Aug
12

More fallout from the MTA/TWU arbitration decision

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As I reported late last night, a labor arbitrator yesterday sided with the transit union in its contract dispute with the MTA. Because of this decision, transit union workers will earn raises totaling 11 percent over the next three years, and the MTA will be scrambling to cover another $350-$400 million in unanticipated costs.

As other city unions have earned similar raises in recent months, it may have been foolish for the MTA to omit consideration of possible union raises. The MTA, however, is in a far different economic situation than the rest of the city. The agency is struggling to stay afloat and shouldn’t have been required to give its workers raises if it can’t afford to. After all, I, as a private sector employee, don’t expect substantial raises over the next few years if my company is struggling financially.

Meanwhile, the fallout from this arbitration decision extends well beyond economics and potential fare hikes. As The Times’ Michael Grynbaum reports, because of a bad negotiating tactic, the MTA won’t be able to implement one-person train operations until at least 2012. He writes:

During contract talks, the agency dropped its demand for one-person train operation, instead of two, thinking that Transport Workers Union Local 100 would make health care concessions in return. But an arbitration panel has found there had been “no evidence” of a quid pro quo — handing a victory to the workers, who had been seeking to limit their health care contributions.

Establishing one-person train operation has been a major goal of New York City Transit for more than a decade. Using one-person crews would save millions in labor costs, and the agency, which wanted to start the program on the No. 7 and L lines, has already invested in new compatible subway cars.

The program has been held up by objections from the union, which stood to lose jobs and wages, and from rider advocates concerned about security.

That is a prime example of the union standing in the way of both technological progress and economic trimming. The MTA is a bloated agency, but as long as the union refuses to compromise on staffing levels, upper management will as well. This is a stand-off that won’t end well for straphangers.

Meanwhile, as long-time SAS reader Larry Littlefield noted in the comments earlier today, the arbitrator’s ruling may have a bigger impact on the MTA than we realize. As Grynbaum reported, “The arbitration panel said the authority could use federal stimulus funds and money from its capital program to make up any shortfall in its operating budget.”

Littlefield believes that this could be damaging to the MTA’s future capital plans and its need and ability to separate the operating budget from its capital expenditures. “If the capital program can be diverted to operating costs, and it is borrowed money, therefore, the operating budget is unlimited with no effect on taxpayers,” he wrote. “Anyone here going to be thrilled with all the innovative studies by consultants over the next couple of decade, as the system decays and no improvements are built? Anyone even mentioning proposals for improved service shows they are willing to go along, and be unpleasantly surprised down the road, blaming future leaders.”

The Daily News’ editorial board slammed arbitrator John Zuccotti for siding with the union in a time of grave economic troubles for the MTA. The Post blames Bloomberg for overly generous payouts to other city unions. I’m still waiting on a comment from the TWU’s spokespeople, but in the end, the fare-paying public will have to pay. Higher fares and unnecessary employees will mar the forward progress of the subway system. The MTA is to blame; the TWU is to blame. What a mess.



Categories : TWU

69 Responses to “More fallout from the MTA/TWU arbitration decision”

  1. Working Class says:

    It’s really disgusting that in 2005 the TWU went on strike and ended up with one of the worst contracts in it’s history and got crucified in the press and by people like Ben. Now in 2009 the TWU agreed with the MTA to let an arbitrator decide the contract a full 2 months before the old one even expired, and they get crucified by the press and people like Ben. It’s just easy to blame the lowest paid workers in the MTA family.

    • Straphanger says:

      Disgusting? These people* are basically on welfare at MTA’s expense. Instead of sitting around at home collecting a paycheck from the government, they stand on a train, pretending to do something worthy of a paycheck, when really they’re just pointless, extraneous labor. In the mean time, the riders suffer to support these leeches.

      Tell me again, what’s disgusting?

      * I’m referring here to the extra operators on the trains which could be single-operator trains.

