By now, rational people are probably starting to wonder if the NYC chapter of the Transportation Worker’s Union isn’t looking out for their union members after all, just their own bottom line. Local 100 President Roger Toussaintwith New York-based all-news channel NY1 how the MTA could end the strike, entering it’s third day on Thursday. “All it needs to do is take its pension proposal off the table.”
Under the current pension plan, union members retire at age 55 after paying 2% of their wages. The new proposal would raise the retirement age and percentage to 62 and 3% respectively, but only for new-hires. In context, the average Social Security retirement age of men and women was 64 after 6.2% pay-in by employers (retirement SSA data, tax SSA data). Toussant’s claim? This is selling out the “unborn.” Personally I’d take being born with the slightly tarnished MTA silver spoon over the SSA’s rusty spork.
Also in contention is the MTA’s $1 billion surplus, due primarily to increased tax revenue from the real estate boom. The MTA has earmarked most of the money for other programs, including a holiday fare discount, and… oh yeah, employee pensions. But Toussaint wants a bigger piece of that pie as well, since by gosh if he’s not a proponent of redistribution of wealth. I say screw both the MTA and TWU on this one, give the surplus back to the customers in the form of lower fares.
So as it’s becoming readily apparent to the common onlooker, while the MTA is by no means perfect and deserves to be thrashed, Toussaint and his band of merry mutineers are on the wrong side of public opinion. It’s far too easy to see that this is a strike based not on hunger, but of gluttony.