[Marxism] Fw: [gangbox] Fwd: MTA PUSHES FOR BINDING ARBITRATION TO RAM BAD DEAL DOWN WORKERS THROATS

Louis R Godena louisgodena at ids.net
Sun Jan 22 10:43:28 MST 2006


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <GREGORYABUTLER at aol.com>
To: <gangbox at yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2006 11:49 AM
Subject: [gangbox] Fwd: MTA PUSHES FOR BINDING ARBITRATION TO RAM BAD DEAL 
DOWN WORKERS THROATS


 MTA BID TO BREAK IMPASSE

 By JEREMY OLSHAN



 January 22, 2006 -- Stunned by the transit union's narrow rejection of a 
new
 contract, MTA officials said yesterday they will formally request binding
 arbitration to settle the dispute.

 Meanwhile, transit-union boss Roger Toussaint was missing in action, union
 leaders said.

 "Nobody knows where he is or what he's doing," said Transport Workers Union
 Vice President John Mooney, who led the opposition to the contract. "There
 was no plan B. And our executive board is still is not scheduled to meet."

 If approved by a state labor board, the MTA's request for arbitration ?
 which it will submit tomorrow ? would put the matter in the hands of a
 three-member panel. There would be one representative of each side and a 
third
 independent party.

 Despite this aggressive move, MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow has not ruled out
 renewed talks, if only to temper union posturing about another strike.

 Toussaint has repeatedly rejected arbitration, citing fears the union would
 fare worse by giving up control.

 "Instead, why not give it another month of negotiation," said a source 
close
 to the beleaguered president. "What really is the rush?"

 In what labor historians say is a first, the TWU went on strike for three
 days in December only to reject the results of their efforts. Although this
 sent the already fractious union further into disarray, the MTA should not
 mistake that for weakness, union leaders said.

 "If they've shown anything it's that the members are not going to sit on 
the
 sidelines," Mooney said. "We should still hold a strong, militant position.
 If the MTA wants to play hardball we have to put the issue of a strike back
 on the table."

 Toussaint has blamed interference from Gov. Pataki and the "lies" of a
 handful of dissidents. Though the union has not released a breakdown of the 
vote,
 decided by a mere seven ballots, insiders say the contract had stronger
 support among bus workers than subway workers.

 Much of the opposition to the contract was over the provision that for the
 first time, members would have to pay for their health coverage with a
 contribution of 1.5 percent of their gross earnings.

 Once Kalikow requests arbitration, both sides would have 10 days in which 
to
 select their representatives on the panel, according to the Public
 Employment Relations Board, the arbiters of the state's Taylor Law.

 Since Toussaint has already broken his pledge not to work without a
 contract, labor experts said the MTA could even stall until new leadership 
is in
 place.

 jeremy.olshan at nypost.com











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