View Full Version : Transit Strike

12-13-2005, 10:31 PM
Well, Friday it might come.

These guys are all over protesting already.....asking for public support.

Yeah, you guys are gonna leave me out on the sidewalk on Friday scrambling to figure out how to get to work and you expect me to SUPPORT you?

Get a ****in grip.

12-13-2005, 10:33 PM
:( effin strike

at least strike in the summer when i dont mind walking.. biotches

Midnight Mike
12-13-2005, 10:37 PM
I thought that a Transit Strike in New York is illegal? Of course, is the Union nuts, it is winter time & the holidays are right around the corner, tell the union to kiss my arse all the way here in California....

12-13-2005, 10:47 PM
it is illegal

12-13-2005, 11:03 PM
morons... they picked a really bad time to pull this ****. i don't know if there is one body in this city that is going to support them.

12-13-2005, 11:19 PM
These people don't deserve any support what so ever. I listened to one of them bitch about how she doesn't even get time off when she had a baby that she has to use her sick time and vacation time. Well here's clue most companies make you take your own time to have a baby, or you can go out on family leave without pay for 12 weeks. Do what Reagan did in the 80's with the ATC controllers, fire all of them and start over.

12-13-2005, 11:38 PM
damn women and their babies, always complainin

USAF Pilot 07
12-14-2005, 03:34 PM
The fact is on average condutors make something like $57,000 a year, train operators $62,000 a year and bus drivers $60,000 a year. For a job requiring no education past high school, these figures are not too shabby. Not to mention, they pay modest co-pays for medical services and receive 1/2 pay pension after 25 years. Also, let's not forget that most employees with over 10 years service are making well above the aforementioned averages.

I believe the workers should see a raise, as should most employees in all fields, as inflation increases, and the cost of living in NYC does as well. But, what the union has put on the table, 27% over 6 years IIRC, is ridiculous. Although I realize this is a high number in hopes to reach a more favorable settlement, I believe what the MTA has offered (6% over 4 years) is just shy of something fair. I'd say something more like 8-10% over 5 years sounds more fair.

In any case, I believe it'll come down to tomorrow night between 2-3AM before a settlement is reached. The Union won't settle too quickly, because many transit employees will feel that they didn't bargain well enough, and the MTA won't settle too quickly for the same reason. The TWU will try to get all their issues raised and some sort of compromise met on each one of them, and will fight as long as they can to get the best "deal". The TWU is no idiot, they know they won't have much public support especially with a wintertime strike during the holidays, and especially when the MTA has put a pretty good offer on the table.

Anyway, I hope I'm right, because as the mayor said, a transit strike will yield no winners.

12-14-2005, 04:34 PM
8-10% is more then fair and within the range of most normal corporate yearly raises. It really amazes me these guys get paid so much to do so little. Talk about a mindless job some of these guys have. Its like the conductors on the LIRR they start close to 50,000 and all they do is punch tickets and make change, other then that I have no idea what they do? Now perhaps a train operator should get paid a decent wage but otherwise the MTA's offer is fair and just for the rest of them. I think my next go around at life I'll forget college and just go work for the Govt.

Midnight Mike
12-14-2005, 07:48 PM
By SARA KUGLER, Associated Press Writer
15 minutes ago

Here's what it could look like: Bicyclists darting through never-ending traffic jams. Swarms of commuters trudging over the Brooklyn Bridge in their sneakers in the freezing cold. Tourists stranded during the height of the Christmas season. Broadway shows with half-empty theaters.

New York could be hit on Friday with its first subway and bus strike in more than 25 years, a walkout that could shut down a system used by an estimated 7 million riders a day.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is locked in round-the-clock negotiations with the Transport Workers Union on a new contract for more than 33,000 members. The old contract expires Friday at 12:01 a.m.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said a strike would be devastating. Estimates are that it would cost the city hundreds of millions per day in overtime and lost business and productivity a particular blow in the middle of the holiday season.

Fifth Avenue shops and department stores like Macy's and Bloomingdale's major holiday destinations in the nation's retail capital would be disrupted, with employees unable to get to work. For the same reason, a walkout could also interfere with multimillion-dollar corporate deals in the nation's financial capital.

