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New York City Transit Strike!

News Archive33,700 transit workers in New York City are on strike for the first time in 25 years. Defying the Taylor law--1967 Public Employees-Fair Employment Act--members of Transport Workers Union Local 100 are courageously striking to maintain their health benefits and pensions. New York City Transit Strike!

NEFAC
http://nefac.net/en/nyctwustrike

33,700 transit workers in New York City are on strike for the first time in 25 years. Defying the Taylor law--1967 Public Employees-Fair Employment Act--members of Transport Workers Union Local 100 are courageously striking to maintain their health benefits and pensions.

The city is threatening the union with a $22 million a day law suit if the workers strike; and this is workers currently without a contract! On the busses not directly employed by the Metropolitan Transit Administration, the city is asking for additional damages against individual workers: $25,000 for the first day of the walkout, doubling each day thereafter. The huge fines amount to two days pay for every day workers remain on strike. Seven million commuters are effected by a strike, estimated to cost the city some $400 millon each day.

The principal part of the dispute is the MTA wishing to change the way new employees are treated. The MTA originally wanted to raise the age at which new employees become eligible for a full pension from 55 to 62. The union objected. The MTA later agreed to allow pension eligibility at 55 for new employees, but asked that they contribute 6 percent of their salaries for their first 10 years of employment. The MTA wants new employees to contribute 1 percent of their salary to pay for health insurance. Transit workers currently do not have to pay anything for health insurance and are resisting this change.

The MTA had proposed annual raises of 3 percent. The union wanted considerably higher pay increases; a later MTA offer included annual raises of 3 percent, 4 percent and 3.5 percent. Operators and Conductors on Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Railroad also run by the MTA make $6 - $8 more per hour than the TWU workers; but the lines worked by TWU carry more passengers that pay higher fares than Metro-North or LIRR. The Metro-North and LIRR workers are not expected to strike in support of TWU Local 100. Anthony J. Bottalico, the chairman of the union that represents Metro-North engineers, conductors and rail-traffic controllers, said none of his members planned to strike. However, two other unions, which represent Metro-North ticket collectors and track workers, have vowed to show solidarity with Local 100 by refusing to cross picket lines, and they could conceivably delay, though not disrupt, regular train service.

TWU Local 100 claims that not only does the MTA have a billion dollar surplus, but that surplus has been understated by a hundred million.

President Michael T. O'Brien of Transport Workers Union of America cautioned Local 100 against striking. Local 100 disagreed--it's executive board voted to strike with 28 for, 10 against and 5 members abstaining,

The strike was limited initially against two Queens bus lines, Jamaica Buses Inc. and Triboro Coach Corporation, as a presure tactic by TWU in hope of reaching an overall settlement before the entire system was shutdown. The transit workers of the two Queens line had been without contract for 33 months. While the MTA intends to asorb these two lines with five others, TWU argued that since the MTA had yet to take full control, their strike did not violate the Taylor law.

The last time the transit workers in New York City walked out was in April 1980, with an 11-day strike.

In November, 5,000 TWU and UTU workers won a strike on the SEPTA system in Philadelphia. The issues were similar in regards to changes in new hire employee contributions to health care. Instead of new hires paying 30 percent of their health care premium the first year and 20 percent the second year, now they will pay the same 1 percent as everyone. New hires will also get dental, prescription and vision coverage earlier and SEPTA will make a bigger contribution to pensions.

Sites:
twulocal100.org
twulocal100.blogspot.com

Toussaint: TWU Local 100 on Strike

Dec. 20 - With a one billion dollar surplus contract between the MTA and Transport Workers Union Local 100 should have been a no brainier. Sadly that has not been the case.

Our contract expired midnight on Thursday. In an attempt to save Mass Transit an in deference to our riders, we postponed our deadline and attempted to continue talking to the MTA.

From the beginning, the MTA approached these negotiations in bad faith, demanding arbitration before even trying to resolve the contract. Hours before contract expiration, the MTA got rid of its one billion dollar surplus -- a surplus which we believe continues to be understated by some one hundred million dollars.

The MTA knew that reducing health and pension standards at the authority would be unacceptable to our union. They knew there was no good economic reason for their hard line on this issue - not with a billion dollar surplus. They went ahead anyway, supported by the Bloomberg administration which wants to overrun Municipal Labor Unions and all City workers with down pressed wages and gutted health benefits and pension plans.

This has been combined with continued attempts by the MTA, joined by the Governor and the Mayor, to intimidate and threaten our members and their families.

