Week of December 12, 2005
December 16, 2005Union Announces a Series of Strikes
Roger Toussaint announced at 7:15 this morning that the Transport Workers Union will begin a �series of strikes.� These strikes will start on the privately-owned Jamaica and Triborough bus lines, which will stop running once they complete their shifts this afternoon. Toussaint said strikes will then spread to public buses and subways, though he did not say when. Because they are private employees, workers on the Jamaica and Triborough bus lines are not subject to the Taylor laws, which impose tough penalties on public employees for striking.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has not responded, but the union said negotiations will continue. The city's contingency plans are not yet in effect. (For more on how to deal with a strike, see Gotham Gazette's guide to Preparing for a Transit Strike.)
For continued updates on what's happening -- and what people are saying about it -- go to the Wonkster throughout the day. Also, see our Transportation Links in the News
A Series Of Strikes (Gotham Gazette)
Transportation Links In The News (Gotham Gazette)
December 15, 2005Transit Contract Negotiations
With a deadline of midnight tonight looming, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's top negotiator warned that the management and the Transport Workers Union are still farther apart than they should be on issues like wages, health insurance, and pensions. If no agreement is reached, the union has instructed members on how to safely shut down trains and where to go to form picket lines. However, negotiators did report some late night progress. The union, which originally sought annual pay raises of 8 percent, said it would accept lower raises if the MTA cut disciplinary actions against employees.
For more see transportation links in the news.
Prepping for a Transit Strike
The city has released a detailed contingency plan and special restrictions in the event of a transit strike. School will begin two hours later. Cars entering Manhattan below 96th Street will be required to carry at least four passengers. And new taxi fares ($10 to get in a cab) will be instituted. Mayor Michael Bloomberg also urged New Yorkers to use unaffected transportation systems, share cabs, utilize commuter vans, and even pick up strangers as New Yorkers did during recent blackouts and after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
For more details on how to get around the city, see Preparing for NYC Transit Strike.
Hevesi Says City Will Have $2.8 Billion Surplus (Daily News)
MTA Passes $9.3 Billion Budget (Newsday)
The Poor in New York Lack Sufficient Health Insurance (Amsterdam News)
Bracing For A Transit Strike (Gotham Gazette)
Transportation Links In The News (Gotham Gazette)
December 14, 2005Judge Bars Transit Strike
Justice Theodore T. Jones Jr. of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn yesterday granted the Metropolitan Transportation Authority a preliminary injunction that seeks to bar the 33,700 subway and bus workers from going on strike, which is prohibited by state law. An injunction is allowed under the state's Taylor Law, which bans public employee strikes. Workers staging illegal job actions risk losing two days' pay for every day of work they miss -- or could even be jailed.
Following the judge's order, city attorneys filed a separate lawsuit in Brooklyn, seeking damages for expenses already incurred in preparation for a strike. The suit also asks to fine the transit workers' union $1 million and each striker $25,000 on the first day of a strike and to double the fines successively each day after that.
For details of these and other
Private Bus Chaos On Queens Boulevard (Daily News)
Bio-diesel -- petroleum with...vegetable oil (Gotham Gazette)
Environment Links In The News (Gotham Gazette)
December 13, 2005Transit Strike In Three Days?
Round-the-clock negotiations began yesterday in hopes of agreeing on a new contract before the old one expires on Friday, when the Transport Workers Union has threatened to strike the city�s subways and buses. Asked the likelihood of such a strike, union president Roger Toussaint said: "I'd say there's a 50-50 possibility, but there's still plenty of time."
Among the new proposals made by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is a 27-month contract, �which would avoid future potentially tense holiday negotiations.�
Also yesterday, the city and the state maneuvered in court to prevent the already-illegal strike, the city arguing in a legal brief that it would cost businesses as much as $660 million a day in lost revenue. And Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced contingency plans in the event of a strike: delaying the school day two hours; permitting only cars with at least four people to enter Manhattan south of 96th Street on weekday mornings; banning all but emergency vehicles on Fifth and Madison Avenues and other streets.
For details of these and other transit-related developments, see transportation links in the news.
Rough Going For the NY Times -- And Its Publisher (The New Yorker)
In Search Of The Average New Yorker (The New Yorker)
What You Can Get For A Dollar In New York (New York Magazine)
Land Use Links In The News (Gotham Gazette)
December 12, 2005Transit Workers Authorize Strike
Thousands of angry members of the Transport Workers Union Saturday authorized their leaders to go out on strike when their current contract expires at 12:01 a.m. Friday. The union, which represents 34,000 subway and bus workers, is seeking an 8 percent pay hike for its members for three straight years, while the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has proposed a two-year contract with a 3 percent raise in the first year and less in the second. But despite that disparity, wages may not be the main sticking point as the union and the MTA remain far apart on pensions and health benefits. A strike would be illegal under state law.
For more, see Transportation Links in the News.
Another Police Officer Slain
An off duty police officer who interrupted a burglary in the Bronx early Saturday morning was shot and killed by one of the robbers, police say. Before dying, the officer, Daniel Enchautegui, shot the two men, both of whom remain in stable condition. One of the suspects, Lillo Brancato Jr., appeared in "The Sopranos" and as Robert De Niro's son in the movie "A Bronx Tale." The other burglar, Steven Armento, reportedly fired the fatal shot and has been charged with first-degree murder. He and Brancato both face charges of second-degree murder, criminal possession of a weapon and second-degree burglary. The shooting came less than two weeks after the murder of Officer Dillon Stewart in Brooklyn and several recent non-fatal shootings of police.
For more, see Crime Links in the News.
City Becomes More Energy Efficient (NY Times)
City Settles Sexual Harassment Suit (NY Post)
The “New” Eminent Domain in NYC (Gotham Gazette)
Environmental Hazards in the Schools (Gotham Gazette)
Clinton Tries to Craft Centrist Stand on Iraq (Washington Post)