Transit workers want 8 percent annual raises over three years, and contend they should get a share of the MTA's unexpected $1 billion surplus this year. And after the transit bombings in Madrid and London, they also want more terrorism training, saying they feel unprepared to handle disasters.

The agency has proposed 6 percent raises spread over 27 months, and says the surplus is not likely to happen again and needs to go toward future expenses. Deficits are predicted for upcoming years.

A strike could be costly for the union, too. A walkout would be illegal under state law, and the workers could face tough penalties. Strengthening the transit agency's hand, a judge issued an injunction Tuesday that bars the workers from striking.

They could lose two days' pay for every day on strike. And the city is asking for additional damages against individual transit workers: $25,000 for the first day of the walkout, doubling each day thereafter. The city is also seeking damages from the union of $1 million for the first day, doubling thereafter in a similar pattern.

Overtime for the police alone would cost $10 million a day, the city says, since officers would have to maintain order in the streets.

For weeks, officials have been drawing up a contingency plan. It would require cars entering the busiest areas of Manhattan to carry at least four people. Also, some streets would be closed to all but emergency vehicles. Taxis would be allowed to pick up multiple fares, and commuter rail lines would increase service.

Many companies are encouraging employees to telecommute or work out of offices outside the city in the event of a strike. Some are arranging buses and ferries for their employees.

"It would affect me in a major way because I don't know how I would get downtown," said Kisha Smalls, who takes the subway to get from her home in the Bronx to class in Manhattan. "I'd probably have to stay home I hope it doesn't happen but they need their money so I understand."

The mayor said commuters might want to find a friend who lives close to school or work and has a couch they can sleep on.

That is exactly what Angel DeJesus has done. He arranged to stay with friends in the Bronx, to which he commutes every day from his home in East Orange, N.J. But he doubts he will have to put those plans into motion.

"It hasn't happened since the '80s, so I'm not concerned," he said.

The last transit strike was in April 1980. For 11 days, subways and buses sat motionless while New Yorkers devised new ways to get around. A reported 65,000 rode bicycles, 60,000 walked and others embraced more creative modes of transportation, such as private helicopters and roller skates.

Long after the subways started moving again, a trend lingered: Many women who put on sneakers for that long walk to work continued to dress that way for commuting comfort, and a 1980s office fashion was born.

Midnight Mike
12-14-2005, 07:50 PM
These people don't deserve any support what so ever. I listened to one of them bitch about how she doesn't even get time off when she had a baby that she has to use her sick time and vacation time.

Well, hell, next time don't have the baby!

12-15-2005, 11:25 PM
I think the Transit Workers should take the Winter off and call it a Sabatical and the teachers should take their winter vacation to work the trains and buses. :)

Seriously though, I remember the last strike.. 1980 or so. I was living in Manhattan and attending high school in Queens. Quite happy to have a few days off... I took a walk down to the financial district. All kinds of people on their bicycles going to work on Wall Street. Masses of people walking across the Brooklyn Bridge being encouraged by Mayor Koch.. (who enjoyed all the attention - positive and negative).

Wall Street heliport had about nine choppers on the pier and several were stuck circliing overhead waiting for a spot to land and off load some executives.... Fun stuff...

Matt Molnar
12-15-2005, 11:59 PM
The situation looks pretty grim 15 mins before the deadline. In the past hour, rather than spending every second negotiating, the union prez and an MTA exec made statements blasting each other to the media. No way I'm going to work tomorrow if these guys walk out.

And despite the TWU retaining the services of uber elite PR guru Ken Sunshine, they are failing even worse than they have to in their efforts to keep the public on their side. Most of us will hate them no matter what if they strike, but they would win a lot of support if they talked about potential layoffs when making media appearances. Layoffs are something everyone can relate too because just about anyone can be laid off. Lay offs of transit workers like booth clerks can also cause the service we experience to suffer. But instead, Toussaint bitches about lack of raises for people who are already fairly paid, who make more than 99% of New Yorkers with similar qualifications to those represented by the union.

12-16-2005, 12:30 AM
i know everyone's gonna hate me for saying this, but the only reason why i want a strike is because i want my final to be postponed.

Midnight Mike
12-16-2005, 12:42 AM
Amazing, I was going to head to New York next week, got some buddy passes on Midwest, and then it looks like these smucks may go on strike & screw everything up.... ahhh! ahhh!

