Sunday, January 29, 2006

P-CRAC Prediction: Arbitration Will Screw TWU

To Arbitrate or Not to Arbitrate: That is the Question
by Beth Fertig

NEW YORK, NY, January 27, 2006 — Now that transit workers have rejected their contract with the MTA, the two sides are waiting to find out if they’ll go back to the table OR have an outside party settle their dispute. The MTA has asked the state to appoint an arbitration panel which could impose a settlement. WNYC’s Beth Fertig has more on what’s next.

REPORTER: Larry Sortino is typical of those who voted no on the contract. He rejected the deal because didn’t want to pay 1 point five percent of his salary for healthcare.

SORTINO: I never paid into the medical for 22 years, 22 years in March it will be for me and I don’t want to pay now.

REPORTER: Sortino is a train operator. During a lunch break at a diner near the Coney Island station, he acknowledged he didn’t think too much about what would happen if the contract failed. Arbitration was a distant concept. He presumed the two sides would just make a better deal, with a wage increase higher than almost 11 percent over 3 years.

SORTINO: I thought that we would get more money, figuring it would be 5, 5, and 5. Or 17% like sanitation got or the teachers.

REPORTER: So how do you feel about them going to binding arbitration now? That’s a real possibility, did you understand that that could happen when you voted no?

SORTINO: No they didn’t explain it to us about the binding arbitration.

REPORTER: Sortino says he doesn’t regret his vote because he believes he made a statement. But he does worry about what’s next. And that’s the one thing uniting more than 33 thousand members of a union so sharply divided that they rejected their contract by only seven votes.

On a platform at the Coney Island station, Cleo Tucker, a cleaner, wears a button that says “Stand together for a Strong Local 100.” It’s a message from Union President Roger Toussaint’s Unity Team. But, Tucker says,

TUCKER: That button’s not how I feel today.

REPORTER: Tucker voted yes.

TUCKER: If it goes to binding arbitration we’re going to get the short end of the stick.



Anonymous said...

Binding arbitration will essentially take tne last best and final offer of the state, and an unknown proposal from the Union and attempt to meld the two.

The last best and final can change between now the date of the arbitration.

The Union would have been far far far far better off accepting the last contract.

P-CRAC said...

Democracy just fucked them over. hahaha.

Anonymous said...

"hahaha," guess that makes it a perfect case for p-c"r"ac to gloat about.

P-CRAC said...

Its not an issue of gloating, its once again the the constant tension between rank n file democracy and industrial democracy that genius anarchists never seem to grasp. Fetishizing one form of union democracy over another is foolish. Fuckface.

Anonymous said...

"industrial democracy" as in workers get a vote, the union gets a vote, management gets a vote, ownership gets a vote, and the state gets a vote?

P-CRAC said...

Industrial Democracy: Where workers build their Union's strength to the point where it has the power to set standards in their industry rather than the bosses setting the standards.

Don't be obtuse.