December 22, 2005

EVEN OUR PARIS IS UNFRENCH (via David Hill, The Bronx):

Screws Tighten on NYC Transit Union (DAVID B. CARUSO , 12.21.2005, Forbes)

Threatened with huge fines and possible jail time, the city's transit union suggested Wednesday that it would be willing to end a strike that has shut down bus and subway service for two days - if the city drops its plan for changing workers' pensions. [...]

On the streets Wednesday, commuters struggled through the first day of winter.

At Pennsylvania Station, railroad officials used bullhorns to corral people trying to board the commuter train lines and closed off a city block to line people up. At Grand Central Terminal, more than 1,000 people pushed to get on shuttle trains to the Bronx.

Isaac Flores, who works at a law firm in midtown, was part of a complicated, four-person car pool.

"They're too spoiled," Flores said of the transit workers. "They want to retire at age 55. They're making more money than a cop."

Myra Sanoguet, who was with him, said they saw a group of pickets during the drive. Just briefly, "we were thinking about running them over," she said.

While Democrats continue under the delusion that Americans are sympathetic to unions generally, nevermind public employee unions.

Tough Stance, Tougher Fines: Union Leader Is in a Corner (STEVEN GREENHOUSE, 12/22/05, NY Times)

When Roger Toussaint, the president of the transit workers' local, defiantly announced a strike, he proclaimed that his union was taking a proud stand against the concessions that employers had demanded nationwide.

But Mr. Toussaint has quickly discovered that engaging in an illegal walkout can leave a union with a weak hand. His union faces a $1 million fine for each day on strike, a state judge is threatening to throw him in jail and thousands of individual strikers stand to lose two days' pay for each day out.

Not only that, but the mayor, the governor and editorial writers are denouncing the union as greedy and showing contempt for the law. The front page of The New York Post screamed, "You Rats." And the transit workers' parent union has come out in opposition to the strike.

They handed the Mayor a sword, time to use it.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 22, 2005 9:27 AM

New York's a liberal-Democratic city, but it's not a city stocked with loons, like San Francisco. Voters have shown over the past 80 years that they'll only toe the party line and support the usual causes for so long, until enlightened self-interest supercedes any squishy do-gooder feelings they have inside (which is why Rudy Giuliani served two terms and why, in the wake of Sept. 11, Mark Green is not currently preparing to begin his second term as mayor of New York).

Posted by: John at December 22, 2005 10:20 AM

Funny how Calvin Coolidge, who gets derided by Democrats everywhere, grows bigger and wiser all the time. Just like Ronald Reagan grows stronger and wiser. I see a pattern.

Meanwhile, if Pataki wants to "grow", he'd best de-certify now and force closure TODAY. If he offered to hire replacement workers and jailed Toussaint, the union would cave in a heartbeat.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 22, 2005 11:13 AM

I live in NYC. Bloomberg's not going to use any sword. The offer the union turned down was still a really sweet one for unskilled laborers.

Posted by: Matt Cohen at December 22, 2005 3:58 PM