Thursday, December 22, 2005

Striking thoughts

I'm about to get in a rented car and head away from the flow of traffic to visit the fam for Christmas. It took me 5 hours to get the car and bring it back to my house so I've had plenty of time to think about the strike. Lest you think I'm complaining about the 5 hour thing, it's keeping me from having to ask my father to get out of his sick bed in MA and come get me so it's worth it. My father who, by the way, is still waiting for the measly 3% raise he was promised 4 years ago because he's a college professor.

Be patient, I'm going to wack both sides with my baseball bat, don't worry.

1. Vanx, don't disable your car in solidarity, it's fucking cold out there!

2. I've heard, "They work in terrible, dangerous conditions!" Really? That may be so but I haven't heard anything about that. All I've heard is "We don't want to pay into our pension or our healthcare. It's not fair to the unborn transit workers of the future." Yeah, well, I know a woman, a young woman, who's quite probably dying because she couldn't get health insurance at all. When she finally did get it her cancer was clear it was a pre-existing condition and she wasn't covered by the crappy insurance she was able to get. If there are dangerous conditions, if that's what you're striking for, then let me know and I will be bringing you cookies and hot chocolate on the picket line. If you're working in dangerous conditions and your first priority is pension and healthcare pay ins, things that most people in America don't have, then what I'm hearing from you is, "You can pay us enough to work in dangerous conditions, we're more than happy to extort you for that and we don't give a fuck if the unborn transit workers of the future get maimed or killed as long as they don't have to pay into health care or pension."

3. I believe there was an unofficial work slow down before the strike was announced. That I find unbearably stupid. I've lived in this city for 20 years, I don't need another example of how you can do your jobs poorly. I'd get on that bus easily...if it wasn't on strike.

4. The MTA can suck my big left toe. (And my big left toe? Filthy!) How stupid do you have to be to dance around for 2 years in a row expecting us to applaud your budget surplus? If you're consistently posting a surplus then one of a few things should be happening: you don't need state subsidy, you don't need city subsidy, you don't need fare hikes, you have plenty of money to avert strikes. Because as I see it if you're posting a surplus and taking tax money then you're requiring me to pay more than once for the privilege of walking to work this week. And your holiday fare reductions are insulting. They're the equivalent of selling something at a 10% discount in a city where tax is 8.75%.

OK, so those are my thoughts as the crazies go back to the bargaining table after doing some higher math. The deal that'll hit the table will be an equal money saving for the MTA (tell Pataki to stop payment on that check!) but will shift the pay in for union members from pension to health care. And it all has to happen before 11am when Toussaint is due in court and will, quite probably, be put in jail. Which, I'm guessing, is going to put a crimp in the negotiations.

I'm off to NH. I may or may not have internet access or time to post. There's a lot going on up there. Among other things I'll be spending Christmas Eve with my dad for the first time in 5 years. About time, huh? Also baking pie, cooking ham, taking a senior citizen to the doctor and handing out homemade presents that I sincerely hope people will like.

Hope you and yours are having a wonderful season, whatever you celebrate. (It's not a War on Christmas, it's just being polite.)

1 comment:

  1. Stike's over, pal. Get on back to bloggin. :)