< HOME  Thursday, December 22, 2005

NYC Strike over; Battle just begun

Looks like the strike might be coming to a close. But, the battle is far from over.

Temperatures rose on the third day of the strike in NYC with Bloomberg suggesting that jailtime might make Toussaint a MARTYR:
"The fines are what is going to hurt," said Bloomberg "Fines don't make you a martyr and fines you don't get back."
A Supreme Court justice had earlier expressed a "distinct possibility" of jail time for strikers.

A fine of $1 million-per-day looms over the union, but won't take effect until appeals are complete and city lawyers wanted to ask the judge for fines "beyond the docked-pay penalties" the striking workers already face. Fines would have ranged from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, and come directly out of workers' pockets.

Meanwhile, Toussaint and transit workers were kicking them where it hurts! And, as the city's losses in tax revenue mounted, the rhetoric intensified.

As usual in ECONOMIC warfare, financial instruments and the media are the weapons of choice, and the courts and "law" enforcement a last resort.
Bloomberg called the strike "illegal" "selfish" and "unconscionable." [Apparently, $1.27 billion annually in INTEREST is okay by the mayor.]

He said strikers "thuggishly turned their backs on New York City, and disgraced the noble concept of public service." [What would he know about public service?]

"I don't know how you'd explain to your kids that if you break the law, you get a better deal than if you're honest." [He should be adept at that, by now!]

Meanwhile, Pataki described the strike as "a horrible breach of trust with the people of New York." [:P]
But, Toussaint fought back:
"The thugs are not on this side of the podium," he said. "We are not thugs. We are not selfish. We are not greedy." [Damned straight! We know who the real thugs are!]
The outlook?
Earlier, Toussaint had said if "pension issue comes off the table, that would be a basis for us to go back to work."

But the MTA chairman, Peter Kalikow, had called that demand "outrageous," and said the point is "rapidly approaching" where bargaining with the union would be "futile."
What was the MTA's offer?
"[N]ew employees pay 6% of their wages toward their pensions" [so it can be gambled away in derivatives]

This is "after dropping [the] demand that new workers retire at age 62 instead of the current age of 55."
They actually had the nerve to ask transit workers to slave another 7 years of their lives, so they can drop dead before they collect their pensions! This sounds awfully familiar.

Stay tuned because the strike may be off (for now), but the battle's far from over.

12 Comments:

At Thursday, December 22, 2005, Blogger Jeff G said...

Masters are not tolerant of complaints from slaves. I realize that sounds extreme, but it makes the point. Thousands of years of recorded history and, apparently, very little has changed.

The wealthy and powerful believe their station in life is divinely appointed. They are incensed that the lowly should demand lives of less toil and struggle.

They author the rules of the game, stack it in their favor, and believe it is their right and privilege to do so.

Truly there is nothing new under the sun.

 
At Thursday, December 22, 2005, Anonymous drac said...

Honestly the one thing I agree with is that the retirement age SHOULD be extended to 62. No company in the world lets someone retire at such a young age.

I think they have a right to be able to strike, but for them to complain about a 55->62 year retirement age when most people can't retire until 65, is ridiculus.

I think that they probably deserve more pay and I sympathise with them for that, but I don't give them any sympathy on retirement

 
At Thursday, December 22, 2005, Blogger qrswave said...

Just because others are being driven like slaves, doesn't mean transit workers, or anyone else has to stand for it.

Don't you see that the demands of this monopoly-driven market never end?

Workers are being squeezed from both ends by an ever-devaluing dollar and by greedy employers armed to the teeth with monopoly money.

What makes retiring at age 62 more reasonable than retiring at 55, other than the dictates of a market driven by a monopoly of the money supply?

 
At Thursday, December 22, 2005, Anonymous drac said...

Most people can still do work and function at an efficient level until they are 65. Retirement should not be an excuse for laziness in my opinion. It should be a way to reward the hard work someone has done in the past, even though they can no longer continue that work in the future.

I agree that the working class being taken advantage of by devaluated dollar and inflation and interest is awful and needs to stop. But if you look at the logic in some of your previous posts, you claim that our money system should be based on labor, not perceived or fake value.

Retirement is when people get paid even when they are no longer doing labor. It HELPS inflation and interest-induced debts because these older people can sit on thier retirement checks from age 55, while providing little to no benefit to society as a whole. While I think we should support our elderly citizens, 55 is not hardly old enough to be considered elderly.

The under-55 workers are put further in debt and under stress by higher taxes to pair for thier benefits and by having to support people that still CAN labor and provide service, but just choose to retire and mooch off others peoples labor.

