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Old 12-20-2005, 10:47 AM   #1
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New York City Transit Strike

So here we sit, a city paralyzed by the fact that the Transit Workers Union has walked off the job in a strike.

No buses, trains, or any form of public transportation.

7.5 Million people use these methods of transport to get to work every day, and add to this freezing temperatures and the holiday season, and you just have to say, "Are you freaking kidding?"

Or at least I do.

Some people here are siding with the labor movement, but most are saying these workers are being irrational and greedy.

For those who don't know, the 'negotiations' with the MTA ended last night and a strike was called at 3:00AM.

The workers union wanted the following (plus more):

-8% guaranteed raises over the next three years.
-Retirement age for new employees to stay where it is now at 55
-New employees would not contribute to their health plan.

Now last night the MTA offered this:

-3%, then 4.5% then 3.5% guaranteed raises over the next three years
-Retirement age for new employees to stay where it is now at 55
-New employees would contribute 6% to their health plans.

Now don’t get me wrong, if workers are due something I fully believe in going after it, but I do not know any other line of work where you just demand what you want, and if you don’t get it, you walk off the job and strand millions of people. That is why there are laws against these people striking.

I also do not know where else you can retire at 55 to get a pension, and do not have to contribute to a health plan. Then to demand guaranteed 8% raises for three years is ludicrous.

I am basically frustrated because I not only have to find a way to get to work, I have to because a group of people are making irrational demands at the cost of millions, for things that most of us do not have ourselves.

Thoughts?

Anyone else in NYC – thoughts?
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Old 12-20-2005, 10:51 AM   #2
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well the commuter trains are still running... the subways are not.

LIRR, Jersey Transit and Metro North are still operating, all be it at a revised schedule.
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:07 AM   #3
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Who wouldn't want a guaranteed raise of 8% over 3 years? Another example of overvalued union labor.
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Old 12-20-2005, 11:27 AM   #4
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We used to see this kind of crap every school year from the Teacher's Union. Then they finally made it illegal to strike, which now means we get "silent protests," such as all teachers wearing black on Fridays.

I'm all for the spirit of Unions; the idea behind them is correct. But it's unfortunate that a lot of unions in this country have been corrupted by their power, and are now bullying for demands which are not reasonable for their profession.
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Old 12-20-2005, 12:44 PM   #5
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Inconvenient to be sure...working at home today, which I welcome (can write proposals much quicker out of the office), but tomorrow and Thursday I have to deal with payroll before we really close for the week for the holidays. It's gonna be a bear...walk a mile to the ferry, walk across lower Manhattan to the PATH, take that to 33rd, walk to Grand Central, Metro-North to 125th, and then nine blocks down to the office. And back again in the afternoon.
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Old 12-20-2005, 02:30 PM   #6
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I'm doing fine so far. A New Jersey bus company is still running, so I took that in. But not everyone I work with is lucky. Some called out sick, and others had to walk miles to the LIRR or even walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to get to work.

I sorta sympathize with the transit workers, but couldn't they have waited for another time to strike? Like, when its warmer and Christmas isn't just days away?
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Old 12-20-2005, 02:50 PM   #7
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i guess they figured that the fact that it's the holidays would pressure bloomberg into folding.

i guess they didn't do their homework on bloomberg.
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Old 12-20-2005, 02:54 PM   #8
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Plus Bloomberg has nothing to do with the talks. He does not control the MTA, the wimpy Governor does.
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Old 12-20-2005, 03:10 PM   #9
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he is threatening legal action against the mta workers, though.

so far pataki has pleged to stay out of the fight, leaving it between the union and the mta, with bloomberg acting as sort of a mediator between the two.

taxi and livery drivers are having a tough time with the strike, too, because of the carpool restrictions in manhattan that the city started enforcing today because of the strike.

it's all a mess. i'm just glad i don't have to be in the city for anything this week.
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Old 12-20-2005, 03:22 PM   #10
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Long Island commuters faced large crowds, long delays and general chaos as they tried to get into New York City after transit workers walked off the job Tuesday morning, effectively shutting down subways and buses.

No talks between the union and the MTA were scheduled by Tuesday afternoon.

An integral part of Long Island's contingency plan includes designated emergency carpool staging areas to help Manhattan-bound commuters comply with HOV driving restriction.

However, few seemed to take advantage of the park and ride plan, as parking lots remained empty and unused at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. Nassau County Police reported "between 20 and 30" vehicles in the west lot at Belmont Park in Elmont.

