That transit workers union (TWU)has, collectively, balls of steel.
First of all, they threaten to strike at what seems like EVERY holiday season. A compromise between them and the MTA is usually reached at the eleventh hour, but not before the networks are getting TWU ass tattoos and terrorizing the city almost as much as the TWU themselves.
Second of all, the transit workers simply do not deserve any kind of raise except the basic cost of living. Why? In short, they suck. Why should they get the 8% raise they are wanting when the rest of us had to wait ever so patiently for that basic cost of living increase, and by the way, we got less than the increase calculated, when they already are paid fairly? I read an article yesterday in the NY Times about this train conductor or whatever who makes $47,000 a year and owns a building in Brooklyn which allows him to pay $600 rent, in addition to the revenue he gets from his tenants. So apparently, I am supposed to feel sorry enough for this man and others like him that I should stand by idly and let him and his drinking buddies walk off a job they don't do that well and inconvenience 4 million subway riders who are in the same boat as the transit workers or are even worse off during this holiday season of perpetual hope. Give me just a small break. For the past week, they have been slowing down subway service to prove their point, thereby alienating millions of people they could have had on their side if they had shut the fuck up and continued to do their version of a good job. On top of everything, I have to walk my ass to work in the freezing cold on Friday morning if the union is not satisfied with what the MTA gives them, and then walk to Penn Station on saturday morning to try and get home for Christmas. Roger Toussaint, the president of the transit workers union, is basically a publicity hog who misleads his union members into thinking a walk-out will benefit them in any way and loves to get his rich ass behind podiums with Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and Randi Weingarten (the leader of the Teacher's union), talk about how he spits on Bloomberg's suing the union (at last, Bloomie does something) and then go home thinking he's doing his union a favor. Does he let his union know that they will not only lose their pay for as long as they do not work, but they also have to pay the city hefty fines for each day they are on strike? I think if they knew that they would think twice, and with all hope, Toussaint will be kicked out of there soon, by his own union.
On the other hand, I am a big supporter of the right of workers to unionize and demand fair treatment. If bosses are going to get together to plot how to disrespect and berate their workers, there need to be unions so underlings can fight back against unethical people. I wish I could do that. Being in a union is quite a cushy situation that too many people still don't have the right to be in. However, it seems to me and just about every other New Yorker other than Al Sharpton (and I don't even know if he really is one of us) that the TWU are treated very fairly already, and any further demands they make are just a power grab. The MTA, for their part, instead of doing what they think is such a charitable thing by introducing special holiday fares, for whatever reason they did that, should have set aside their surplus and given special holiday bonuses to the transit workers if for no other reason than to shut them up. So I'll concede that the MTA has been really shitty to their workers. But that's not a surprise given the the MTA is a shitty organization anyway. In conclusion, whatever the transit workers get paid now is coming out of the pockets of every single subway rider in the city who by the way also pays taxes, in case you all forgot that pesky fact. This special holiday fare crap, that I'm not even "eligible" for, by the way, is in fact just buttering us up for another increase sooner than we think. So thanks, TWU and MTA, and happy fucking holidays, greedy Scrooges.