TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: NYC Transit Strike Midst Cold Weather and Christmas

Re: NYC Transit Strike Midst Cold Weather and Christmas

Seth Breidbart (
Fri, 23 Dec 2005 03:43:25 UTC

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: This strike is only against the law in
> NYC because the city of New York passed a law claiming it was
> 'wrong'.

First, it's a state law. Second, it's the _same_ state law that
permitted public employees to have unions in the first place. Prior
to that, the state would not recognize public employee unions.

> I suggest that the city is condoning indentured slavery.

There's no slavery involved, because nobody has said the employees
can't just _quit_. What they aren't allowed to do is (1) not work and
(2) keep their jobs.

> No one can be _forced_ to work at a job they do not want to work at.

That's right; they can quit any time they want.

> If the city feels public transportation is so important, the way to
> demonstate that is by treating the employees who are doing that work
> in a respectful way, not by being even more oppressive with laws
> which require your work and fine or imprison you for failing to work,
> as is the case in Bloomberg's administation.

Oh, and Bloomberg has little to do with it. The Transit Authority is
a _state_ agency.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note:

> Here is a piece of advice for you: the transit workers do not belong
> to the citizens of New York nor the politicians. If the residents
> of New York are so damned inconvenienced by the strike (and I am
> sure they are) then their wrath should be taken out on the lousy
> political adminsitration and transit system who forced the workers
> to go out on strike to start with; either go on strike or lose much
> of their pensions; get cuts in pay, etc.

Does it matter whether or not they're overpaid? Or that nobody is
losing any pension, but rather *new hires* will get less generous

> How much money has NYTA lost through theft by its own workers

The ones on strike now?

> and general ineffeciency?

You mean, the inefficiency required by the union?

> A NYC judge blustered about it, fined them umpteen jillion dollars per
> day in fines, and when the court _tried_ to collect the fines the day
> the strike finally ended, the union's posture was "we still have
> umpteen millions more in our treasury, let's continue the strike a few
> more days until the money is totally gone ... who will be the ultimate
> loser?

And the judge didn't immediately issue a Court Order freezing the
union's bank accounts? Why not?

Besides, a judgment doesn't disappear just because the defendant has
no money at the time. The fine could be collected at any future time,
including taking union dues as they're paid by the TA (withheld from
employees' paychecks, turned over directly in payment of the fine).


[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: For someone who has no control over the
matter (as you claim about Bloomberg) he sure does a lot of talking
about the strike and taking credit for ending it Thursday afternoon. Why
don't we hear him saying, "Sorry, that's not my department, you will
need to talk to the transit workers and their managers."?

And yes, I _know_ the one is a state agency and the other is a
municipal government ... duh! But you should know that when Bloomberg
says 'jump' everyone asks 'how high?', etc. Things like the difference
between a 'state agency' and a 'municipal government' in this instance
is just thinly veilled bullshit, just as with Chicago Transit
Authority. That was how the politicians years ago wanted to set it
up, I have no idea why.

The union does not require ineffeciency, or no more so than the
government bosses. And why didn't the court immediatly freeze the
union's bank account? Obviously you did _not_ do your homework
assignment yesterday (read the transcripts of the 1960's court
proceeding when the union was last on strike.) At that point in time,
the reason the strike lasted eleven days instead of only two or three
was because the judge was a total blowhard, a real jerk with his fines
and punishments, etc. Yes, the 1960's judge did threaten to freeze the
treasury, freeze the employee's salaries, etc. _But the union warned
him against continuing that approach_, teling him in effect "freeze
our members wages to collect your silly fine, I'll tell everyone of
them not present now to hear me say it in person, "resign your
employment and walk off the job permanently as of now. See how soon
you have a transit system running again." The union in those days was
_tough_ and the judge sort of wishy-washy and very much inclined to
only please the people who put him in office who wanted the strike to
end. Once cooler heads prevailed, he agreed to forgive the fine, etc.

I think the same thing will happen in this case when the court
reconvenes on January 20 after the requested adjournment today. All
the fines and the nasty language will be forgotten about. My
competitor the New York Times and the other newspapers will print a
tiny little one paragraph thing on page 79 announcing that the court
agreed to forgive all the fines.

You know, Seth, your cute little distinction between 'state agency'
versus municipal government and how, oh boo hoo, Bloomberg had no
control over it, etc sort of reminds me of how when I call ICANN to
task around here, invariably one or more readers will conveniently
forget how although damn near everyone considers ICANN to be in
control of the net, they will say the opposite, that ICANN 'has
no control, they are just an agency to (fill in the blank.)' And
although technically, that is true, there are many people further
up the line who tell ICANN how to march and sing. Ditto the transit
agency and Bloomberg I suspect. Let's deal with realities, not
theoreticals if you don't mind. PAT]

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