Only one driver arrived at Nassau Coliseum between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., where the only other vehicles in the massive lot belonged to a news crew from NewsChannel 4, one from ABC 7, a Newsday reporter and photographer, a coffee truck driver and a Nassau County Auxiliary police officer.

"I was going to try to get into the city," the woman, who would only identify herself as Jeanette, said. She said she was from Elmont, usually worked for Citibank in Franklin Square but was attending training seminars this week in lower Manhattan near Rector Street.

"I came here thinking I could get to the train station -- or maybe find a ride to New York City," she said. "But nothing."

Meanwhile, traffic backed up for miles at bridges and tunnels as police inspected cars to make sure they were abiding by a four-passenger minimum rule in effect at most crossings.

The LIRR is currently running with delays of 10 to 15 minutes, said spokesperson Sam Zambuto, and during the morning commute, thousands of riders lined up in Queens, waiting hours for a shuttle into the city.

Ticket lines were so long -- at least two hours -- at Jamaica Station that the MTA declared free rides for all, allowing groups to board trains that were running on at least four different rails into Penn Station. Some riders, however, said conductors charged them $5 once they were on board.

The MTA also set up extra ticket booths at the Queens LIRR stations today to handle the crowds and had extra staff on hand to keep order.

At the Flatbush Avenue station in Brooklyn, some commuters in line said they were waiting an hour and a half just to buy a ticket.

Conditions weren't much better in Nassau and Suffolk. Some riders on a Huntington train said that as the train made its way toward Manhattan it got more and more crowded and commuters could see hundreds of people lined up to board the train.

"Disaster," said 25-year-old Greenlawn resident Chris Dara when he saw throngs of people outside.

At Penn Station, some commuters lined up for cabs outside Penn Station and gathered in clusters on designated spots throughout the city for company vans and buses to shuttle them to their offices.

"There were hundreds of people waiting for cabs, pulling doors left and right. I had to make four stops," said taxi driver Angel Aponte, who left his meter off and charged $10 per person.

The union and the MTA had worked furiously to reach a new contract, hoping to avoid the city's first transit strike in more than 25 years. Because it is illegal for mass transit workers to strike in New York, bus and subway employees will incur huge fines - two days pay for each day on strike.

After days of acrimonious labor talks to settle a contract failed -- the two sides met at 4:30 a.m. this morning in Kings County Supreme Court, where Judge Theodore Jones issued a temporary restraining order against transit workers to stop the strike.

They met for a second session at 11 a.m., where they were set to decide when the union should face criminal contempt proceedings for violating the state's Taylor Law, which makes the strike illegal.

The judge denied a union attorney's request for more time to prepare for the hearing.

The 33,000 members of Transport Workers Union Local 100 deserve a "very potent fine" for their 3 a.m. walkout, said James Henly of the state attorney general's office, representing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Henly cited the "economic and social cost" of the strike. City officials estimate the walkout will remove $400 million a day from city coffers.

But TWU attorney Arthur Schwartz accused the MTA of provoking the strike -- a charge that Gov. George Pataki disputed.

"The TWU has broken the law," Pataki told a Manhattan news conference. "That is wrong, and they will suffer the consequences. They should end this illegal strike and come back to the table."

Newsday staff writers Joie Tyrell and John Valenti and The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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Old 12-20-2005, 03:55 PM   #11
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Well for me, at least in my case... I can't believe this has happened. The fact that Toussaint walked right out of negotiations without anything but a declaration of strike is unbelievable.

I have finals on Wednesday and Thursdays and as reassured as I am that Greenbus Lines is still running, I'm not going to hold my breath. Remember, if the depot's being picketed, then they're going to honor it.

In anycase, I hope that the strike isn't going to last for long. As of now, I think that the MTA and Toussaint (TWU) are still in negotiation? At least that's what I heard. I'm tired as hell... stayed up til 3AM to hear Toussaint say "we're going on a strike" wasn't the most reassuring thing ever. Nor does it help the mood.

I wish I had a car lol.
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Old 12-20-2005, 03:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
BREAKING NEWS A judge rules the Transport Workers Union in contempt of court for striking, and orders it fined $1 million a day starting Tuesday.
me thinks they'll be comming back to work shortly...
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:01 PM   #13
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that's good news, hope everything's back up for you guys soon.
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:05 PM   #14
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Hopefully it won't last long... but again, aren't going to hold my breath.

RE the suit against the union, notice how quickly the TWI (Transit Workers International) asked the judge to take their name off the suit?

It still sucks... for the locals at least lol.
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase


me thinks they'll be comming back to work shortly...
How can you be held in contempt of court for striking? Did they fail to follow a court order or something?
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