      • Working Class says:

        These leeches that you speak of are the hard working men and woman that are the reason that this city has a reliable 24 hour a day 7 day a week transit system. They are the ones working the system 24/7/365 for way less than there equals at MNR, LIRR, Amtrak, NJT, and PATH make in the same region.

        • Alon Levy says:

          Would those be the people who protested one-person train operation and automation?

          • Working Class says:

            I have never heard anyone protest automation it is being done at the expense of union jobs everyday throughout the system. What was protested by BOTH the union and the riding public was 1 employee on a 600 foot NYC train. I know alot of people like to not realize it but there were thousands of riders that protested 1 person on trains. Whether you agree or disagree with it, they are entitled to want 2 employees on the trains just like you are entitled to want 1 employee.

            • Alon Levy says:

              They are entitled? Great, then let them pay more, and stop hiking my fares.

              You may not realize it, but cities that aren’t hijacked by public sector unions have 600′ trains run by zero employees.

              • Tony says:

                You know as well as I do that the fares are artificially low already. The base fare should be no less than $3 and ther should be no discounts.

            • Nathanael says:

              Absolute ridiculousness.

              Docklands Light Rail, in London, has one employee on the trains.

              For security.

              Because the trains are fully automated.

              There is no reason not to fully automate the NYC trains, and then calling for the trains to have one employee on them would be a reasonable request.

      • slowmeo says:

        The so called welfare check collectors, have to work in frezzing cold with broken heaters, brutal heat with broken air conditioners, step over homeless and their feces and have to ride for hours with their smell, stand in urine for 2 hours until the train gets to the terminal to be cleaned, risk being attacked working on deserted platforms at all hours of the night, and be ready to save your ass during a fire, blackout or terrorist attack. I am ready every day to do these things and have on MANY occasions. What have YOU done today ?

      • Veteran Railer says:

        If you had any understanding of the job transit workers do to provide service, you’d think twice before calling them leeches. Do you wake up at 2am, go out in any weather to prepare the train for service to pick up leeches like yourself.
        May you be the first passenger dragged to your death because there is no conductor on the train to see you are stuck in a door.

    • I think calling the 2005 contract “one of the worst contracts” in TWU history is a bit of hyperbole. It might not have been a great contract by union standards, but it still came with job security, health care and retirement benefits better than most. Meanwhile, the reason the MTA went to an arbitrator was because the TWU wouldn’t budge on anything despite obvious extenuating financial circumstances. Now that the TWU has racked the money-starved MTA over the coals via arbitration, its members should be prepared for the blowback.

      I’m not anti-labor. I’m anti-flexibility and anti groups who ignore reality and stand in the way of progress. Both sides carry blame here.

      • Working Class says:

        That’s nonsense the MTA actually was willing to give bigger raises 4/4/4 until Bloomberg started screaming behind the scenes because he is anti-ta worker. Bloomberg is the main reason that the MTA REQUESTED that the contract go to arbitration.

        You say that the TWU wouldn’t budge on anything which proves once again that you don’t know what you’re talking about because the union AGREED to let the TA expand OPTO. It was the TA that dropped that in there arbitration presentation.

        • The MTA wasn’t willing to give bigger raises. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have this budget problem. That’s just not an accurate charge.

          The OPTO issue is why I’m faulting the MTA for their negotiating tactics. I’ve now said that three time. Again, both sides are to blame for this mess, and the people who pay are going to be the straphangers.

          All I’m saying is don’t expect much sympathy for a public going through bad economic times and facing with higher fares. When this and this are how people view workers, it’s an uphill battle after news like this.

          Meanwhile, as Chris said earlier today, I work in the private sector right now. I’m lucky to have a job, and I’m not worrying about raises and cushy retirement benefits right now.

      • Working Class says:

        So Ben what you’re saying is strike illegally and you deserve to be crucified and follow the law and get awarded a decent NOT great contract by a nuetral arbitrator and you also deserve to get crucified? Sounds like Bloomberg logic to me.

