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

Re: NYC Transit Strike Midst Cold Weather and Christmas
26 Dec 2005 16:53:06 -0800

John Smith <> wrote:

> Roger Toussaint, President of TWU Local 100, responded to Mayor
Bloomberg, who had made remarks essentially the same
as those above.

He said, "There is a higher calling than the law
and that's justice and equality. Had Rosa Parks
answered the call of the law instead of the higher
call of justice, many of us who are driving buses
today would still be in the back of the bus."

In other words, there are times we MUST pick and
choose what laws we will obey.

During WW II, the Federal Government ordered changes in qualifications
for transit workers in response to a labor shortage. The existing
transit motormen, conductors, and bus drivers vehmently disliked this
change and went out on strike to protest. This was particularly
paralyzing because during the war few people could drive and Phila was
a vital war production center. It was necessary for the government to
call out the Army and post men on every trolley.

I presume you and Toussaint would've called this strike "a higher call
to justice", right? Certainly the men who went out on strike at that
time felt so.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I can tell you that I have no love lost
for unions; some of them have virtually ruined American industry. But
here, I am in a quandry; I do not have any love lost for American
government either, and particularly things like the obnoxious Taylor
Act. But, when the government insists on getting into areas where it
has no business being, such as (originally) privately owned transpor-
tation systems or schools or real estate, then IMO the government has
to stand in line and take its chances like anyone else where labor
forces and labor pools are concerned. PAT]

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