Friday, December 16, 2005

Bloomberg and the transit union: playing chicken

It appears Bloomberg made the union workers blink, at least in this first round. The New York Times reports that it's now past 12:01 a.m. Friday, no strike has begun, and negotiations are continuing.

A state judge has issued a formal injunction against the transit union workers going on strike, but isn't that redundant because of the Taylor Law? It was passed in 1967 after a 1966 transit strike, and under it, the union leaders could even be arrested for orchestrating a strike. I had a feeling the union workers themselves would chicken out. They will be fined a minimum of two days' pay for every day they skip (parts of the Condon-Waglin Act that were reintroduced in 1969), and Bloomberg is seeking a judge's order to fine them $25,000 for the first missed day, and doubling thereafter.

I have a feeling more than a few workers are like the reluctant Scots in the "Braveheart" depiction of the battle at Stirlingbridge: why should they risk their necks for ungrateful lords, when even the best possible victory means they pay more money to their lazy lords?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Sphynx said...

Since you're "in the heart" of this thing, is the Union action announced this morning -- of limited strikes against outlying private bus lines that were thinking about joining the MTA -- the result of these laws you mentioned? I.E. did the union decide to pick on private companies in order to avoid the State's protection of its own monopolies, or is there some other stratigic reason at work here?

Friday, December 16, 2005 5:07:00 PM  
Blogger Perry Eidelbus said...

Well, putting aside the issue of the city's monopoly on public transportation, yes, it's how the transit union can strike without doing a real strike. This way they can avoid the fines, but in their selfishness, they're affecting a lot of people in the outer boroughs who can't get public transportation. These are private companies, so there's no statement to make against the city. I'm the first to say that privately employed workers can choose to work or not to work, but that doesn't mean I can't point out their hypocrisy.

The transit union is trying to play chicken, but they're in a Pinto, going up against the city's Hummer.

Saturday, December 17, 2005 12:33:00 PM  

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