The Talking Dog

December 20, 2005, It's on

"It" is a strike by over 30,000 transit workers at the nation's (by far) largest public transit system, forcing millions of people (such as m'self) to find alternative means of getting to work (such as walking, or in my case, "limp-jogging.")

Your talking dog won't pretend he has any sympathy for the strikers in this case. Had they elected to strike last Friday, when the deal they were offered still sucked... then I might sympathize. But they hung tough, and get offered a better deal than any other major municipal union here got... and then called it an insult and struck anyway!

Such strikes of public workers are illegal in New York State; given the total disruption this causes to the nation's largest city, where less than half the population has cars, and on days like this, there'd be nowhere to park anyway given all the Christmas shoppers there'd be nowhere to park... public transit is a lifeline for most of the City . The union faces a million dollar a day fine, and each worker will be fined two days pay for each day of the strike, meaning that any wage increase will quickly become... self-funding.

What are you going to do? The American labor movement already has enough problems, without major unions deciding to destroy it from the inside.


Oh, see, I don't agree - Bloomberg was still trolling for the DC 37 endorsement when he negotiated their contract, and they weren't asked for any of the draconian givebacks in pension that the TWU was. It would be hard to make the case that this isn't about politics rather than finance.

What's more, the city wasn't bargaining in good faith (and if the Times, the paper of the yoga mat set, says so you'd have to give it a bit more creedence than you'd necessarily give, say, a hippie like me)

You're not the first person I've heard make the point about the Friday deadline, and it confuses me a bit - in a situation where the city is blatantly playing the hardest form of hardball, why would the TWU trigger Taylor Law fines for a weekend when no-one is commuting? Tactically, it just wouldn't make sense.

Posted by julia at December 21, 2005 12:10 AM

damn. credence, of course.

Posted by julia at December 21, 2005 12:11 AM

The hippie in you was thinking Creedence Clearwater Revival, Julia.

Traffic in the city turns my head around.
No, no, no, no, no.
Backed up on the freeway, backed up in the church,
Ev'rywhere you look there's a frown, frown.

Com, commotion,
Git, git, git, gone.
Com, commotion,
Git, git, git, gone.

Posted by Lawrence at December 21, 2005 4:30 AM

The Union is proving Bloomberg is not only a financial idiot, he shows he is just another capitalist exploitative Republipig.

For the $400 million Bloomberg claims the Union is causing in NYC losses, he can't spend 1 million more a day, to see that Union workers get more decent compensation. He only proves that the Union workers aren't getting their real market value!

Go Unions!

Posted by Edo at December 21, 2005 10:48 PM

While the Mayor may be making the most noise, he only appoints 4 of the 17 members of the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the entity negotiating with Transit Workers Union Local 100. The Governor appoints 9 of the 17 members; the other 4 are appointed by suburban county executives.

The Governor has been surprisingly reticent.

I tend to agree with the assessment of some that if either the Mayor or the Governnor were standing for reelection... they might be handling this all... quite differently.

Posted by the talking dog at December 21, 2005 11:21 PM

Their real market value. . . Heh. Now that's funny.

Posted by Lawrence at December 22, 2005 11:17 AM