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December 20, 2005


I appreciate your sentiment, although I would not accuse Bloomberg (of all people) of lacking balls. Tough to make a case for that. I think he simply lacks the authority to fire these workers - they do not come under his jurisdiction.

Snitch has a point, and it's a significant one. The MTA is a state entity, not a city one, so Bloomberg has no authority in negotiations, and cannot take action against the strikers. (What he has done, rather ingeneously, is to file suit against them -- as he said, "Everyone in New York seems to file a lawsuit when they don't get their way, so we have done the same.") This is where the $1 Million-a-day judgement has come in.

The strike is illegal by the Taylor Law, but not for any particular reason, good or otherwise. The Taylor Laws were written after the 1966 strike, and attempts to jail usnion heads have frequently turned sympathy towards the strikers (Joe Quill got to be on the front of the tabloids from his jail cell, calling himself a political prisoner, and Touissant would certainly welcome the chance). So not jailing the union heads is a political decision based on experience.

The real argument that the strike presents is the opportunity to restructure the MTA as a city, rather than a state, agency. Just as Bloomberg took over the school system, he needs to use this opportunity to let the city control its own subway.

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