Sunday, January 22, 2006

TWU Contract in the News

Transit union head tries to regroup

One day after city transit workers rejected the contract offer that ended last month's three-day bus and subway strike, still-stunned union leaders pondered their next move.

"There will be nothing happening in the next few days," Roger Toussaint, president of Transport Workers Union Local 100, said Saturday. "It is too early to say what happens now. This will take some time to figure out."


Why the NYC Transit Strike Isn't Over
Now that the transit workers have rejected the contract their leaders negotiated, what’s the next stop for NYC?

n a surprise coup at the ballot box on Friday, New York City transit workers refused to ratify the contract that their leadership negotiated for them in the wake of the three-day pre-Christmas strike, reviving fears that the city may again be paralyzed by a work stoppage.

The margin of defeat was rail-thin. Out of over 22,000 votes cast, there were just seven more nays than yeas. But short of a recount, the contract is dead—a stark reversal of fortunes for Transport Workers Union president Roger Toussaint. During the strike, the former subway car cleaner survived the wrath of millions of nettled commuters just long enough to win some real concessions from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Toussaint faces possible jail time for the strike, not to mention the millions in fines leveled at the union, but he had managed to preserve pensions and lock in pay increases substantial enough to make New York Governor George Pataki wonder aloud if the MTA hadn’t gotten ripped off in its rush to end the strike.


MTA To Seek Binding Arbitration To Settle TWU Contract

The MTA says it will seek binging arbitration in order to work out a deal with the Transport Workers Union, days after union membership rejected the MTA’s contract proposal by just seven votes.

Metropolitan Transit Authority chairman Peter Kalikow says that he's informed union leaders that he is taking the necessary steps to settle the dispute through arbitration, which the union has opposed.

In a statement, Kalikow said, "The MTA is amendable to meeting with the union in the coming days. However, in order to ensure a timely resolution of this matter for the sake of all New Yorkers, we will also begin to take the necessary steps to pursue binding arbitration."

The TWU says it is ready to go back to the bargaining table, but there is no work yet on whether the two sides will resume contract talks.


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