Hardcore Train Conductors and One Scab
February 2nd, 2006
There’s still plenty of pontificating about the transit strike and doomed contract. A New York Post article reports that, according to a vote tally, the contract was derailed by train conductors – the very workers Transport Workers Union Local 100’s President Roger Toussaint fought hardest for – with 70 percent voting against the contract. Toussaint felt “stabbed in the back,” the Post says:
“Roger went to bat for the conductors and saved their jobs,” a source said. “It just doesn’t make sense. Now if it goes to binding arbitration, they might not fare as well.”
Ray Sanchez takes a fascinating look into one motorman’s decision to cross the picket line, even though he was a shop steward for the union. “I made myself physically sick. I broke down crying. I felt like an idiot,” the man tells Sanchez. Racked with guilt and shame, the worker crossed into the land of scabdom because he didn’t want to risk losing health coverage for himself and, even more, his wife.
“No one has threatened me physically, but they call me a sell-out and a traitor,” he admits to Sanchez. He spent a shift sitting around.
If his union buddies are no longer behind him, his wife is. “He did what he had to do,” she says to Sanchez. “If he didn’t go in that day, he would have been AWOL. He had no choice. These people who criticize him don’t pay his bills. I tell him to let it go. I say he should go to work and hold his head up high.”
By Hilary Russ on February 2, 2006, 8:36 am
In category: Transportation | 2 Comments »