        • What I’m saying — for the fourth time now — is that this is one giant mess where both sides are to blame. That’s not a crazy statement to make.

          I’ve also now been waiting for three hours for Toussaint’s spokesperson to get back to me after contacting me this morning. I’d love to hear the union side, but so far, I’m getting stymied.

          • Working Class says:

            Did you try the acting president because Touissant is no longer on the locals payroll. He works for the international and technically has nothing to do with the local. He keeps hanging around because his cronies let him but at the end of the year when they are all voted out he will be a distant horrible memory.

        • Boris says:

          I doubt that crucifixion is the punishment for breaking this particular law, but there should be *some* punishment, right? Otherwise it doesn’t matter if it’s illegal or not. As far as I can tell, no punishment was meted out.

          • Tony says:

            No punishment? The union lost it’s right to automatic dues check off for many months costing it millions, as well as being fined huge sums of money. Each individual member got fined TWO days pay for each day of the 3 day strike. That doesn’t sound like nothing to me.

            For a blue collar worker most of which live check to check in this region losing 6 days pay is a pretty big deal.

            • Alon Levy says:

              Said blue collar worker lives paycheck to paycheck because of a government policy promoting a consumption-based economy, rather than saving and investment. The US had a negative savings rate before the recession; the national savings rate is now up to 5%, which is lower than what many other developed countries have in times of growth: 8% for Japan, 15% for France and Germany, 20% for South Korea.

      • Avi Frisch says:

        I think Ben that you do not recognize how bad the 2005 contract was. They got little and gave back on health care. What they already had is not something that was a subject of bargaining in the contract, such as their job security, so yes it was a terrible contract.

        In addition, you might think you aren’t anti-labor, but your post certainly sounds like you are. One person train operation is not going to save the MTA< there are good reasons to still oppose it, and the union is right to oppose proposals that hurt its members. Also, the MTA is no more or less cash starved than the city as a whole, in the end it drinks from the same trough, even if it is a separate legal entity. Blaming workers for trying to get a decent wage in this horribly expensive city is just unfair.

      • slowmeo says:

        Both side would carry blame if there wern’t so many MTA managers making $180,000 a year sitting on their ass while the REAL workers have to fight to make $60,000. The problem is that the public only knows what they read in the paper. The MTA need to be held accountable for its keeping on MULTIPLE books (whats that all about) to hide their true finances. The fare was raised already WITHOUT any expectation of the winning of the Union contract. So Wake up and smell the subway. Your fare will go up if the workers NEVER get a raise. The MTA just uses that excuse to get people that know NOTHING about the MTA to vent against workers.

        • I’m so sick of hearing about the two sets of books charges. This was proven in a court of law to be false. The MTA does not and has not kept two sets of books. It doesn’t help anyone’s pro-union argument when they continue to propagate this ridiculous fairy tale.

  2. petey says:

    “The agency is struggling to stay afloat and shouldn’t have been required to give its workers raises if it can’t afford to.”

    or, working people are struggling to stay afloat and shouldn’t be required to give their labor to the agency if they can’t afford to.

    but the bigger question, beyond the scope of this site: why implicitly see the relationship as mgmt granting something to the workers? without the labor, they’re nothing.

    • slowmeo says:

      How do YOU know that the agency is struggling to stay afloat? Because they told you?? The same people that lie about their finances over and over again and keep separate books to hide the true facts?? Again, don’t believe everything you read in the paper. The MTA has Billions of dollars hidden. Some go to No Bid contract friends (Believe It), that scratch the MTA’s back in some way or another. And how can you have money to build new things when the old things are breaking down? I would LOVE to buld another room in my home BUT I have to use the money for other things. So does the MTA. (Like paying its workers properly).