12-16-2005, 01:11 AM
so far so good!

USAF Pilot 07
12-16-2005, 01:34 AM
As of 2AM, still negotiating... I'm off to bed... later

12-16-2005, 03:52 AM
well it's 0353, no strike but no deal....

Midnight Mike
12-16-2005, 10:09 AM
NYC Transit Union Calls Selective Strike
NEW YORK - New York City's transit union called a selective strike against private bus lines Friday, after a night of bargaining failed to produce a deal involving 33,000 subway and bus workers.

The strike could eventually extend to the subway system, the union said, but when that could happen was unclear.

"We tried to bargain with the MTA," said Roger Toussaint, president of Transport Workers Union Local 100. "We negotiated well past our contract deadline because we wanted to get a deal done and we still do."

The partial strike escalates the pressure on the MTA by starting with two private bus lines that are in the process of being taken over by the transit agency.

The bus lines affected by the strike serve areas mainly in Queens that have limited public transit options. About 50,000 riders are served by the lines; the action covers about 750 workers.

The union had threatened a full strike at 12:01 a.m., when the contract expired. A strike would paralyze the nation's largest transit system at the height of the holiday season. Nearly 7 million people use the transit system each day.

Commuters were relieved to find the subways still running. Mayor Michael Bloomberg went to an emergency command center overnight to prepare for potential rush hour chaos. Commuters had been warned to car pool, walk or bike to work in the event of a strike. Some companies arranged van or ferry service for employees or suggested working from home.

"I didn't sleep too well last night," said Mary Marino, who arrived at Penn Station to connect with two subway trains for her job at a Manhattan nursing home. "I kept turning on the TV to see if they had settled."

The union and the MTA negotiated for nearly six hours before breaking up around 4:30 a.m. In a new offer, the MTA offered a 9 percent raise over three years, an increase from its initial offer of 6 percent over 27 months.

The workers want 8 percent annual raises over three years and contend they should get a share of the MTA's $1 billion surplus. And after the transit bombings in Madrid and London, they also want more terrorism training. Pensions and health care have also been sticking points.

A strike is illegal under state law. For every day workers are off the job, they face losing two days' pay, and the city is asking for additional damages against individual workers.

The last time New York had a transit strike was 1980, when subways and buses sat motionless for 11 days. Tens of thousands of people mounted bicycles, walked and embraced creative modes of transportation like boats, private helicopters and roller skates.

Bruce Gilmore, of Queens, was hoping a strike could be avoided. He only makes $10 an hour, he said, and it would cost him $15 each way to take a cab and a commuter train.

"It's a fair chunk of change," Gilmore said. "If I have to do that for a lengthy strike, there goes Christmas."

12-20-2005, 04:50 AM
This is about as irresponsible as a New Yorker or American as one can get.

Does the MTA think that their issues are not faced by 90% of other people in our city in the down economy? Do they think that we ALL don't also face wage and healthcare issues. That's a nationwide concern, and for the MTA to think that they are more important than the rest of society to shut the city down in the cold weather before the holidays is beyond stupid.

Greedy Toussaint just wants his name in the history books.

Tower Air
12-20-2005, 02:02 PM
He's doing this to get back at the mta

In November 1998, he was fired by the Transit Authority for having been in an unauthorized car during working hours, although he was on official union business. Toussant had been in an accident three months earlier when his car was hit at an intersection, and had sufferred neck and back injuries. Management had apparently hired private investigators to follow him. When his extensive surveillance was exposed, including trips to his son's nursery school and union meetings, his firing became rallying cry for union members who demanded his reinstatement. In the 2000 union election, he was elected president of the TWU. Upon taking office, he cut his own salary by 25% [1]. Nonetheless, he still earns a salary greater than $200,000 a year
Good way to get back at them

12-20-2005, 04:09 PM

ah well. i think i figured out how i'll be getting to work tomorrow- i'll walk to yankee stadium then take one of the shuttle trains to grand central(if i can actually get on it). Then walk to 7th ave and 18th... Luckily my grandmother lives 2 avenues away from my job so I'll most likely be crashing at her place for a couple of days

12-20-2005, 05:10 PM
****ing *******s!! had to walk home from LGA... not fun after the sun went down. i think my toes are purple.

