Tuesday, December 20, 2005

NYC Transit Strike- Out and About

I was going to post this photo of a German Shepherd and call him Roger Toussaint since I've just learned Shepherds are the gassiest breed. But I couldn't do it. Too disrespectful to the dog.

I was forced outside to accomplish some errands and to witness the spectacle first hand.

Almost every place I went, I saw strange faces behind the counters, older people without the usual uniforms who didn't know exactly how to work the equipment. There were some closed storefronts, a couple with hand lettered explanations taped to their windows. At the pharmacy, a mother was fretting, but mildly I thought, that she couldn't get her son's medicine in time for his next dose because the pharmacist was swamped without assistants. The library closed early. Every branch in the city. Where usual staff I knew were on shift, they were complaining with their customers. "How are we supposed to respect them when they do this to us before Christmas?" Everywhere, people bent and accomodated and helped each other, but without apparently oozing joy and/or solidarity about the necessity.

The fine of two days pay for each day on strike is in effect, including an additional million dollars per day per Judge Theodore Jones to help cover the city's costs for additional overtime pay.

I had not previously noted here that TWU International, the parent union, advised our local #100 not to strike. Since they walked out in spite of being unsanctioned, it's unlikely the parent union will want to chip in for the strike fund. That will cost the local plenty and further urge them toward resolution. Also, there was some rumbling from an "expert" I heard briefly that the International TWU will go to court to gain trusteeship of their rogue local as early as tomorrow morning. In case they prevail, the local leadership- including the intractable dignity-crazed president Roger Toussaint- will be out of luck and office. Then, we'll see whether an agreeable contract can be hammered out.

Our local cable news, NY1, is all over this and has the latest summaries here.

What will happen tomorrow? I haven't heard.

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