Toronto Transit Commission employees run a tight ship. They insist on exact change, they prefer you move to the back and make room for your fellow commuter, and now they want a say in what they wear on the job.
Or, rather, what not to wear: Habs colours.
Disturbed by the look of a suggested new uniform line — red, white and blue striped golf tees and red and blue ball caps — TTC operators are against the new duds, claiming they’re too close to the gear worn by the Montreal Canadiens and their fans.
“Everyone at my division that has seen them hates them,” one TTC operator, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the National Post. “As someone who was born in Toronto I take exception to the colours; too much like the Habs … They pay (us) to wear a uniform so I’ll wear it, but not Montreal Canadiens-coloured golf shirts.”
The anonymous voice has the support of TTC union head Bob Kinnear, who told the Post that the design is “absolutely awful.”
“Born-and-bred Torontonians, we’ve got to support our team,” Kinnear told the newspaper. “If you’re in Manchester, you don’t wear the colours of Liverpool.”
TTC staff were apparently not consulted on the new design, and the final uniform decision rests with TTC brass, not the employees. The new uniforms are set to be rolled out early next year, regardless of colour scheme.
“No final decisions have been made about the uniforms,” TTC spokesman Brad Ross told the Post via email. “I appreciate the city loves the Leafs, but red has always been part of the TTC, so I suspect that red will remain a dominant colour in whatever the final design looks like.
“And for the record: the TTC will always support the Leafs!”
Check out sketches of the proposed uniforms:
Sportsnet has obtained a memo from TTC CEO Andy Byford to his staff regarding the leaked uniform sketches and photos. It reads as follows:
August 20, 2013
To all customer-facing staff:
You may have read or heard about, proposals for the new TTC uniform and you may have also seen images of what this uniform is supposed to look like.
Let me set the record straight so that you know the facts rather than the speculation.
As you know, we want to issue a new uniform starting in 2014 to progressively replace the rather dated maroon coats and other elements of our uniform that was last redesigned in the 1990′s.
A working party has been set up with union and staff input to come up with a design that is comfortable, durable and practical and that conveys a professional image, all part of our drive to modernise our company and to promote pride in the TTC.
What you may have seen and what is depicted in the media is nothing more than a proposal. A final design has not been agreed upon, and these images are not reflective of what will ultimately be issued.
The incorporation of some red is meant to reflect the TTC’s traditional colour and that of the Canadian flag. For what it’s worth, though, I have favoured a predominantly blue uniform from the start as I see this as professional, modern and smart. That’s why the new Group Station Manager suits are blue.
Please be assured that there will be more consultation before any final decision is made. While it is impossible to please everybody, I want you to be happy and proud to wear our uniform and this means listening to your feedback.
Chief Executive Officer