  3. Emily says:

    So with all of this in mind, the question that begs to be asked is how much the MTA could save in a perfect world where it could completely de-unionize. In this scenario, we would be able to switch to OPTO as soon as equipment allows: in the absense of a union there’d be no one to scare the riding public that getting the guy in the middle of the train to stay home is somehow unsafe or. Once union folks stop saying that, it’ll be forgotten quite quickly. Plus, we would be able to pay market rates for the jobs that remain.

    Obviously it’s probably easier to root out the mob than to de-unionize the MTA, but I’d love to see an estimate of the amount of savings that the MTA and the taxpayers would see as a result of this. Does anyone have a ballpark guess how much we could be saving?

    • Tony says:

      Are you talking about de-unionizing all of the many MTA unions including the supervisors unions, teamsters, BLE, DC37 or just the TWU? Friendly reminder: Union members are tax payers too.

      • George says:

        Union members are taxpayers too, true, but unfortunately, some of these union members just happen to get paid a lot more than others and work a lot less, and even more unfortunate is that fact that they are doing this at the expense of other taxpayers.

    • Alon Levy says:

      It depends on who the MTA would get instead of the unionized workforce. Derecognizing a union this big basically requires firing all the workers and hiring replacements. Wal-Mart can get away with it because it’s completely unskilled, but the MTA can’t. Thatcher, who waged war on the unions for a decade, had a lot more success with the coal unions, which she broke by importing coal and switching energy production to oil, than with the public service unions, which couldn’t be so outsourced.

    • slowmeo says:

      Nice questions. My only comment is, the fare already went up without the union’s contract. So an example of being without a union has been given already I think.

  4. Phil says:

    The TWU is a disgrace of a union and should dissolve as soon as possible. I understand that workers need a living wage, but they’re asking for completely unprecedented and disproportionate pay to actual work done. The TWU destroyed OPTO, something that would have greatly benefitted and improved the subway system. They cause massive strikes and harm the city economy, then expect to be paid more for less. It’s absurd.

    • Grumpy Miner says:

      Phil..don’t know why you are angry,but lets put this in perspective.Sanitation-they pick up your trash so it doesn’t stink up your penthouse and neighborhood get 4% raise.Firefighters-they put out fires in yours and everyone elses neighborhood get 4% raise.NYPD-supposedly the best in the country fight crimes and in the line of danger everyday get 4% as well.Follow the trend so far Phil?Teachers-they provide your kids with an education to succeed in the world after we are long gone get 4% raise as well,DC37,Nurses get raises as well.Now the NYC Transit workers-We get you,sanitation,NYPD,FDNY,teachers,tourists and nu yawkers alike from point A to point B with professionalism and courtesy.Most people are not aware of the life and dangers that exist inside a transit workers mind unless you laced our boots.Why is it YOU personally feel disgust and are bitter about the transit worker wanting a fair and just raise as those I had mentioned?Are you still fuming mad about the strike?Are you mad about raising fares and cutting service.As for disolving the union NEVER HAPPEN because they just don’t hire anyone off the street like say McDonalds.Also Mayor Bloomberg needs to worry about paying HIS workers that he gave the raises to and not the MTA because he has no jurisdiction on us.

      • SEAN says:

        Phil doesn’t get it because people like him cant see the big picture. When the bus drivers went on strike in Westchester in 2005 I saw the big picture & was one of the few who believed that the union should stay on strike until they got what they asked for, despite being dependent on public transit. Lucky for me I was still able to get to work via MNR via a U-turn via Fordham.

        One unusual outcome of the strike for me, I made friends with a woman who lived a few blocks away from where I reside. We had lunch several times since then, but she suddenly moved away to New Hampshire where her husbands family lives.

    • petey says:

      “they’re asking for completely unprecedented and disproportionate pay to actual work done.”
      1: who are you to judge what their work deserves?
      2: as grumpy shows below, their raise is quite precedented.
      3: you get what you negotiate.
      3a: funny, corporatists yelling “not fair”. i thought that was for squishy liberals.
      4: as one of the few remaining industrial (not craft) unions, they have the right idea. but it must be extended. alone they’re an easy target for the likes of the posters here. but with others they all together could really balance the power.

