Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Judge Puts Stiff Penalty on Striking Transit Workers

A New York judge ruled today that the transit strike was illegal and fined the union $1 million per day that they remained out on strike. The rationale being that it was illegal for public workers in New York to go out on strike. Sounds like your typical anti-worker ruling, workers have an inherent right to organize into unions, and the only tool that unions have to force improved conditions, wages, or benefits is the threat of a strike. Once that threat is removed unions have no power, nothing to force employers to the bargaining table. I would even contend that the New York law is unconstitutional as it violates the 1st and 14th amendments of the Constituion. Banning strikes violates the 1st amendment right to freedom of assembly and forcing people to work violates the liberty clause of the 14th amendment. The Judge said the following, "This is a very, very sad day in the history of labor relations for New York City," indeed it is, it is the day the judge refused to have the guts to back up the right to organize and to use the one tool that unions have at their disposal to force bargaining agreements against an unjust and unconstitutional law. Michael Bloomberg added in more bashing of workers.
An angry Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, appeared at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon and called the union strike "selfish and illegal."

He said the strikers had "thuggishly turned their backs on New York City and disgraced the noble concept of public service." Bloomberg threatened "severe consequences" for the strikers, who he said were breaking the law.

Nice attitude Bloomberg, as though no one else bears any responsibility for the strike, perhaps Mr. Bloomberg, the city of New York should have worked out an agreement with the transit workers before they felt they had to use their one weapon and walk out. Who's a thug Mr. Bloomberg? I see a thug running the city who refused to talk to the union and prevent a strike that it sounds like has been a horrible inconvenience and burden on the citizens of New York.


Abe said...

I acutally place the blame of the transit union. Certain groups should not be allowed to strike because it puts the citizens in danger. This includes, police, fireman, air traffic controllers, and transit workers. Millions of New Yorkers had to walk home in the cold, some are old and could die from the cold. I don't blame Spiytzer or Bloomberg for the actions they took, it was necessary.

Abe said...

One more thing I don't think the law is unconstitutional for the reasons above, IF the Supreme Court strikes it down then it will be unconstitutional. MAD PROPS to the judge who made the absolutly right move.

Cwech said...

Bull shit, there is no blame except to the extent of refusal to bargain, sometimes in order to improve conditions in the workplace drastic measures must be taken, this is the one weapon at the disposal of unions, in order to force bargaining sometimes it must be used, and the threat of its use must be everpresent or else employers have no incentive to bargain. They aren't going to bargain for the sake of being good people, they're going to bargain because its in their own self interest to bargain, when unions are not allowed to strike that incentive is taken away. Of course there is a consequence to the strike, this is why a deal should have been negotiated.

Furthermore, you fail to address my constitutional claim that these laws should be unconstitutional, the law violates the essential rights of workers. There should be a 14th amendment right not to work, it is contained in the liberty clause of that amendment. Striking and picketing also falls under the "free assembly" clause of the 1st amendment, your argument doesn't even begin to touch that constitutionality issue. SOLIDARITY FOREVER!

Abe said...

you crazy communist =)