NYC TWU Strike: Day Two

TWU NYC StrikeYesterday brought New Yorkers a subway system on the freeze, snarled traffic and heated emotions. With the Transportation Workers Union unwilling to go back to the negotiations table anytime soon (Update: both sides are talking to a mediator), residents of the city that never sleeps may adapt to the new burden of schlepping around by foot or cab as we enter day two of the strike.

On the top of our list of news to report on the strike comes from the blogosphere. It turns out TWU Local 100 had a blog. Well, with most New Yorkers unable to get to work on Tuesday, they quickly got an earful in the comments to the tune of over 700 comments. The blog owners quickly deleted all traces, but leave it to the Internets to have a cached copy.

Today, it becomes clear that newspaper editorialists don’t like walking to work. Jeff Jarvis has a great roundup of how the city’s daily rag Op/Eds are covering the strike.

Urban planners know that subways deliver the lifeblood (people) around the city. While some parts of the city are now packed with honking cars and backed up traffic, some sections are eerily desolate.

It wasn’t until he reached Madison Avenue, which was closed to all but emergency vehicles, that Gabor saw the effects of the strike.

A tall, helmeted man impeccably dressed in a suit and overcoat rolled by on Rollerblades, cell phone to his ear, right down the middle of what is usually a gridlock of cabs and cars. An artsy-looking New Yorker with an earring zoomed past on a Razor scooter, leg kicking, going through empty lanes. A chubby man huffed along on a BMX bike tricked out to look like a creation from Orange County Choppers. Police and police vehicles were everywhere.

NY Daily News reports that as of yesterday afternoon, “hundreds of transit union members already have crossed picket lines.” Could bode well for NYers trying to catch a train, bad for union leaders.

How much is NYC losing each day of the strike? $400m? $300m? $660m? Everyone seems to be guessing.

Update: Asymmetrical Information informs us that the whole shebang is going down faster than a Paris Hilton cameo in a Titanic remake:

The union is getting hammered from all sides. A court ordered the union fined $1 million a day, which will rapidly throw the union into receivership if the strike goes on. Meanwhile, the national union is taking the MTA’s side. […] I think it’s safe to say that the TWU members, who by law lose two days of pay for every day they strike, cannot count on any financial help from the national, and the fines will gut the local’s strike fund, such as it is.

I’m going to go out on a limb and bet the strike ends either today or early tomorrow.

Update: Or they could be in jail tomorrow. That seems like a bad precedent and unnecessary. There are legitimate reasons for unions to organize and strike, since I doubt anyone who has read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle would think throwing people in jail for striking would ever be a good idea.

Any updates or anything we missed, please leave them in the comments. Thanks!

5 Comments
  1. I don’t agree with striking, but I understand why they’re doing it. Most people believe these workers are receiving high incomes and are just being greedy. But, if you think about the kind of fumes and subterranean dust a subway train driver inhales everyday; the mta wanting to raise pension contributions from 2% to 6% but then only offering 2%-3% pay increase; a 1 billion surplus that MTA officials have yet to fully explain its purpose, this after being caught red handed with a million $$ surplus a couple years ago; and the fact that whatever contract agreements are reached will affect any future negotiations with other city unions…I mean..It gets to a boil.. As I said i don’t agree with a city wide strike, and i hope they keep negotiating…but if one bullies you, you either lay down or bully back in some way… and why is Pataki not actively involved?? it’s a STATE AGENCY..state!!! and he is governor..

  2. That’s what they get for relying on government to get themselves to work. But hey, don’t we all. We all use the roads or other public transportation everyday. But still, it just shows how little the government cares about keeping their services open. If it were a private company, they would be scurrying to open the trains again.

  3. julio: OK, so since the state has a billion dollar surplus, they should give it to the employees? Why not give it back to the taxpayers or lower the fares?

    I’m not going to defend the MTA or the TWU, I think they both stink and are chest-thumping morons (full-city strike vs. throwing union leaders in jail, yeesh). But right now the TWU is causing far more problems and deserves more criticism, simply because their complaint isn’t of hunger, but of gluttony.

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