    • slowmeo says:

      Opto is not destroyed at all. We have opto on several lines and that will not change with the new contract. Get your facts straight. The Franklyn Ave Shuttle is OPTO 24/7, The G is opto all weekend. I don’t know why everyone thinks OPTO is a good Idea. If he Train Operator dies from a heart attack what do you think will happen to you. If their is a terroist attack or even a another blackout 2 people will be there to help you. I think OPTO costs , not saves.

  5. clarence says:

    a disgrace of a union that was just awarded a decent contract. pattern bargaining means just that. bloomberg is to blame (or in my case to thank). when the city handed out 4% raises per they just raised the sales tax 1/2 %. all this anti-union nonsense is just envy. instead of crying when someone else gets a decent contract, demand the same from your employer.

    • Alon Levy says:

      instead of crying when someone else gets a decent contract, demand the same from your employer.

      Alright, but what happens when the resulting inflation wipes away my savings?

      • petey says:

        “the resulting inflation”
        and how did that happen? when the employer decides to raise prices? there’s your enemy, not the workers who make it all happen.

        • Alon Levy says:

          Not exactly. The employer has to raise prices to make up for the extra labor costs. The workers, as consumers, can now afford the higher prices. It looks a lot like growth, except that nothing more is produced – the only thing that rises is the price level.

          And for your information, in countries where employers are completely powerless, inflation is higher, not lower. Hyperinflation is a common problem of communist government.

  6. SEAN says:

    What I’m noticing lately goes beyond this contract with the TWU. If you look at the outrage of the healthcare debate & the Westchester County afordable housing issue that came to light yesterday, there’s an anger & resentment rising. In simple terms it could be put this way “if I cant have mine, you cant have yours.” In this issue it is resentment toward unionized labor wich doesn’t do anything constructive. It is what I call Wal-mart brainwashing because many people see Wal-mart as aplus & don’t pay atention to there labor practices or just except those practices as normal.

    Meanwhile look at the money floating around Goldman Sacks & other Wall Street furms & the level of outrage is more muted. Infact most furms are back doing the same things that caused the current finantial crisis but if there is a repeat, you the tax payer will make them whole again.

    So I ask this question;are the union contracts the problem, or is it the fact that the public is poorly informed.

    • Alon Levy says:

      It’s not Wal-Mart brainwashing. It’s perfectly consistent to think Wal-Mart needs a union and the Teamsters need to be destroyed. Wal-Mart workers make $8 an hour and are abused by management; the public sector unions in New York pay $60,000 a year plus overtime. That, and you don’t see Wal-Mart workers shill for their parent company’s anti-city practices the way the Teamsters raise hell whenever someone suggests taxing trucks. Good unions fight abusive management, not the public.

      • Avi Frisch says:

        Try living in New York City on $60,000 a year and say that you feel overpaid.

        • JP says:

          Wha?

          You’re saying that you live on $60,000 and are having trouble making ends meet. Most of us here are living on far less. Try living on $16,000 a year without benefits and say you feel fairly compensated.

          Your first response got my sympathy Avi, but the second just sounds jaded.

        • Alon Levy says:

          I lived on $20,000-$21,000 a year for two years, in Manhattan. And I was overpaid – the only reason I made this much is that top tier grad schools were hiking stipends like mad over the previous 10 years. My total consumption during my second year was about $17,000. My first year it was higher because I didn’t know better, and because I had to use the USA’s ranked-1st-in-cost-and-37th-in-outcome health care system.

        • Nathanael says:

          $60,000? Are you serious?!?

          Without having to pay for your own healthcare? That’s over $30K/year take-home.

          This is better than the vast majority of people in the country.

