The W
Views: 97622630
Main | FAQ | Search: Y! / G | Calendar | Color chart | Log in for more!
23.7.14 2331
The W - Current Events & Politics - Transit workers in NYC strike
This thread has 2 referrals leading to it
Register and log in to post!
Thread rated: 5.95
Pages: 1
(620 newer) Next thread | Previous thread
User
Post (14 total)
Mr Shh
Toulouse








Since: 9.1.02
From: Bergen County, NJ

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 1 day
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.83
Click here for more (1010wins.com)

So, after all the posturing and the words exchanged from both sides, the Transport Workers Union in New York voted to strike at about 3AM this morning, leaving rush hour commuters without subways or buses. This came after the Union promised to strike last Friday, but didn't. It's illegal for mass transit workers to strike in New York, and these workers will get hit with heavy fines.

(yellow) Cabs are allowed to pick up multiple fares, and can only charge flat rates, depending on what "zone" of the city you're travelling to. So a cab for me today, at $20, actually cost slightly less than the usual metered fare to go from uptown to downtown. I roamed the streets for about an hour and a half before finding a cab, and it was *cold*, but it could've been a *lot* worse...it was kinda like a calm chaos in the streets, if that makes any sense. Who knows how long the strike'll last, but it's funny cause with it being a holiday week, it's almost good *and* bad timing, at the same time. But at $20 for a one way trip, cabbing it every day is *not* an option.

In terms of wages, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's final offer was for annual raises of 3, 4 and 3.5% as part of a three year deal, while, from the very beginning, the Union was looking for annual raises of 8% for each of three years. The MTA posted a near $1 billion budget surplus this year, after posting a huge deficit last year.

(edited by Mr Shh on 20.12.05 1202)
Promote this thread!
Von Maestro
Boudin rouge








Since: 6.1.04
From: New York

Since last post: 133 days
Last activity: 6 hours
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.15
I'm "lucky" enough to live walking distance to my office, so thanks to the thoughtful Transport Workers Union I was able to enjoy an hour walk in the cold to my office...

I am honestly amazed that a group of 30,000 workers thinks they will garner any sympathy from the 7 million commuters they are leaving high & dry during the most economically important time of year for New York City?!? Any empathy I felt for them in their efforts to work out a new contract is now completely out the window with this action. Forgetting the legality of what they are doing (New York's Taylor Laws make it illegal for municipal employees to strike), the sheer thoughtlessness of what they are doing is astounding to me.

Whether you look at the impact on holiday sales, congestion due to a busy tourist season (God forbid someone is hurt or worse because of the gridlock this strike is causing), and the various other negative impacts this will have on the City; this act is beyond selfish, it is criminal (even beyond the scope of the fines associated with the enforcement of the Taylor Laws)!!

Whereas I simply hoped a deal would be worked out when this issue first came up, at this point I hope the MTA & the City punish the Union for this action & make it known that any act like this in the future will not yield any positive results for the Transport Workers Union.

Now excuse me as I try to get the feeling back in my toes...
Corajudo
Frankfurter








Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 15 days
Last activity: 1 day
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.02
Given the (il)legality of the strike, what is stopping Governor Pataki from firing all the workers and breaking the union, a la Reagan with the air traffic controllers? I mean, if they could replace air traffic controllers on short notice (and do so effectively), then they should be able to replace the transit workers. I hate to say it, but how hard of a job could it be?




"Teach children that they have great potential because they are human." -Warrior
AWArulz
Knackwurst








Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 16 hours
AIM:  
Y!:
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.19
    Originally posted by Corajudo
    Given the (il)legality of the strike, what is stopping Governor Pataki from firing all the workers and breaking the union, a la Reagan with the air traffic controllers? I mean, if they could replace air traffic controllers on short notice (and do so effectively), then they should be able to replace the transit workers. I hate to say it, but how hard of a job could it be?



Ok, you probably won't find me doing this often, but here I am to defend the Union workers (not the union). I suspect making all the subways and busses go in NYC is fairly difficult and navigating the streets somewhat hard. I also suspect they weren't a factor in the decision to strike. So I am willing to give the workers a pass - but I wouldn't be offended if the Union was eliminated.



We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.
Corajudo
Frankfurter








Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 15 days
Last activity: 1 day
#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.02
AWA--I'm on board with that. My personal wish is that they break the union, then give first preference to the workers who had been working for the company. I'd say offer the workers their old positions at the company's last offer prior to the strike. Therefore, the workers could have their old job back at the new wage. Then, the company could replace the workers who refused to come back. That way, you break the union while giving the workers a break and an opportunity to keep their job.