Midnight Mike
12-20-2005, 05:28 PM
Court Fines NYC Transit Strikers $1M a Day By LARRY McSHANE, Associated Press Writer
15 minutes ago

Commuters trudged through the freezing cold, rode bicycles and shared cabs Tuesday as New York's bus and subway workers went on strike for the first time in more than 25 years and stranded millions of riders at the height of the Christmas rush. A judge slapped the union with a $1 million-a-day fine.

State Justice Theodore Jones leveled the sanction against the Transport Workers Union for violating a state law that bars public employees from going on strike. The city and state had asked Jones to hit the union with a "very potent fine."

"This is a very, very sad day in the history of labor relations for New York City," the judge said in imposing the fine.

The union said it would immediately appeal, calling the penalty excessive.

The strike came just five days before Christmas, at a time when the city is especially busy with shoppers and tourists.

The heavy penalty could force the union off the picket lines and back on the job. Under the law, the union's 33,000 members will also lose two days' pay for every day they are on strike, and they could also be thrown in jail.

The courtroom drama came midway through a day in which the strike fell far short of the all-out chaos that many had feared. With special traffic rules in place, the morning rush came and went without monumental gridlock. Manhattan streets were unusually quiet; some commuters just stayed home.

The nation's biggest mass-transit system ground to a halt after 3 a.m., when the TWU called the strike after a late round of negotiations with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority broke down. The subways and buses provide more than 7 million rides per day.

New Yorkers car-pooled, shared taxis, rode bicycles, roller-skated or walked in the freezing cold. Early morning temperatures were in the 20s. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said the strike would cost the city as much as $400 million a day, joined the throngs of people crossing the Brooklyn Bridge by foot.

"Hey, can I get a ride?" Jay Plastino asked a neighbor near his home in the northern tip of Manhattan. Plastino, who was headed to his midtown job, was angry at the union: "This is a big city. Don't they realize that?"

Gov. George Pataki said the union acted illegally and "will suffer the consequences." But union attorney Arthur Schwartz accused the MTA of provoking the strike.

No negotiations were scheduled between the two sides, although a union lawyer planned to meet with three mediators.

It was the city's first transit strike since an 11-day walkout in 1980. The effect this time, however, was tempered by the advent of personal computers, which enabled many commuters to stay home and work via the Internet.

Others boarded water taxis along the Hudson River, or jumped into carpools. Many lined up in the cold to await private buses arranged by their employers, or shared yellow cabs with perfect strangers. There was a flat $10 fee for cab riders.

"The city is functioning, and functioning well considering the severe circumstances," the mayor said. The TWU "shamefully decided they don't care about the people they work for, and they have no respect for the law. Their leadership thuggishly turned its back on the New York City. This strike is costing us."

Jack Akameiza, 66, was trying to figure out a way to get from Manhattan to Coney Island. "I cannot go to work," he said. "I cannot take care of my family."

Some commuters were upset at the union, others with management. Some, as they made their way to work, blamed both sides.

"It's two arrogant groups not caring that 7 million people are inconvenienced," said Kenny Herbert, 45, of Brooklyn, who took the train to work Monday night but needed a water taxi across the East River to get home.

The International TWU, the union's parent, had urged the local not to strike.

The first day of the strike was expected to cost the city $400 million in revenue, with an additional loss of $300 million per day afterward, according to the city comptroller's office. Countless stores and restaurants were affected.

The mayor put into effect a sweeping emergency plan, including a requirement that cars entering Manhattan below 96th Street have at least four occupants.

The union said the latest MTA offer included annual raises of 3 percent, 4 percent and 3.5 percent. Pensions were another major sticking point in the talks, particularly involving new employees.

Union local president Roger Toussaint said the union wanted a better offer from the MTA, especially when the agency has a $1 billion surplus this year.

The contract expired Friday at midnight, but the two sides had continued talking through the weekend.

12-20-2005, 08:52 PM
So my plan got better. I'm getting a ride to my grandmother's tonight and I'll be staying there until this is all over

12-20-2005, 09:17 PM
I think of all this city has gone through in its history, and to see a handful of union leaders make a decision that is not in the best interest of those that they represent and to **** over the entire city is beyond sad and it honestly breaks my heart.

12-20-2005, 10:20 PM
Matt that was some walk!