          You TWU workers are actually very well-to-do. You’re richer than a millionaire disabled from birth; he would get about $40,000/year (4%) reliably from investments, and have to pay $12,000/year for health care out of that, before copays and deductibles. Subtract 20% in taxes and the millionaire has less take-home income.

          Now, I don’t really begrudge you the salaries — that’s what everyone should have — and the health care business is a national problem, which MEDICARE FOR ALL would solve.

          But the featherbedding is unacceptable. If you’re going to take home comfortable salaries, OPTO is a must.

          Actually, I would happily do the conductor’s job for $30K/year before tax. It’s barely a real job. There are 3500 of them? If they’re getting $60K a year, that’s $210 MILLION dollars being wasted! Gah! You could replace 100 subway cars for that, every year!

  7. Niccolo Machiavelli says:

    Fairly interesting back and forth no? Seems like the lead was a little skewed but the writership here has many different points of view and a minimum of ad hominem.

    This arbitration was quite simple, a pattern is a pattern, good and bad. If you wanted OPTO you should have negotiated it (so you disagree with the MTA strategy, big deal, there is no perfect formula). Truth is that Bloomberg blew this a long time ago, everyone that works in this business knows it. My favorite pattern maker were the Correction Officers, Norman Seabrook sits on the MTA Board and runs that union. Bloomberg gave them 4s don’t you think the MTA workers couldn’t argue a pattern? Jeeesh!

    There probably were better deals for both parties that could have been negotiated, but they weren’t. It takes two parties, confident of their position with their own people, and trusting of the good faith of their adversary. You don’t have that here, yet. Hopefully, someday you will. But with a shout-a-thon from the money losing tabloids (The Post wants to hector us on technological inovation), a Billionaire mayor throwing money at his own political problems and a rump of know-it-alls in the all volunteer army of bloggers civic trust and generalized reciprocity (critical to any productivity negotiations) were not on the table.

  8. Bust a Union says:

    Simple way to close the budget gap — lay off as many transit workers as it takes to close the gap that results from this abysmal decision. There is no reason that unskilled/semi-skilled laborers (all of whom are law-breakers anyway, see 2005 strike) should make salaries as high as this, much less get gold-plated benefits on par with the military and police officers. Without the welfare program that is MTA employment, these people would be waiting tables at Denny’s or driving a cab, if they’re lucky. This union is a criminal enterprise that should have been abolished after the 2005 strike.

  9. Phil says:

    I do see the big picture, and it’s not fun. What right should the TWU of all organisations have to make a payrise despite committing a crime by illegally striking and seriously making transport almost impossible when they do go on strike. Transit workers work for the public, they should respect that and understand that asking for people to pay even more for their work whilst others in the city are going unemployed and falling below the poverty line with no assistance.

    The reason people don’t like trade unions is that they’re not used for their original purpose, to protect workers’ safety, anymore, but rather are a way for people to make money off of the public and strike whenever they’re not happy. It’s not fair and it’s wrong.

  10. Chris twu says:

    I did not see anybody complaint when the mayor raised taxes and real state taxes and then gave City workers a 4% raise. They attack us because we are 90 % minorities. The mayor do not care for anybody, He is just hungry for power so in order for him to get more votes, He prefers to go against 36,000 union members and in favor of the whole city who ride the train and of course would side with him if he opposes our raise.
    Now for all the people that believe that conductor are needed, let me tell you a firefighter is not needed until a fire but we still pay them to work out, sleep, and watch tv all day. Ok eliminate conductors, there are only 3,500 of them, wow not enough saving when you add 2 million per car to replace the whole fleet and then the trillions needed to replace all signals and install new equipment required. In addition the extra personal needed to operate opto or ctbc or ats such as dispatchers and supervisors and maintainers for the equipment and the doors. It will take about 15 years to fully automate the system and probably a 50% fare raise to cover the cost of removing a 3,200 work force. We will always need track workers, cleaners, platform conductors, supervisors, managers, maintainers, collectors, clerks, etc.
    Transit Workers give their life to the authority, we have to breath steel dust asbestos, lead and rat feaces.
    We leave at age 55 without our hearing and many health problems due to the working conditions.