Of course, the linchpin is whether or not NY labor laws would permit this. However, they already don't permit strikes, so I'm not exactly sure if these laws have any real efficacy anyways.

And, the workers did vote to strike, so they bear some blame. Regardless, I say give them a second chance and boot the union.



"Teach children that they have great potential because they are human." -Warrior
too-old-now
Bockwurst








Since: 7.1.04

Since last post: 1207 days
Last activity: 132 days
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.51
This is a tough situation. Since I am no longer riding the subways every day, I do feel empathy for the workers. The wages and benefits they are asking for are not unreasonable. The pension question of current vs. future workers is one of those issues worth striking for - protect the next generation of workers or the union will quickly become irrelevant. The MTA posted a huge surplus this year. When there are huge losses the union has to forego increases. Now there is a surplus, what better time is there to ask for a living wage?

New Yorkers are a tough bunch and will find ways to deal with this, but man, I wouldn't want to be crossing the Brooklyn Bridge on foot in today's weather.

Von Maestro, the union will be gaining sympathy from at least a portion of the 7 million commuters impacted by their action - a good (and very vocal) number of these folks are in unions themselves. Teachers, cops, firefighters, teamsters, hotel/restaurant employees, and so on will be annoyed, but still sympathetic as they are reminded "we're next" by their own union.

I am not happy about the strike, but I wouldn't be surprised if part of the eventual settlement includes foregoing criminal charges/fines against those who went on strike. Having read the Taylor laws many years ago, it is unclear to me if it even applies, since their contract technically expired.

So, I'll watch my rating plummet as I come down in favor of the union (only slightly), but that's nothing compared to the problems New Yorkers have to deal with.
TheBucsFan
TheChiefsFan








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 9 hours
Last activity: 9 hours
#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
    Originally posted by Von Maestro
    I'm "lucky" enough to live walking distance to my office, so thanks to the thoughtful Transport Workers Union I was able to enjoy an hour walk in the cold to my office...

    I am honestly amazed that a group of 30,000 workers thinks they will garner any sympathy from the 7 million commuters they are leaving high & dry during the most economically important time of year for New York City?!? Any empathy I felt for them in their efforts to work out a new contract is now completely out the window with this action. Forgetting the legality of what they are doing (New York's Taylor Laws make it illegal for municipal employees to strike), the sheer thoughtlessness of what they are doing is astounding to me.

    Whether you look at the impact on holiday sales, congestion due to a busy tourist season (God forbid someone is hurt or worse because of the gridlock this strike is causing), and the various other negative impacts this will have on the City; this act is beyond selfish, it is criminal (even beyond the scope of the fines associated with the enforcement of the Taylor Laws)!!

    Whereas I simply hoped a deal would be worked out when this issue first came up, at this point I hope the MTA & the City punish the Union for this action & make it known that any act like this in the future will not yield any positive results for the Transport Workers Union.

    Now excuse me as I try to get the feeling back in my toes...


So would it be thoughtless if they all quit instead of striking? I mean, your ability to buy Christmas presents or get to work without having to break a sweat aren't at the top of their priority list, otherwise they'd be doing the work for free. They did what they thought they had to do to protect themselves from being bullied into an unfair position.

I would definitely be frustrated if I lived in New York and this strike took away my primary method of transportation. But at the same time, what do you expect the workers to do? If they think they're not getting what they deserve, they're supposed to just deal with it for the sake of Von Maestro's warmth?

The only problem I have with the strike is that it's illegal, and that law is something I have a problem with. On one hand, the threat of a strike is a very powerful bargaining tool and one I think it's unfair to take away from workers. On the other hand, this strike obviously has a tremendous impact on the city. I don't know how to compromise those two ideas. But to complain because the workers are being selfish is, ironically enough, pretty selfish.

EDIT: And in defense of the workers, there is a HUGE difference in their demand and the offer from the city. If they were striking over .5 percent disagreement, that's one thing. But they are being offered an average of 4.5 percent less of a raise per year than what they asked for. That's a lot of money that they obviously feel they deserve and will not be getting. Would you stand for that if you were in their shoes? Would you tolerate it at whatever job you hold? Would you be willing to pay more to use the subway if it meant they got paid more and went back to work?

(edited by TheBucsFan on 20.12.05 1821)
MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 1 day
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.14
The Taylor law forbids forgivness of the fines as any part of the final deal. Now, that being said, I don't think they've actually PAID the fines from the 1980 strike (the union might have, but not the workers).

