Archive for December 20th, 2005

Holy schneikies, there’s a transit strike!

I tried to stay awake last night for the news on whether there’d be a transit strike here in NYC, but fell asleep at around 1am. After all, if there wasn’t going to be a strike, I’d be getting up and out at the same time as usual this morning. So I missed the announcement, which apparently occurred at around 3am.

I woke up this morning to my girlfriend’s clock radio, from which we dcoculd hear talk of the strikes. Part of what we heard before she hit snooze: Mayor Bloomberg calling the strike “morally reprehensible.”

Now, yes – the strike is gonna suck for many, many New Yorkers, probably primarily NYC’s working poor, and not least of all the transit workers themselves. But, morally reprehensible?

Bloomie, I can think of many, many things in this city that are morally reprehensible. And you and your ilk are at least partially responsible for many of them. But it’s just plain wrong to attempt to demonize legitimate and important union tactics in the eyes of the NYC public. Strikes are a necessary evil borne of the much larger evil of worker mistreatment. The fact that employers (like the MTA) won’t act right towards their workers without being strongarmed – now that’s morally reprehensible.

On a side note: in this morning’s statement, Bloomberg said, “Let’s show our determination by walking, cycling or carpooling, to get to work and school.” Now, maybe I don’t know much about these things, or else I’m just a bad capitalist, but wouldn’t it make infinitely more sense to encourage folks whose jobs aren’t crucial to someone’s survival (I’m thinking doctors, nurses, firefighteres here) to stay home? To work from home if that’s at all possible, but if it isn’t, wouldn’t it be good to encourage businesses to declare a snow day of sorts, with absolutely no penalties to employees who couldn’t make it into the workplace without jumping through flaming hoops? I keep hearing about all of the transit and traffic nightmares that are about to ensue because people simply must get to work, and I wish that we didn’t live in a society in which the capitalist, money-making show simply must go on, come hell, high water, or no subways.

More on the strike:

  • mole333 and bouldin have good takes on the strike and ther surrounding issues over at the Daily Gotham.
  • My friend Mickey was talking about the strike in his livejournal today and had these good things to say in response to folks who are all down on the TWU folks:

    think good thoughts for the TWU, losing two days’ pay for every day on strike and standing on picket lines in 25 degree weather in a stiff wind. every time i hear someone blaming the union for this strike, i remember this picture of my mom, with my then 3-year-old sister sitting in her lap, on a picket line looking at her check, which was $3.42 for the month. like they would strike if it weren’t fucking important.