Big Apple Strike: NYC Trains/Buses Grind to Halt

New York City Transit Workers StrikeAfter negotiations failed Tuesday morning between New York City’s Metro Transit Authority (MTA) and the Transport Workers Union, the union workers decided to walk out shortly after 3am.

The big issue of contention? Raising the pension eligibility age for new hires from 55 to 62. Excuse me as I vomit a little while the union rejects a guaranteed 3, 4 and 3.5 percent pay raise over the next 3 years and some of the highest public employee wages in the country:

The Transport Workers Union and the MTA had worked furiously to try and reach a new contract, hoping to avoid the city’s first transit strike in more than 25 years. It is illegal for mass transit workers to strike in New York, which means the 33,000 bus and subway employees will incur huge fines — two days pay for each day on strike.

[…] More than 7 million daily riders will be forced to find new ways to get around because of the strike.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg was poised to put into effect a sweeping emergency plan to reduce gridlock and keep certain streets open for emergency vehicles. New Yorkers were urged to make arrangements to car pool, bicycle and walk to workL..oshopping and tourist season. He said a strike would freeze traffic into “gridlock that will tie the record for all gridlocks.”

I’m not going to agree with the transit workers by any means, but the illegality part is a joke too. I could imagine that would be one slippery slope to justify if (theoretically) the MTA continually had the upper hand and was cutting wages for a decade or so. Hard to back it if that happened.

But of course, there is a very small silver lining. There won’t be any random subway searches, because everybody will be slogging their freezing butts through snow to get to work during the strike.

Update: There are suburban/commuter trains that are still running into the city. Here’s a list from WNBC:

# The Long Island Rail Road will be making extra stops in Queens. The L-I-R-R ends at Penn Station in midtown, or Flatbush Avenue in downtown Brooklyn.
# Metro North Commuter Railroad will operate from the northern suburbs of Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester counties as well as Fairfield and New Haven counties in Connecticut. Metro North will make extra stops at stations in the Bronx before ending at Grand Central Station in midtown.
# The Staten Island Rapid Transit trains will run on Staten Island and connect to ferry terminals that will take people to Lower Manhattan The Staten Island Ferry will have extended service – but the parking lots at the Saint George Terminal will be restricted to vehicles with four or more passengers.
# PATH trains will run from New Jersey with usual stops in lower Manhattan and 33rd Street in Midtown.
# N.J. Transit will operate is buses and trains into New York.
# AMTRAK is operating normally.
# The AIR TRAIN to JFK Airport is operating.
# Westchester County Bee-Line buses will run.
# Rockland Coaches will operate.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. If it’s illegal for them to go on strike, is it illegal for them to quit? Are the indentured servants or employees?

    I think that employee unions are good because in the great theoretical libertarian economy, it’s the only way of guaranteeing proper treatment and pay of employees.

  2. however following that philosophy… it only works if the cattle (join the herd) are able to cross the field into another pen…

    Don’t get me wrong, I think that unions can strike a balance with corporations. I do not know enough about them to say whether they do but a little balance in everything is generally good is it not?

    In the end the people still have to stand up for themselves individually.