Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Transit Strike - December 20, 2005 - The New York Sun - NY Newspaper:

The union's demands are unrealistic and its tactics irresponsible. It is the union that is primarily to blame for the strike. It needs to be said, though, that the mismanagement of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is a major factor that has also contributed. In 2003 the subway fare increased to $2 from $1.50 amid claims that the system was in a fiscal crunch. Then all of a sudden the authority discovered a surplus so large that it decided to cut the fare to $1 as a holiday present to riders. You don't have to be a labor-management negotiating genius to know that the best moment to discover a billion dollar surplus isn't on the eve of triennial contract negotiations. Other events contributed to a sense of cynicism, from a contract for new subway cars that was awarded on the basis of a reported $500,000 phone call by a former senator, Alfonse D'Amato, to indictments for overbilling in connection with renovations to the MTA headquarters at 2 Broadway. Management reportedly spent $7.6 million to renovate the bathrooms at 2 Broadway, which tends to undercut the case for parsimony with the union.
3:22 AM