Posts about transitstrike

Playing the race placard

This morning The Times fans — or rather, gathers the kindling and tries to ignite — the flames of racial discord in the New York transit strike.

But now, as representatives of a mostly nonwhite work force trade recriminations publicly with white leaders in government and at the transportation authority, the potentially volatile issue of race, with all its emotional consequences, is bubbling to the surface.

And the evidence of this is: (1) Bozos say bad things in web comments — gee, that never happens anywhere else. (2) Mayor Bloomberg says that the union “thuggishly turned their backs on New York City.” Roger Toussaint, the union leader, and Al Sharpton call that racial.

Not in my UnPC dictionary. The words “thug” and “union” have been in usage since long before minorities finally came into power in them … since, well, the words “mafia” and “union” were also in common usage. Look up “Hoffa” and “thug” in Google and the first listing among 9,300 is about Tony Soprano.

Now I almost understand, or at least not be surprised at, Sharpton and Roger Toussaint grasping at cheap shots try to spin this illegal strike, this act of unlawful thuggery against the people of New York. Toussaint is also playing the race card as he tries to summon the ghost of Rosa Parks onto MTA buses.

But I do not understand The Times giving this canard legitimacy without finding anyone in the story, other than the mayor’s spokesman, to call bullshit. It is irresponsible.

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.


Editorialists don’t like walking to work. A sampling from today’s pissed-off New Yorkers. The Daily News:

Roger Toussaint, we dare you to take to the Brooklyn Bridge this morning to tell the cold, walking throngs why you chose to disrupt the lives of millions…. It would be delicious watching you try to justify the reckless, lawless transit strike that you have inflicted on the city – assuming your fellow New Yorkers didn’t hurl you over the railing into the icy waters before you got a word out.

The Post:

Let’s not mince words: Transport Workers Union President Roger Toussaint stabbed millions of New Yorkers in the back yesterday — and then he ran and hid for most of the day. That makes him a thug. And a coward.

The Observer:

The Transit Workers Union, consisting of some 34,000 or so lawbreakers and led by an arrogant boss named Roger Toussaint, apparently believes the riding public will sympathize with its ludicrous demands. As usual, the union bosses and their sheep-like members have it exactly wrong.

The Sun:

The New York transit strike begun today is a blatantly illegal act of economic sabotage by a union so selfish that it is willing to destroy one of the most important business weeks in the city in a last-ditch attempt to preserve privileges that most private sector employees can only dream of — like the ability to retire at age 55 with a full pension, or the ability to not contribute at all to health insurance costs.

Even The Times:

Mr. Toussaint should not have the ability to hold the city hostage. That he can do so says little about the leadership on the other side of the table. The executives of the M.T.A. answer to Gov. George Pataki. We understand that Mr. Pataki has higher aspirations, but it was a bad call to visit New Hampshire as the first strike deadline approached and the city was increasingly anxious.

Blogger’s transit-strike T-shirt:

ask my about MY last raise

Un transit

New York transit is on strike. I won’t be able to go to work today, like millions of others, who also won’t be able to shop or go to restaurants. The city will lose hundreds of millions and untold millions will lose millions in turn. And what for?

Every indsutry in the U.S. economy has had to go through radical restructuring to find new efficiencies. But not government and civil service. And that is what this strike is about.

The transit union was demanding that its workers be able to retire at 55 on pension, and the city, which wanted to raise the age for new workers to 62, buckled last night. I don’t have a pension, do you? I have a 401K, one for every employer in the last 20 years; I’m sure most of you are in similar boats. Retire at 55? Ha!

At the same time, the union has been insistent about maintaining artificial, wasteful, expensive manning levels. In most other cities, subways are run by one person. In New York, they are run by two. In many other cities, when electronic ticketing machines are introduced, staffing in booths is drastically reduced. Here, it was a big deal that the booth workers got out of the booth to actually answer questions… if you can find them.

The Times gives us a touchy-feely sympathetic piece about the poor transit workers this morning, quoting a tender-hearted sociologist:

“The working conditions are more physically onerous, the treatment by managers more disrespectful, and the abuse from the public more hurtful, than any other group of public workers in the city experiences,” Dr. Swerdlow said.

What a load of crap. We’re an abusive, hurtful public — otherwise known as their customers. How about the abusive, sadistic conductors sand dispatchers who shut doors and move out just as transferring passengers arrive in a station? They have more of an ability to irritate more people in one day than anyone I know and I’ve seen too many of them do it too often.

The union broke the law this morning, costing New Yorkers their own pay and businesses their business and the city its tax resources so that its members could keep pensions that most Americans don’t have and retire sooner than most Americans could dream of doing and keep inefficient jobs for which there is no need.

Thank you for not riding the New York City subway. Have a rotten day.

: Lots of bloggers are stranded by the transit strike. This will be like babies in a blackout: lots of blog posts will be born.

: There is always another use for CraigsList: NYC ride sharing. [via Gothamist]