Friday, January 20, 2006
Roger Toussaint learns who's not the boss.
Update: The members of the NYC Transit Workers Union have rejected the contract agreement that ended their illegal strike.
At the center of the rejection seemed to be a last-minute concession by the union, after the strike of Dec. 20 to 22, that its members pay 1.5 percent of their wages toward health insurance premiums in return for the authority's dropping its insistence on less generous pensions for new workers. Just how unpopular that change was with union members became starkly clear yesterday...Oh, this bodes real well for the coming Medicare crisis. Around 2025 is the whole country going to go on strike against itself rather than pay its own medical bills?
John Samuelsen, the chairman of the track division, one of 15 divisions in the union, said that the rejection of the contract was "a moral victory" for the workers. "Even in the face of bribes in the form of pension refunds, transit workers stood firm and refused to accept the idea of escalating 1.5 percent health care payments." [NY Times]
Members of the NYC Transit Workers Union, that is...
Unleashing a flurry of telegrams, phone calls and threats, transit-union boss Roger Toussaint stepped up his aggressive campaign to convince bus and subway workers to approve the contract for which they waged an illegal strike....
Toussaint sent a memo to the union's seven elected vice presidents and more than 100 other staff members threatening to dock their pay if they speak out against the contract.
Ainsley Stewart, a TWU vice president, said Toussaint docked him a week's pay — $1,701 — for his outspoken opposition.
"I don't understand, this is America," Stewart said. Stewart and others said they plan to fight over the cash. "I don't care what he says, nobody is going to mess with my money," said John Mooney, another TWU vice president.
Leaders said they found it troubling that the union president would prevent members from having an open debate on the merits of the contract. "He's determined to keep people in the dark about other viewpoints," Stewart said.
Toussaint's allies defended the blackout on dissension.
"We're not going to pay for someone to work against us," a source close to Toussaint said... [NY Post]