississauga condos with either one or two working elevators for almost two months now. Many condo residents have been getting frustrated with the prolonged waiting times of sometimes more than 20 minutes which would result in a bad temper as they try to make it to work, drive their children to day care or make any other appointment they are having. It is especially frustrating for those that live on high floors and cannot use the stairs to get 30 floors down.
CTV news has had a special video news report on how this strike affected residents in Mississauga, especially the elderly who have a difficult time climbing up or down the stairs even from a lower floor. This must prove difficult for parents with small children, dog owners, as well as pregnant women. But even young condo residents don’t envision themselves walking up or down 35 flight of stairs every day.
This has also impacted the real estate business a great deal. It has proven to be difficult to show units that are on higher floors, and sometimes any floors for that matter. Sometimes you are waiting for 20 minutes for the elevator to arrive along with 10 other people. If you are showing a unit on the 5th floor you are lucky to get out first or second. If you are going up to the 27th floor it takes you another good 5-10 minutes to reach this floor with the elevator stopping on all those floors to let people on or off. By the time you are ready to show the unit, your client(s) is/are tired, frustrated and quickly losing interest just thinking that it will take him/her another 20min to get out of the building. If you are showing multiple units in multiple condos then the client(s) will definitely be unmotivated to see anything anymore after such a bad experience.
What Does This Mean For Mississauga Condo Buyers:
I strongly suggest, that until the strike is officially over buyers avoid going on showings during busy hours of the day, when residents are leaving for work or coming back in the evenings. Friday and Saturday late in the evenings are also considered busy times as many are trying to leave for a night out. This will reduce the waiting time by at least 10 minutes and you will only take a few moments to reach the desired unit for sale.
For those looking to purchase pre-construction condos in Mississauga, it appears that at this time the strike has little to no effect on the delays of the new condo projects.
What Does This Mean For Mississauga Condo Sellers:
As a result of the strike, your unit might not show during busy hours of the day, and fewer buyers might be viewing your unit. Don’t be surprised if agents with potential buyers are late with their appointments to see your place. Be patient, since the strike will be over before you know it.
Many residents of the GTA are still in disbelief that hospitals, nursery homes, hotels and residential buildings are still not being serviced and put on a lesser priority list as compared to pre-construction condos who have the elevator mechanics back to work for almost a week now. It is hard to say when the other workers will be back to work.
Update July 5th 2013 : After long negotiations, the International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC) and the National Elevator and Escalator Association (NEEA) have settled. All elevator constructors are expected to return to work by July 10th, 2013.
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