    • Boris says:

      He prefers to go against 36,000 union members and in favor of the whole city

      A politician sides with the majority of his constituents? OMG, what does he think this is, a democracy???

    • Phil says:

      I don’t hate the TWU because it’s made up largely of minorities. I hate it because it effectively blocks the MTA from progressing due to pay increases, further indebting the MTA, or finding a way to stop advancement, such as blocking OPTO. And of course Bloomberg sides with the majority, where is there in any logic in siding with the union compared to the city?

      • Tony says:

        Get your facts straight. The union AGREED to allow the expansion of OPTO last october. The MTA this june decided to take that provision out of there arbitration case.

        • Give me a break. The Union agreed to OPTO but with so many provisions that it was actually going to cost the MTA more to implement a cost-saving measure. Let me know when the union agrees to OPTO along with the staff reductions for which this technology allows.

    • Alon Levy says:

      In Paris and Singapore, some lines are run by zero people – the announcements and driving are done automatically. There have been no fatal accidents out of it.

  11. ROD says:

    What most people don’t know is the 11 or 12 percent raise the media reports is inaccurate. The raise comes out to 9 percent over 3 years. The workers will only receive half of the 4 percent for 6 months, then another 2 percent for the following six months. This pattern will continue for the second year of the contract as well. The workers also lose 3 months of retro pay. The media always misleads the public when it comes to unionized laborers. For accurate info on the contract go to twulocal100.org. Then discuss whats fair.

  12. Mary Jones says:

    The contract award is reasonable and fair – it is no more generous the the contracts given to other public workers. Despite all the bleating by anti people and anti labor fanatics the fact is that transit workers are low paid for providing a vital service! The pay is so low in fact that the MTA has big problems filling certain job titles because they can’t find anyone who is qualified that is willing to work for such low pay. Most of the anti labor naysayers could never qualify to tale a civil service test let alone pass one.

  13. Chris MTA says:

    I know that a Mayor should go with the mayority of its constituents and not a group so why did he sided with DC 37 which represents 130,000 city employees. He agreed to give them a 4 % raise every year for 3 years. Did you know that DC 37 represents about 20,00 MTA employees so what is the difference between them and nyct workers? yes i forgot they work in offices with nice hour lunches and confy A/C with clean air. While TWU employees have to deal with the elements, having to hold going to the bathroom until we get to a terminal. If you consider production as means of raises then consider that ridership is up to 7 mil.
    We should be attacking management, MTA has way too many office worker, they all have internet access where they spend most of the time. They should cut the workforce to half at places lile 2 broadway and 130 livingston. In the Capital program Department you have a bunch of workers from all over the world that cant perform the job or speak any english at all.

  14. Chris MTA says:

    I encourage all union employees to vote against Bloomberg and in favor of Mr Thompson because Bloomberg is an in the closet homosexual with a napolean complex who hates unions, not that is anything wrong with being gay but he is ashame of it . He controls all politicians by giving them donations and political favors.
    Do not trust him specially now that he pay to change the law to run for a third term just like Chavez did in Venezuela. I am more that certain than in a few years you will discover corruption by Bloomberg and his croonies at all levels of the city.

  15. Chris MTA says:

    I do not have a problem with Gay people. I have a problem with the in the closet gay mayor who is affraid to come out of it and show pride to be gay. I do not have a problem with immgrants that come to this country, learn English and go to college to be a good profesional. In transit they have a program where I do not understand how 80% of managers at the capital program are from India (last name Patel who do not speak English and do not know their right from their left. This is one of the reasons why Capital Program spends so much money because somebody with an engineering degree cant do his or her job so they hire one more engineer and another and another until 10 to 20 hire an outside contractor to do all the job they are supposed to do. A lot of this people make around 80,000 a year that is wasted because they come from other countries where a degree is easily bought.
    I am attacking on the mayor who dares to say that city worker are different than NYCT employees. NYC transit isnt that New York City just like nyc workers. Bloomberg why dont you make traffic, parks, buildings, sanitacion, DEP, etc take the train for official business. It would be cheaper and save the environment. I see a lot of officials carpooling on their way back home in official vehicles.