I get a bad feeling these guys are going to lose their jobs. I could not imagine the city with no subway or buses. This is bad. The union better open up it's wallets.

Matt Molnar
12-20-2005, 11:49 PM
Greedy Toussaint just wants his name in the history books.

I used to think he was a thug too, but now I get the feeling that Toussaint is really a ***** when it comes down to it. During the last contract fight he promised strike, didn't do ****, and then won a mostly crap contract for his people. He caught a lot of heat for that. Then this past Thursday he promised strike again, and again didn't do it. Caught a lot more heat, and pulled the trigger only after listening to his advisors and membership bitch him out for 4 days. Through his actions and things he says when he's not behind a podium he really seems like he's not the guy running the show.

Midnight Mike
12-21-2005, 01:26 AM
Straight from the TWU website:

TWU International President Michael T. O'Brien Issued the Following Statement Regarding the New York City Transit Strike.

"TWU (International) hereby notifies all members of Local 100 of their obligation under the December 13, 2005 preliminary injunctions and the December 20, 2005 temporary restraining orders issued by the New York Supreme Court to cease any and all strike or strike-related activities and to report to work at their regularly assigned work hours and work locations.

"As has been reported in several media outlets, I personally spoke before the Local 100 Executive Board when it met on the morning of Dec. 20, and told them that I would not approve this strike. I told them that the only road to contract victory for the membership was not by strike but continued negotiation. I continue to believe this. It should not be construed in any way that my refusal to sanction this strike lessens my resolve to secure the best possible contract for this membership."


Midnight Mike
12-22-2005, 03:30 PM
The city's crippling three-day mass transit strike ended Thursday after union leaders facing mounting fines, possible jail terms and the wrath of millions of commuters voted to return their 33,000 members to work without a new contract.

Union board members who emerged from the organization's headquarters said workers will return to their job sites starting with the next shifts. The vote was overwhelmingly in favor of returning to work, and resuming negotiations with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

It was unclear when the city's buses and subways would again start running, although transit officials said it would take a minimum of 12 hours to get everything restarted.

"I'm ready to work the rush hour this afternoon if they let me," bus driver Ralph Torres said from the picket line as word of the possible deal spread.

The announcement of the approval came outside union headquarters about 3 1/2 hours after state mediators said a possible deal was worked out. It puts the nation's largest mass transit system back in operation while negotiations resume on a new three-year contract.

Roger Toussaint, the combative president of Transport Workers Union Local 100, had recommended that his union's executive board accept the deal.

The agreement was worked out over the last two days in separate but fruitful meetings between the two sides. "This was a positive day," said mediator Martin Scheinman. "It was a very positive night. We wouldn't be here otherwise."

Both sides returned to a midtown Manhattan hotel for serious discussions at about 1 a.m. Thursday and met through the night.

The walkout, which began early Tuesday, was the first citywide transit strike in 25 years; the workers left their jobs in violation of a state law prohibiting them from striking.

The walkout sent millions of commuters from the city and its suburbs scrambling to find alternate ways of getting to work, and inflicted a heavy toll on the city's economy in the week before Christmas.

The upbeat mood at the announcement of the tentative deal was in stark contrast with the bitter rhetoric of the last two days, when Mayor Michael Bloomberg traded barbs with Toussaint.

The bitterness was captured in tabloid headlines. The Daily News declared a "War of the Words," and the New York Post screamed: "Jail 'em!" in front of a composite image of Toussaint behind bars.

Gov. George Pataki, a strident critic of the union, hailed the possible deal as "very positive for all New Yorkers."

A chief sticking point in the talks has been the pension proposal to raise contributions to the pension plan for new workers from 2 percent to 6 percent. The union contends it would be impossible to accept.

Both Pataki and Bloomberg had urged the MTA to avoid further negotiations until the union was back on the job.

The breakthrough was announced just minutes before Toussaint and two of his top deputies were due in a Brooklyn courtroom to answer a criminal contempt charge for continuing the strike in defiance of a court order.

State Supreme Court Justice Theodore Jones postponed the hearing until 4 p.m. A day earlier, Jones said he would consider fining or potentially jailing union leaders if the strike continued.

He has already fined the union $1 million per day while the strike lasts, although that penalty has been frozen while the TWU appeals.