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Friday, December 23, 2005The strike is over...
Christmas has been saved! The New York transit strike is over. After three days of basically screwing over New York City residents, the union was forced to abandon the strike. For three days the head of the local union, Roger Toussaint ignored pleas/orders from the international transit workers union to go back to work. He ignored the stiff fines a judge imposed on the union and it’s workers. It was only when faced with jail for contempt of court that Toussaint order his workers back on the job.
So you’re thinking…. Ahhhh their demands were met right? Umm nope they weren’t. Everything is as it was before the strike. The union will continue negotiating the pension issue with the MTA with the help of a state mediator something the union had opposed prior to the strike.
This strike was pointless - everyone lost, the union got fined 1 million per day.If it had kept up they would have gone bankrupt within a week. The workers lost b/c they got fined 2 days salary for every day of the strike, not to mention the public sees them as greedy and selfish now. Most of all New Yorkers lost. Here’s the toll of what Toussaint’s strike managed to accomplish:
• Businesses vital to our economy lost millions of dollars .
• Forced people to pay mega pesos to get to work.
• Deprived a lot of working people of pay; not everyone could afford to shell out the bucks to get around to work especially if it meant paying more in one day for transportation than they make in a day.
• Cost the taxpayers approximately $50 million in security costs and reduced tax revenue;
• Tore at the social fabric by playing the race card. Toussaint stated that the TWU, whose membership is largely minority, was under siege for racial reasons;
• Saddled his own rank-and-file with $28 million in mandatory penalties and foregone wages while gaining them nothing.
Toussaint put his workers and the rest of New York through hell for nada. Not everyone in the union supported the strike, there was dissention some tried to break the strike on the 2nd day. To them it made no sense to be on strike. Much like the late Rodney Dangerfield Toussaint felt that he and the union got no respect from the public. Perhaps rather than striking it would have been wiser for Toussaint to have mounted a PR campaign complete with rallies and commercials designed to win the public over by listing the unions grievances as Aretha Franklin’s Respect played in the background. It was just a thought.
Well if Roger Toussaint thought they didn’t have respect then I hope he’s watching now. Rather than greeting the workers back with a smile they are being greeting with dirty looks and some serious head shaking. A few even flipped a passing bus the bird as it made it’s way down my block this morning.
I dedicate the song "Respect" to the people of NY and the union workers we all deserve some...
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