The TWU paints this strike as an action by the underpaid workers against the Man. But that's not the case at all. Hell, if some union were striking against a big business, and the only thing involved was who gets the profits, then I'd just be enjoying the fight from the sidelines.
But this is not a strike against big business, it's a strike against the government which represents all of the people who live in NYC. Any money given to the transit workers comes from the tax dollars and the transit fares paid by the people of New York City. The MTA may have a billion dollar surplus, but it doesn't belong to the transit workers who are already overpaid compared to other blue collar jobs. That billion dollars belongs to taxpayers. The MTA is not a for profit business, it's a government service that's heavily subsized by tax dollars because the fares charged don't cover the costs of providing the service.
According to this Wikipedia article (which may or may not be true), the median household income in NYC is only $38,293. NYC isn't just a city of rich liberals. The majority of New Yorkers are poorer people earning a lot less than transit workers earn, and that doesn't even count the transit workers' super-generous benefits which no private workers get. It's these regular New Yorkers who are hurt worst by the strike. If they can't get to work they lose a day's pay, pay they can't afford to lose.
And of course the strike is costing the city a huge loss in tax dollars, that's money that will come out of every taxpayer's pockets.
The strike is illegal, and it's illegal for good reason. As we already touched on above, the strike imposes huge costs on the city because people can't get to work, children lose two hours of school, people can't get to their doctors, tax revenues are lost, delivery trucks are stuck in traffic, business owners lose customers, work isn't getting done.
The problem here is that Mayor Bloomberg needs to grow some balls. He should fire the transit workers pronto and replace them with people willing and able to work for less money. The transit workers should be financially punished to the fullest extent allowed by law. They should lose their fat pensions, which would save the taxpayers a huge amount of money. The strike is actually an opportunity to significantly lower MTA's costs, but Mayor Bloomberg has to seize the opportunity.