No, By Just Seven Votes -- Surprising, Self-Defeating, A Silver Lining?
January 21st, 2006

If the defeat of the proposed transit contract by the rank and file of the Transport Workers Union Local 100 strikes the editorial writers of El Diario as “surprising but not totally unexpected,” most editorialists today are both disappointed by the no vote, and taken aback by the thin margin — seven votes out of 22,461 cast.

An editorial in The New York Times calls the vote
“self-defeating.” One in
the Daily News begins: “Leave it to the transit workers to make the absolutely worst possible move for all the wrong reasons at every turn. In rejecting the deal negotiated by Transport Workers Union President Roger Toussaint by just seven votes, the rank and file yesterday snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.”

The New York Post calls union president Roger Toussaint a “jerk” and blames him for just about everything: “In the end, Toussaint never figured out how to talk his members back off the ledge to which his radical rhetoric had led them. No great surprise, then, that some of them want to jump again.”

El Diario is more even-handed: “All sides must balance the fiscal realities of the 21st Century with the importance of properly compensating workers. These are people who buy homes, pay taxes and are stable, longterm residents of their neighborhoods, in addition to keeping a transportation system running that is vital to the city.”

Eli Blake of the blog Deep Thought saw something positive in the vote, having nothing to do with mass transit or public employee contracts or even really New York City. “This is an election in which thousands of votes were cast, the margin was seven votes, and no one is disputing it, or asking for a recount, or threatening to go to court over it, or challenging the legitimacy of a single vote that was cast, or leveling accusations of fraud or chicanery,” he wrote. “The lack of problems in the voting is in such sharp contrast to elections for political office that Blake offers a suggestion: Let’s turn elections over to a bunch of union guys. It looks like they can count the votes and get it right, so that no one questions even the closest elections.”

By on January 21, 2006, 1:54 pm
In category: Governing,Transportation | Comments Off on No, By Just Seven Votes -- Surprising, Self-Defeating, A Silver Lining?

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