Gut Rumbles

December 22, 2005

strike out

Looks like the New York transit strike is over after three days. That's good news for subway riders but bad news for the union, which appears to have shat mightily in its hat this time.

Roger Toussaint, the combative president of Transport Workers Union Local 100, had recommended that his union's executive board accept the deal.

``We thank our riders for their patience and forbearance,'' he said.

Patience and forebearance? I didn't see a lot of that in public reaction to the strike. I saw a lot of bitterness and anger. After all, the people being fucked inconvenienced by the strike were the same people who pay TWU salaries. I don't know about New York City taxpayers, but I wouldn't keep feeding a dog that ate well and then turned around and bit me.

The union leadership didn't mind biting the hand that feeds THEM, but they didn't display much zeal when their own asses were on the line.

The breakthrough was announced just minutes before Toussaint and two of his top deputies were due in a Brooklyn courtroom to answer a criminal contempt charge for continuing the strike. On Wednesday, the judge warned that he might throw them in jail.

Earlier this week, the judge, State Justice Theodore Jones, fined the union $1 million a day during the strike. And under the state no-strike law, the rank-and-file members were automatically docked two days' pay for each day they stayed off the job.

Can you say "cave in?" Good. I knew you could.

I still think the union got off too easy. I believe that every one of the bastards who went out on strike should be fired. Ronald Reagan did it with air traffic controllers and planes didn't stop flying. New York should do the same thing here.

This wasn't a case of a union shutting down operations in a manufacturing plant. It was a case of a union taking an entire American city hostage. I wouldn't put up with that shit.

I don't believe in negotiating with terrorists.


From what I heard on the news...that's exactly what Bloomberg/MTA told the union.....we don't negotiate with thugs.....

They called the unions bluff and refused to sit down with them with workers out on the street.

Good old case of who's got the bigger "set".

Posted by: Maggie on December 22, 2005 09:15 PM

What part of "No Strike Clause" don't you understand? Ronald Reagan and the Air Traffic Controllers, et al did untold damage to unionism. A contract, is a contract. A deal is a deal or NOTHING matters anymore. Words mean what they mean. WTF? I really don't get it anymore. Maybe I'm just getting old. What do you think?

Posted by: Jim on December 22, 2005 09:32 PM

no sympathy for these guys; I work for Dod under the new federal retirement plan (FERS)which is still way more generous and reliable than private plans and we have nothing compared to those guys: they pay none nil zilch NOthing for their health care; 1% (!!!) for their retirement fund!! and they complain they get no respect!! Try working in a 65 year old building soaked in creosote and fuel and god knows what with little to no heat and black stuff dropping on you from the vents!! Not that I'm complaining (ha); still got one heck of a pension compared to the outside world...

Posted by: maxnnr on December 22, 2005 10:21 PM

It's not like we have a choice to stop paying their salaries. Remember, most of us (myself included) don't own cars, and need the subways to get anywhere at all. If you're in the outer boroughs, you're more likely to have a car, but this city wasn't built for everyone to drive in. But trust me, the union has lost public opinion, and won't even get what they were trying to negotiate for. I'll just say that when my 80 year old grandfather is walking 3 miles to catch a 2 hour shuttle ride to get to work, the transit employees can't complain about a 55 year old retirement age.

Posted by: Tzippora on December 22, 2005 10:36 PM

Bloomberg, surprisingly, showed the barest glimpse of Giuliani in this matter.

Posted by: Juliette on December 23, 2005 11:46 PM

Probably because 90% of the population was so pissed, he KNEW what would happen if he didn't.

Posted by: Mark on December 24, 2005 02:51 PM

To be honest, I don't think the union chief had a choice. The rank-and-file of the MTA are living in a dreamland where its $60,000+ average annual salary is a pittance, and a lifetime half-salary pension at 60 is a major imposition. If the union chief had said no to the strike, he would have been ousted. The rank-and-file workers cried uncle only after the full legal and monetary consequences of the strike landed on them. They thought winning a strike would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Now they know different.

Posted by: Zhang Fei on December 26, 2005 05:09 PM
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