Excercise will be good for him

I could hardly find anyone siding with the union in the New York transit strike. But then I found someone who walked the party line: James Wolcott.

  • daudder

    yeah, why should anyone willing to stand up for their beliefs and fight for its earned benefts, when we can get behind our government when it invades countries on specious reasons; regularly lies to the people; outs secret agents as a way to get back at its critics; spies on its citizens in order to protect them. Those transit workers are commies I tell ya.

  • http://tomwatson.typepad.com Tom

    Jeff – low, quite.
    Also, there’s me. And Steve Gilliard.
    And Ralph Kramden.

  • John

    To be honest, James doesn’t really strike me as a subway-riding type of guy — a subway sandwich gourging type yes, but not the kind of person who often, if ever, lets a Metrocard soil his hand, which would make it oh-so-much easier to side with TWU Local 100.

  • Gray

    I’ve read more about the strike now. And I’m surprised by a SurveyUSA poll by WAPC-TV, saying that 52% support the trike, error margin 3.5%. They must have some kind of reason for thinking this way. One may be that MTA s***ed up several times in the past. So maybe you should look deeper into the issue than just state that some relatively high paid media pros feel annoyed?

    For instance, retiring at 52 sounds comfortable, but how high are the payments after 52? Most of the retiring workers will have worked at MTA for decades, are the retiring payments significantly higher than in other companies? New York is an expensive city, workers have to earn more than in other regions to be able to live there, are the salaries at MTA higher than in other comparable jobs? Doesn’t the rigid strike laws for transportation workers imply that they have to get some kind of a compensation and doesn’t MTA have a higher obligation to get an agreement in arbitration? Why does MTA try to split the union by insisting on significantly worse retirement benefits for new workers only, why didn’t they try to raise retirement age for all, didn’t try to reach a compromise featuring a timetable?

    Lots of open questions that haven’t exactly been covered in the press and by angry NY bloggers like you at this moment. If you want to cover the topic in a fair way, imho you should spend more attention to details and background. Other readers seem to think the same.

  • Gray

    “an estimated first-day loss to the city’s economy of $400 million, to be followed by $300 million on each subsequent day” (thejournalnews.com)

    I guess this dwarves the impact of any salary raise to MTA workers. So you have to ask, what’s the reason for MTA’s hard line position? Thishas to be Pataki’s decision (as most NewYorkers seem to agree), so what is driving him, ideological considerations? If this was about reducing the costs of workforce for MTA, why don’t they invest in automated systems and put a freeze on hiring new workers? It looks as though there is much more behind MTAs actions than meets the eye. Press and bloggers should look deeper into this instead of simply bashing the union without offering real background information.

  • Gray

    Aha!
    “Overall, New York’s pension plans are relatively generous in comparison with other municipalities, prompting a Citizens Budget Commission study released in April to urge a redesign of retirement benefits for the city’s public employees.
    The MTA’s plan could be a key step to the type of redesign the report recommends.”

    “Regardless of the outcome, a ripple effect will likely happen, said Mr. McMahon, the former Pataki aide. “Even if management doesn’t succeed in this case, the mere fact that they’ve given the issue so much visibility may provide an important push for the issue in Albany, which is the only place where pensions can actually be changed,” he said.” nysun.com

    So the union may be not far from the truth in accusing MTA of deliberately proposing a red herring offering to TWU to let the negotiations fail.

    And on the other hand, regarding the legality of the strike, an interesting sniplet from Toussaints open letter to Bloomberg:
    “You must hope everyone has forgotten your biography: “Bloomberg on Bloomberg.” You boast on Page 59 on how you started your rise to great wealth, great enough to enable you to buy the Mayor’s office twice. You set up your office “…all without permission, violating every fire law, building code and union regulation on the books.” ”

    Like I already said, there is really more behind this than meets the eye. We don’t expect much from the MSM anymore, but it would be nice if some bloggers would go beyond simply stating prejudices…

  • Gray

    Good point in your story, Tom! So Bloomberg is living n the Upper Eastside of Manhattan. Why did he have to cross the Brooklyn bridge then? Did he come back from his mistress or was all he wanted to state on TV that he’s capable of walking?

  • Gray_

    For all the readers who wonder who’s that idiot spamming the comments in the middle of the night: Good morning! I’m living in Germany, time zone is one of the things where we are ahead of the US (k, public transport here is better, too..). Like Tom (above), I recommend that you check Steve Gilliards site for more detailed information about the MTA/TWU issue:

    http://stevegilliard.blogspot.com/

    I’m not really a fan of Steve, but his articles on the strike beat everything I’ve found at other bloggers so far, not to speak of the lousy MSM. And I’ve been checking infos for two hours now. Other bloggers may not share his opinion, but then they should substantiate their columns instead of tossing around slogans copied from the MSM. Steve’s fact based comments on the issue are what good blogging looks like!

  • Jimmy

    You must not be looking very hard. I live in Missouri and I’ve seen many reports of very supportive New Yorkers. Well, they’re everyday citizens, not overly pampered editorial boards. Stop whining about how inconvenienced your precious little self is and try to see both sides of the story. The union AND the city have been less than willing to bend on various issues. Compromise is a two-way street. I have to agree with Gray, Gilliard is not my favorite lefty blogger, but he has written good and interesting posts on the strike.

  • Right of Center

    The real news seems to be that court orders and law don’t mean squat! I think the next person hauled before a judge in NYC for violating a court order should say:

    “well the TWU didn’t have to abide by an order and they cost the city’s economy hundreds of millions of dollars – why should I have to abide by a court order?”

    P.S. Jimmy, abiding by the law is precisely NOT a matter of compromise!

  • Ebenezer Scrooge

    >I could hardly find anyone siding with the union in the New York transit
    >strike.

    Once again Jarvis fails to do even a bit of research. Go back to talking about Howard since that is about the only thing you know about.

    http://www.mydd.com/story/2005/12/21/234335/69

    Minor Excerpts from the page:

    Our Ken Rosato reported at Noontime that Toussaint quoted from an Eyewitness News survey USA poll of 800 people in the area. It showed that 52 percent of the people say they were on the side of the Transport Workers Union. It said only 40 percent said they supported the MTA.

    ******************************

    Almost every station that took calls found support for the transit workers. “I’ve used the transit system for years,” said Margaret, a caller to WOR, “and I’ve talked with many workers about the horrible conditions. We need to support them.”

    “Perhaps surprisingly, there’s a lot of support for the strike,” said WOR news director Joe Bartlett. He suggested residents were coping with the strike “because this is a city that doesn’t cave under pressure. New Yorkers thrive on adversity.”

    *************************

    If your blog is an example of what you are going to teach in your new school courses I fear what kind of knuckledheads you are going to be churning out.

  • http://ladow.net Bob

    Rocketboom, apparently, supports the strikers.

  • JBK

    Huh? You couldn’t find hardly anyone siding with the strikers? Well, true, I guess when you’re lunching at the Conde Nast cafeteria it’s tough to find too many folks siding with those horrible blue collar strikers who are daring to demand decent pensions and health care benefits…unless maybe you slummed it enough to deign to talk to the guy working the pasta station. Instead of bitching at those nasty TWU peons, perhaps you and your ilk in the media should be wondering why every other working man in this richest country on earth doesn’t demand benefits like they have. You are really a tool sometimes.