My first question: Why can't they have these contracts end in May or June??? Why the middle of December??? This is just plain evil.
I also officially have work Friday should the strike occur. We received an email yesterday saying that work is open and if you live in Manhattan and can share space...let the office manager know. One should also note my office party is tomorrow night...that should make for a delightful "commute"! That and the fact that its supposed to be snow/sleet/ice/rain....should make for a pleasant 3.5 mile hike...well if I'm actually here.
You see I may have to go back to hurricane ravaged Mississippi tomorrow for the day again...ugh. I'm hoping that I am not screwed and forced into that because then I'll miss the fun party and not to mention I have no idea when I'd get back into town...and what crap I'd face to get home should the storm and strike hit. Oh the joys of being the youngin'...uh no.
So yes...strike. The MTA and city of New York has issued contingency plans should the strike occur. Not to mention there are restricted areas where cars cannot drive. I don't know...I'm starting to get a little worried about this. Everyone has been saying this happens everytime the contract is up but now we're really getting to the gun. There's just a day and a half left...and it feels like nothing has been done.
Basically for those that not involved in the NYC hoopla...there's the Transit Workers Union in one corner and the MTA in the other. The TWU wants 8% raises every year for 3 years (hahahahahahahahha!) and the MTA has offered 3% for the first year, 2% the second depending on if the TWU gives up "a" sick day. TWU workers want the retirement age down to 55 from 62...uh yeah. MTA wants TWU to give 2% to health benefits (up from 0%). Naturally, this is all public so what's behind closed doors...we don't know. I just feel like this animosity has been building up for months...from the now defunct stadium to the 2 sets of cooked books to the fare hike to the now "surplus" the MTA magically found. A lot of shadiness on both sides in my mind.
It gets better. Due to a law called Taylor's Law, it is illegal for the TWU to strike. If they do, they face HEAVY duty fines. MTA filed a lawsuit for an injunction which the court ruled in favor of...so now EACH member of the TWU could face $25,000 fine and/or jail time for each day they don't go to work!
And who really gets screwed? You, me, and everyone in NYC. The fact remains its the low income people that are really in a bind. They won't be able to get to work...and earn their paycheck. The city loses out on a whole lot of business. I get to have a wonderful bout of Raynaud's because I'm positive I'll have no feeling in my fingers and toes by the time I get to work. Although perhaps I can get my run in...it's about 3.5 miles each way. Yeah, thanks MTA and TWU...you're really making us have a more favorable opinion.
At least I got out of going to Mississippi tomorrow...although I really do feel like the icon photo...;-)