Wednesday, December 21, 2005

NY Transit Strike- Day 2

Fa-La-La-La-La, La-La-Screw-You

Although the MTA has filed a formal declaration of impasse, which means a mediator gets assigned, there is currently no schedule for mediation to begin. What the $#@%!?

While people are suffering, especially poorer workers and small businesses that depend on commuters, nothing new is happening that I can see except letting New Yorkers take another day up the keister. They need to push actions through, not just wait out the holiday. There are days left that people could shop and run around and get things done and enjoy themselves, and I feel like the mayor and governor are just writing off this whole week.

UPDATE: As I'm looking around more, I'm not sure that's right. Commuters are pretty upset and there are a lot of calls for serious, permanent action against this union. Still, I'll believe it when the trains start running.

As I haven't lived here long, I didn't realize the historic trend is to threaten strikes near Christmas and New Year's, because the contracts are on three-year cycles. Though people have said they're surprised how quickly the talk in the big union town has turned to firing these losers and replacing them. Many, many of the TWU jobs are relatively unskilled, and the employees are not celebrated for their especial respect to riders, which makes the whole thing more offensive. As others are saying, the worst consequence has already happened. During the turmoil and trouble, we might as well make meaningful changes to this broken system. Make a side deal with the track and car techies, and fire everyone else.

Except for the 1,000 ish employees who showed up to work yesterday. I saw the NY1 report where Bobby Cuza, the head of New York City Transit says over 1,000 employees decided to come to work Tuesday. While it isn't enough people to re-open the city's bus and train routes, he said the employees who came to work are being kept busy. "Well, we're doing a little cleaning and a little paperwork, and we're making sure that we keep them in a safe, secure location,” said NYC Transit President Lawrence Reuter. “And we're making sure that we're paying them for coming to work and showing their dedication to the customers and the passengers of this city. We really do appreciate that. We think it's a great effort on their part, and we're going to do everything to make sure these people are taken care of."

Thanks for showing up. I'd like to get you the fair-minded, responsible colleagues you deserve.

UPDATE: If you're not here, you probably haven't heard the endless talk about the MTA's record year and "billion-dollar surplus" which is the TWU's main argument for grabbing a bigger piece of mincemeat pie. The NYPost says that $450 million of the surplus already went to fund that already bloated TWU pension kitty and $100 million went for upgraded security (another area the union is complaining is underfunded), and another $100 million went to holiday fare discounts for riders. Why should we, the people who sucked up the fare increases get any relief? Give it all to the underperforming union, really. Word is that Toussaint hasn't been seen around much in the last 24 because he's ducking the various process servers from his parent union and the state and city. Where's Dog the Bounty Hunter when I need him?

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