This is a fight over whether hard work will be rewarded with a decent retirement -- over the erosion or eventual elimination of health benefit coverage for working people. And it is a fight over dignity and respect on the job. A concept that is very alien to the MTA. Transit workers are tired at being under appreciated and disrespected.

The Local 100 Executive Board has voted overwhelmingly to extend strike action to all MTA properties effective immediately.

All Local 100 representatives and shop stewards are directed to report to their assigned strike locations picket lines or facility nearest you immediately.

To our riders, we ask for your understanding forbearance. We stood with you to keep token booths open, to keep conductors on the train and oppose fare hikes. We now ask that you stand with us. We did not want a strike. Evidently the MTA, governor and the Mayor did.

We call on all good will New Yorkers, the Labor Community, and all working people to recognize that our fight is their fight, and to rally in our support with solidarity activities and events. And to show the MTA that TWU does not stand alone.

-Roger Toussaint, President, TWU Local 100
By Flint at 12/20/2005
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New York City Transit Strike! | 9 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
New York City Transit Strike!
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 21 2005 @ 12:03 PM CST
What are some good things anarchists can do to support the strike, and also move it in a more radical direction?
New York City Transit Strike!
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 21 2005 @ 01:07 PM CST
"Wednesday's headlines on the city's tabloid newspapers reflected the attitude
of some commuters. "Mad as Hell," proclaimed the Daily News. "You Rats," the
New York Post said of the striking transit workers"

you can at the least tell the city government, and MTA leadership that you
dissapprove of their actions, in some way. and tell the strikers that you support
them. bring 'em coffee, thank them for the job they do. and talk to people
about it, explain why you support them, tell these fucking tabloid rags as well.
New York City Transit Strike!
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 21 2005 @ 02:29 PM CST
kudos to the nyc transit workers .i support you wholeheartedly,you had the courage to stand up to the dictators knowned as (pataki &bloomberg).
nyc employees have not received a fair contract since 1989 under mayor ed koch.i and many other city employees thank you for taking the lead in our fight .we will no longer be slapped arround during contract time.treat the loyal civil servants of this city fairly so we to can provide for our family.
New York City Transit Strike!
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 21 2005 @ 05:04 PM CST
Yeah its important to keep the focus in part on making sure people dont get angry with the workers on strike, its the evil MTA that needs to give up their $1billion surplus and help out these people.

SOLIDARITY FROM THE SOUTHWEST!
New York City Transit Strike!
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 21 2005 @ 05:35 PM CST
Are there a solidarity critical masses? They say that the cops are way over extended. Big Apple show the us what you're made of-shut the parasites of wall street down.
New York City Transit Strike!
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 21 2005 @ 06:41 PM CST
Yea, the "cabbies" should have gone on strike too. That'd have shut the whole place down real fast.
New York City Transit Strike!
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 21 2005 @ 11:17 PM CST
this shit kills me.. THEY NEED TO RUN THE TRAINS and NOT COLLECT FARES...
right now they are pawns in a political power game that's gonna destroy worker solidarity, and lend credence the the idea that bloomberg and pataki are on our side...
FARE STRIKE.
or
GENERAL STRIKE
...
the current tactics are suicide...
New York City Transit Strike!
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, December 22 2005 @ 10:14 AM CST
"this shit kills me.. THEY NEED TO RUN THE TRAINS and NOT COLLECT FARES..."


You know, this is what kills me sometimes about a lot of infoshop comments. Do you even know what you're talking about? I agree with the sentiment in theory, but it is pretty much *unfeasible*. The transit workers do not have control over that aspect of the system. It might be reasonable to expect such an action from, say, the NJ Transit conductors because they physically collect tickets on the trains. However, turnstiles are not so amendable, and the NYPD would certainly enforce folks swiping their Metrocard (remember... one of the things Guiliani made a big deal about was turnstile hopping? They love giving tickets for that shit). So... the turnstiles would have to be disabled (and I seriously doubt that the people who ultimately hold those key in control of that are the same people who are on strike), and the police would have to be acting in solidarity. Additionally, I don't know the percentage, but most New Yorkers don't pay per ride, but rather have monthly cards, so the idea of not collecting fares is inapplicable unless the strike is long-term. For this idea to work, there would have to be a much more far-reaching social upheaval than that just some train conductors.

So please, before you go on mouthing off about what every body else should be doing, do your research. Think shit through.
New York City Transit Strike!
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, December 22 2005 @ 03:01 PM CST
what! you are asking anarchist to think out their logic. you cop.