The Taylor law only passes constitutional muster because it's based on ensuring the health and safety of the populace by making sure essential municipal services (such as police and fire protection) are there. That's a great rational for why cops and firefighters shouldn't be allowed to strike. But transit workers are a different story. People are inconvenienced. Business lose money. There might be an argument for it impacting health and safety. But the folks arguing against the strike aren't arguing that. They're arguing they're inconveniened.

I'm walking an hour and fifteen minutes to work everyday and I support the strike completely. If you don't have a contract, you shouldn't be legally compelled to work - especially not for anything less than a true public-safety reason. Nobody has explained to me yet how it's any different from slavery.

I could write for a while on what I think a fair deal is and the real issues, and who's responsible for the strike and such (why decry the "thoughtlessness" of the Union and not the MTA? They could have made a decent offer and avoided this also), and if I think the strike is worth it or not. But the bottom line is the subway is not your god-given right as a New Yorker. It does not run by magic. People have to work in order to make it run, and those people have a right to try and get the best deal they can for their work, same as anyone else in America.

There's no way to break the union a la Reagan and the Air Traffic Controllers here for a lot of reasons. What could happen though is that the TWU's parent union - which does not support the strike - might try and decertify the local and install other leadership that will make a deal.



Man's most valuable trait is a judicious sense of what not to believe.
-
Euripides


Brian P. Dermody
Liverwurst
Moderator








Since: 20.9.02
From: New York, NY

Since last post: 846 days
Last activity: 268 days
AIM:  
Y!:
#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.82
As usual, I side with labor over management. And I am one of many hardy cityboys who slogged through crapass weather and rush hour traffic to get to work. From the Port Authority. To my office. In Gramercy. With luggage.

But... if I can get to Brooklyn tonight I'm set up to work from home from here out. Swing, daddy.

And if that means walking from Gramercy to the Williamsburg Bridge? I've done harder things.



A fun, sexy time.


Reward TV -- TV just got better!

Von Maestro
Boudin rouge








Since: 6.1.04
From: New York

Since last post: 133 days
Last activity: 6 hours
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.15
    Originally posted by too-old-now
    Von Maestro, the union will be gaining sympathy from at least a portion of the 7 million commuters impacted by their action - a good (and very vocal) number of these folks are in unions themselves. Teachers, cops, firefighters, teamsters, hotel/restaurant employees, and so on will be annoyed, but still sympathetic as they are reminded "we're next" by their own union.


too-old-now, I was actually talking to some other Union workers around the city as I've moved around the past couple days, & with the exception of a teacher I was talking to, they were all against the strike.
From the few cops I've talked to, to the Union employees in my office building, they've all said they understand the Union negotiating for a better contract, but they think the strike is the wrong way to do it as it punishes all New Yorkers. Plus they all said that the TWU is paid better than what they are paid.

    Originally posted by TheBucsFan
    If they think they're not getting what they deserve, they're supposed to just deal with it for the sake of Von Maestro's warmth?


Is that what you decided to take from my post? The fact that I walked in the cold? Congrats on totally missing the point.

My walking 3 miles to work is the LEAST of the problems caused by this illegal strike!

I'm more concerned (in no particular order) with the fact that commercial traffic can't get into the City from 5AM-11AM to make necessary deliveries to drug stores, restaurants, etc... Emergency vehicles have to deal with gridlock throughout the City & may be unable to arrive at a situation in time.
People "buying Christmas presents" may seem like a joke to you, but the fact is that a lot of companies set budgets for their retail workforce for the following year based on the success of the holiday season, as that accounts for a bulk of their annual sales. I guess the TWU has decided that their jobs are more important than the jobs of others.

I was simply commenting on my 3 mile walk to work each way, & was serious when I said that I was relatively lucky to be able to walk to work. A large number of people who work in NYC do not live in NYC. How are those people supposed to get to work & keep their jobs?

The TWU is fighting for the right to retire with full pension by 55, full health-care with no employee contribution, & demand guaranteed raises over the life of the contract. I've been working full-time since I'm 19, & I've always paid into my health-care, invested a portion of my salary in 401(k) or IRAs, & have never had the benefit of a guaranteed raise. I'm sorry if I can't sympathize with their plight. They are selfishly punishing the City & costing all of us in every aspect of City life.
AWArulz
Knackwurst








Since: 28.1.02
From: Louisville, KY

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 16 hours
AIM:  
Y!:
#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.19
    Originally posted by Von Maestro
    The TWU is fighting for the right to retire with full pension by 55, full health-care with no employee contribution, & demand guaranteed raises over the life of the contract. ... They are selfishly punishing the City & costing all of us in every aspect of City life.


