Thursday, December 29, 2005
Chalk One Up For The Unions
I guess the New York City Transit Workers made their point last week when they walked off the job for brief three-day strike. Thousands of bus and subway workers are poised to reap up to $14,000 each in a new contract pension windfall that will ease the pain of their strike penalties - but will cost commuters an estimated $110 million. I know the strike was hell for those who rely on the NYC mass transit, but as a union man myself, I have to say, "Way to Go!" The MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) and Transport Workers Union Local 100 President Roger Toussaint wouldn't comment yesterday, but some workers said the deal made last week's strike worthwhile. I had mixed feelings about the strike when it took place, but then I found out that the MTA had a surplus of about $1 billion, I sided with the Union members. Typical "corporate America": make more, more, more, and give less, less, less. Who was going to reap from that large surplus? Do you really think the transit riders or the workers? Of course not! That surplus would have probably stayed right in the bigshots pockets. So, it was time the transit workers reaped some of the benefits of the surplus, and they appear to have obtained it. Outsiders said there was no clear winner in the contract. Assemblyman Richard Brosky (D-Westchester, NY) said, "They both got what they could live with, which is what collective bargaining is all about." As far as I'm concerned, this was a victory for unions and workers all over America!