Wednesday, December 21, 2005

NY Transport Workers Union Strike

The New York Transport Workers Union went on strike today and 6300 subway cars and 4600 buses stood idle. The last two TWU strikes happened in 1966 and 1980, each lasting about 11 days. The city filed a case in court, which has fined union $1 million per day and about $1000 per member per day.
Several points of contention between TWA and MTA, one of the points being the $1 billion surplus with MTA which is not reaching the transport workers. The TWU has a strength of 33,700.

Another strike was called in by the New York taxi can drivers in 1998, when 24,000 cab drivers went on strike. The union that organized the strike was the Taxi Works Alliance. Biju Mathew is a member of the Organizing Committee of the New York Taxi Works Alliance and recently released a book titled
Taxi!: Cabs and Capitalism in New York City
. I attended a book reading by Biju Matthew in Amherst and found the anecdotes and his experiences very original and interesting, mostly because he was part of the movement and it reveals the hardships of taxi drivers and their financial instability. He also had several analogies of the city policies and how they were to be implemented and the general topics of globalization and capatilism.

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