    • Alon Levy says:

      Okay, so you don’t hate all immigrants, just most of them. Thanks. As someone who does speak English and has gone to college, let me just say that I don’t recognize those distinctions. Hatred is hatred – even if you have a small subset of immigrants you consider some of the good ones. Even in the segregated South whites made sure to let everyone know there were some black people they considered good.

  16. Chris MTA says:

    Boris could you tell me why is it that now that we know that Bloomberg set aside 8% raise for 2 years for teachers that he is siding with a small union rather than the city which will eventually will have to pay for these genrous raises. Also LIRR and metro north got very good contracts where a conductor makes about 36 an hour. I hope that the difference is not because their work force is 90% white compare to NYCT where it is 10% white and 60% immigrants. 90 % black or hispanic. TWU proved to everybody how essential we are for the city. The private sector hate us because they do not have the health benefit or pension we have. DCAS has applications for the open competitive test for Conductor and Train Operator. But you better stop drinking, doing drugs, hanging out late. Also enjoy the last weekend with you family for the next 20 years. You could forget about a holiday with your Family.
    Your sick days forget about using them like a vacation because NYCT will come to your house and make sure you are there. You could forget about summer vacations with the Fam. Finally be prepare to lose your hearing, gaing weight due to irregular schedule and to leave with lead and asbestos in your lungs.
    We dont want anybody to feel sorry but to treat us with respect or you forgot the blackout or 911 when we took eeverybody home in a safe manner. You Bloomberg and NYC gisve us a break.

  17. George the animal says:

    What everyone doesn’t understand is that the twu is a union of skilled tradesman in many fields, who put in there hard earned time during the day, and doing it in a safe manner. If you feel private contracted workers would save money, you wait till all the safety procedures that the union has worked so hard for to keep the public and the twu workers safe and able to go home to there families in one piece will go out the window,then you will see how much it costs the city in lawsuits , accidencts and cleanups. Ok and if look up salaries of private sector tradesman in the same fields we make less to equal than there salaries so do ur research before you think twu is overpaid when it is the complete opposite. Bloomberg is a dangerous mindset of corrupption learching under the citys ignorance just to get re-elected, anybody that goes againt the city about the third term and somehow does it anyway without conscience for what the the city what , which is who he is supposed to represent can not be trusted on any level. But somehow people will listen to him and go against the same working class twu memebers who live amonst the rest of city, when we provide safe reliable public transportation to the city 24 7 all year every year. This tyrant is robbing the lower and middle incomeed families of this city blind to make himself and the rest of th bloated money hunger politicians and big businesses bigger and richer and us poorer. Remember we are the city ,the mojarity and that will never change, because we are the haert and soul of what makes this city new york

  18. normrx7 says:

    “The MTA, however, is in a far different economic situation than the rest of the city. The agency is struggling to stay afloat and shouldn’t have been required to give its workers raises if it can’t afford to.” Excuse me? Tax revenues in the city are down 35% this year, yet that had no impact on the raises other city agencies were given. Why single out the TWU for it’s legally achieved collective bargaining gains. Got a problem with Federal bailout monies being used to finance the TWU workers raises? I have a problem with Federal TARP funds being used to grant multi million dollar bonuses for bank executives. Yeah the economy is in the toilet, and your 401k’s are down, and your house has lost 25% of its value, but instead of taking the intellectually lazy path by picking on the TWU, look at the big picture to see where the problems really exist.

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