20 Dec 2005
It’s horrible, but I’m totally jazzed over the transit strike. Now I’ll be able to say that I lived through a historic NYC event (I was bummed when I realized the Blackout of 2003 had spread over the entire Northeast).
Having grown up in the South, unions are mostly a foreign concept to me. I’m no fan of the MTA, but I think the TWU is totally out of line with their demands (retirement at age 50!? Guaranteed 8% raises for 3 years?!).
Two thoughts I haven’t seen discussed elsewhere:
- If a strike needed to happen, why didn’t the Union go ahead and do it last Friday as initially planned? The weather on Friday was gorgeous! And companies across the city (including my own university) lost a ton of money on deposits for charted buses and vans that werenâ€™t needed — only to have to pluck down more money for the threat of a strike 4 days later.
- The mayor and governor have been criticized for not involving themselves in the negotiations. But if they had gotten involved, wouldn’t the MTA and TWU have complained about their interference?
My prediction? The strike will last at least 36 hours. Under threats from the city and state government, some workers will loose their nerve and try to return to work, leading to picket line scuffles. The mayor/governor will try to pull a Ronald Reagan and fire the remaining striking workers. And we’ll have to suffer through inumerable articles in the Times Style section about couples who “meet cute” during shared taxi rides.