 
At Thursday, December 22, 2005, Blogger Jeff G said...

To say that people who retire at 55 are going to collect and sit on their retirement is a gross characterization. Retiring at 55 allows you some years of reasonably good health to engage in activities you didn't have time for in your 30 years of toil in the workforce. Retirees can be a boon to the economy because they will spend money on hobbies and travel.

 
At Thursday, December 22, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Morp I see no probelm in retiring at 55 than 62,everyone's body is different so you can't say that they all can take that kind of pressure at that age,me personally, find its up to you what you want to do at that age, but let the option be your's only the individual know what they can do.At that age I think you should be travel and trying to catch up with the time you had lose trying to sweat you ass of if you are not sick with cancer or some other ailment,thats not laziness that just reaping your benifits,if you choose to work there are alot of business the individual can get into but at their own paste

 
At Thursday, December 22, 2005, Blogger qrswave said...

drac, thanks for sharing your thoughts and kicking off an important discussion.

I am glad that you see the vice of interest and other financial devices that enable a privileged few to benefit from the labor of many.

But, your application of that logic to our social security system is misplaced.

Our social security system is a compact between ALL working Americans and ALL elderly Americans. No one is privileged. So, no one is "mooching" off another; everyone pays his or her dues.

Another thing you overlook is that but for the rapacious and evil monetary system currently in place, we would not be taxed the way we are to pay INTEREST (on pseudo-money, at that) and everyone would have enough savings of their own to take care of themselves and their elderly parents.

And, just because someone is not earning CASH, that doesn't mean they are no longer useful. It just means that there is no CASH return for the things that they do.

But, this is primarily because they benefit the people they love, so they do it on a non-CASH basis. Is it such a crime that, before they die, elderly people have a chance to directly benefit their families with their PRESENCE instead of contributing to the CASH economy?

At what point do people realize that money is supposed to serve people and not vice versa?

 
At Thursday, December 22, 2005, Blogger Mr. Natural said...

LONG LIVE THE WOBBLIES!

 
At Thursday, December 22, 2005, Blogger qrswave said...

do you mean these wobblies?

 
At Friday, December 23, 2005, Anonymous drac said...

I see your logic, however the entire social security system is awful and just doesn't work. It was founded under false logic.

It was assumed that the population growth and income of the working Americans would be at a rate sufficient to always provide for the workers who are now retiring. This doesn't work! People are not having 5-10 kids anymore. The population growth has severely halted and less and less people are able to get mid-high level jobs to help fund the social security system.

Government way overstepped thier bounds implementing social security. People need to be responsible for themselves, not rely on others to provide for them when they are older. If the money that was put to social security was instead part of a regular paycheck, people could save it as they wished and keep it or spend it as required.

With a devaluating dollar, the problem gets even worse, and is totally unfair to younger workers. They might have to put say $100 of every $1000 check to social security. But by the time they get to see that $100 its been depriciated so much its not even worth it! If the population and working trend were to go as planned in the ideal then this system would make up for itself, but it doesn't!

While many at 55 continue to contribute past retirement, there is a growing trend of people that retire, move to florida, and sit on thier behinds doing practically nothing for the rest of thier life. Its ridiculus and sad! I wish most people who retired at that age would continue to contribute in one way or another but I just don't see it happening very often. I live near one of these "hot zones" for retirees and its really out of hand.

Because they don't need to work for thier money they no longer appreciate it as much, and as such they spend it on overpriced items without much thought. The market of whatever they just bought gets away with huge markups because some of these people just don't think twice about the value of what they purchased. It makes it that much harder for those of us who do continue to work for our possessions to grow our assets.

 
At Saturday, December 24, 2005, Blogger Jeff G said...

As an update, I found the following article over on Yahoo that offers a peek at the average American's perception of the transit strike. Try this quote on for size:

"I've been down here since 8 a.m. and this is all we came back with," said Lachaun Brooks of New York, pointing to two bags of merchandise. She noted that the strike kept her from shopping. "It was just a horrible time for them to have picked to go on strike. It just wasn't fair."

As the character King Theodin recounts in The Two Towers, "How did it come to this?"

 
At Saturday, December 24, 2005, Blogger qrswave said...

Thanks, Morpheus

The irony is that transit workers are striking to prevent the MTA from setting a precedent that would harm all city workers.

Moreover, the MTA can be said to have "picked" the time just as much as the workers did.

These are hard times. Hopefully, next year we'll see some change for the better.

Happy holidays, friend!

 

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