I don't know the recent history of the union, so my initial look into this was fairly superficial. I hadn't caught all of this, but I did see that they turned down a 4% raise offer and are fighting for 7% or 8% each year over the contract. That's a lot more than I have gotten recently. ( I had a fairly large % merit raise and promotion 3 years back) I cannot get my full pension (and I am lucky to have one, I know) until I have a combo of 90. (60 and 30, 55 and 35, or for most, 65 and 25. I will have that score at age 61, myself. But then you have to cobra to medicare, so I will probably work to 67 if they let me.



We'll be back right after order has been restored here in the Omni Center.
DrDirt
Banger








Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 10 hours
#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.43
Although they are public employees, what they are dealing with is the same issue that private employees have been facing for years. People over the last 6 decades or so had expectations regarding benefits, salary, etc. They came to believe this was set in stone and would last forever. Part of this was managements fault for giving contracts they couldn't sustain. Part of it was greed on labors part.
People working now in these areas are unfortunately paying for the sins of their fathers.

Given the financialcost they are incurring, I would guess the strikers feel pretty strongly about this. And I have never understood why public employees can't strike. How in the hell can they ever bargain with no legal leverage.



Perception is reality
ekedolphin
Scrapple








Since: 12.1.02
From: Indianapolis, IN; now residing in Suffolk, VA

Since last post: 35 days
Last activity: 13 hours
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.29
I wonder why the media hasn't found a few workers who don't want to strike-- or at least, I haven't seen any interviews with any such person.

Picture a guy (we'll call him Bob) who gets laid off or fired from his job two weeks ago, and he desperately needs to find another job to pay his bills else he's gonna get kicked out on the street by his landlord-- and who wants to deal with that, particularly in winter New York weather?

It's not easy for Bob to find a job in this economy, particularly with the cost of living in NYC being so relatively high. So Bob finally finds a job as a bus driver. But only a day or two after he starts his job, the union decides to strike-- even though Bob can't afford to strike; he desperately needs money to keep a roof over his head, food in his stomach and the heat on.

Now Bob's shit outta luck, because he's being docked two days' pay for every day he misses work-- despite the fact that he would have chosen not to strike if he'd had a choice in the matter. And isn't it true that workers on strike are forbidden from looking for another job? So if the strike doesn't end soon, all Bob's efforts will have been for nothing-- the power company'll shut off his heat, and Bob will either get thrown out of his house or have to try desperately to keep paying the rent by shoveling his neighbors' sidewalks or something.

Why hasn't anyone thought about Bob? This can't be a purely theoretical scenario-- there has to be someone in this position.

[Edit: Hee, seems my information's a little out of date, as the strike has officially ended. Nevertheless, the overall basis of what I was getting at still stands-- unions can't possibly speak for all the workers, because some of them are in worse situations than others.]

(edited by ekedolphin on 23.12.05 0215)


"Yes, the new plan will still involve rocket skates."
--Nale, The Order of the Stick

Five-Time W of the Day (5/27/02; 7/3/02; 7/30/04; 8/28/04; 12/16/05)

The Only Five-Time (and Last) N.E.W. World Heavyweight Champion

Certified RFMC Member-- Ask To See My Credentials!

DrDirt
Banger








Since: 8.10.03
From: flyover country

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 10 hours
#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.44
    Originally posted by ekedolphin
    I wonder why the media hasn't found a few workers who don't want to strike-- or at least, I haven't seen any interviews with any such. (edited by ekedolphin on 23.12.05 0215)


I seriously doubt that more than a handful "wanted to strike."



Perception is reality
Thread rated: 5.95
Pages: 1
Thread ahead: You are being watched! A dark day for libraries and liberty.
Next thread: Walkerton Redux: Boil Water Advisory in Effect
Previous thread: Stanley "Tookie" Williams denied clemency
(620 newer) Next thread | Previous thread
Okay, this story is from Salon.com, which isn't as good as it used to be, and now you have to sign up to the site to read the entire article, so if that's not your bag, then that's fine with me because I think that's bullsh*t.
- Stilton, Whitewater... pfffffft! (2005)
The W - Current Events & Politics - Transit workers in NYC strikeRegister and log in to post!

The W™ message board

ZimBoard
©2001-2014 Brothers Zim

This old hunk of junk rendered your page in 0.121 seconds.