Monday, April 17, 2006

Illegal Union

The TWU is back in court today. For those of you from out of town, let me refresh your memories. In December, the transit workers union (TWU, the union that represents all of the subway and bus workers in New York City), was unable to reach a deal with the MTA (the government agency that runs the subways and busses, is woefully mismanaged, cooks the books, and still can't get the subways to run at any level one would consider reasonable), because the MTA's primary objective was to break the union as opposed to negotiating a settlement. So, the WTU was forced to go on strike. Also known as – what unions do when they're getting screwed by The Man.

Nevertheless, the strike was "illegal" because the union-busting Republican mayor and governor who (by coincidence) manage the MTA deemed it so. I agree that the strike was one major fucking inconvenience. Hey, I walked across the Queensboro bridge in December. Trust me. But to declare a strike illegal is to tacitly say that the WTU must accept whatever pittance the MTA decides to drop into WTU's panhandling can. Today, the union is in court to determine what mammoth fine the union must pay. Does the MTA who would not negotiate in good faith have to pay anything? Of course not! They were the innocent bystanders with the billion dollar surplus deficit surplus... well, they had a budget anyway.

An "impartial" judge will mete out an "appropriate" fine the only question being how many tens of millions of dollars they will pay; and while we're at it the judge will decide whether or not the union can deduct union fees from workers' paychecks. To put it another way, a judge will put the union out of business, or "break" the union as it used to be known.

What I don't understand is why Bloomberg/Pataki didn't just hire the same goons Henry Ford used to use to break some legs and bury a few bodies in the Meadowlands.

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