TWU Strike is Off.

Sander Hicks sander at
Tue Dec 17 16:36:19 MST 2002

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Well, it looks like a deal was struck, here in NYC. Diplomacy and
compromise only won the workers a 3% pay raise NEXT year, a hollow
victory when you factor in the current rate of inflation is 2%. So,
really, all this display of strength for a 1% real wage raise and a
$1,000 pay out?

I thought Toussaint was going to get the membership more than that.


New York Avoids Transit Strike

verting a threatened strike, the transit workers' union and the
Metropolitan Transportation Authority today announced a tentative
agreement that calls for a 6 percent raise over three years and an
overhaul of a disciplinary system disliked by the workers.

With New Yorkers bracing for days for an illegal strike that could
have paralyzed the city, the two sides reached an accord that gives
the authority one of its main objectives: a wage freeze in the
contract's first year.

Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union had vowed not to accept a
pay freeze, which was one of the last issues settled, but the M.T.A.
sought to soften the blow by giving the city's 34,000 subway and bus
workers a one-time $1,000 payment in the first year. Such a payment
could ultimately save the authority tens of millions of dollars,
because that percentage would not become part of the workers' base
pay in future years.

The agreement gives major gains to each side, with the union agreeing
to several important measures to increase productivity and management
promising to contribute more than $300 million to assure the solvency
of the union's health insurance plan.

At a news conference at 7:25 tonight announcing the deal, Peter S.
Kalikow, the authority's chairman, said, "We think today marks a
turning point in the relationship of the authority and its union. We
want to go from confrontation to cooperation."

The tentative agreement calls for a pay freeze in the first year, 3
percent in the second year and 3 percent in the third. Gary J.
Dellaverson, the authority's chief negotiator, estimated that each 1
percent increase in the workers' pay costs the authority $20 million
a year.

The accord was reached after officials from the authority and union
closeted themselves since Friday in the Grand Hyatt hotel in Midtown.

At the hotel, 21 committees met to reach accords on issues large and
small, like safety and sick leave, while the union's president, Roger
Toussaint, met repeatedly with Mr. Dellaverson to tackle the toughest

Looking drained and speaking slowly, Mr. Toussaint told a room packed
with reporters and photographers, "We are very confident that this
package will meet with the approval of the members of Local 100. It
answers many of their needs, many of their urgent pleas especially in
the area of health coverage."

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. George E. Pataki sought to head
off a strike by repeatedly warning the union of severe penalties if
it walked out and crippled the nation's largest transit system, which
carries 7.2 million riders a day.

Mayor Bloomberg, in a news conference outside City Hall tonight, said
he was gratified that the city would not have to confront the
challenge of a transit strike, and that the transit workers
ultimately had agreed to obey the law and not walk off their jobs. He
said he had not yet decided whether to proceed with his threat to
seek damages from the union for the costs incurred by the city in
drawing up its contingency plans.

"Thanks to their efforts," Mr. Bloomberg said of the two sides, "New
Yorkers can go back about their business without a strike looming
over their heads."

In interviews today, some union members said they were satisfied with
the agreement, but even those who were angered by the deal appeared
resigned to it.

Sander Hicks
631 424 1291

Coordinator, UPSERJ
United People for Social, Economic and Racial Justice

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