The striking workers are employess of a public authority governed
under the provisions of the New York State Employees Fair Employment
Act known as the Taylor Law. If you allow the transit workers as
public workers to strike then you better allow fire and police to do
the same. See what happens then.
One of the provisions of the law is to prohibt strikes by public
For the record, I'm a state employee. I worry about politicians
messing with our pension. The state controller who is elected is the
sole administrator of the public employee's pension. And there are
those who think that we we retire, we get a generous pension and it
should be changed.
I agree with with what they are asking. But there are resolutions of
contract disputes under the Taylor Law which the local did not
do. Even the parent union disagrees with the srtike. The law has been
on the books since 1967.
I may live in Buffalo now, but I'm orginally from the city and still
have friends and family done there. I still keep tabs on whats going
And in closing, I do would like to wish you and everyone a Merry
Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Happy New Year!
Howard S. Wharton
Fire Safety Technician
Occupational and Environmental Safety Services
State University of New York at Buffalo
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: By and large I agree with your
sentiments, at least where the holidays are concerned. Where I
disagree however is your statement "If you allow public workers to
strike then be prepared if police/firemen walk off the job you will
see what happens ... "
Just FYI, they (emergency first responders) _do_ sometimes walk off
the job. Chicago firemen went on strike a number of years ago for two
or three days. I guess, Howard, I disagree with you on the legitimacy
of government. I happen to feel the _only legitimate_ function of
government is to do those things we cannot _conveniently_ do for ourselves,
(such as, for example, fire protection and (maybe) police services. I
think almost everything else should be based on economics. I know that
may sound foolish to you, considering I -- of all people -- rely on
Social Security Disability, Meals on Wheels and a nurse/housekeeper
courtesy of the State of Kansas, and one dollar taxicab rides anywhere
in town courtesy of City of Independence. But _someone_ has to pay for
what I consume; like most people alive today, I was raised up in an
enviroment where I grew slothful, plus which the 'system' would not
allow me to take care of myself; it insisted on doing things for me.
The amount I have paid in taxes over the years would have well
provided for my needs in my old age _had I been given the opportunity
to do so_. And how we are going to change the 'system' now I do not
know. The shell game has gone on so long, a lot of people would feel
cheated (and rightly so) if the rules were changed in their lifetime.
Plus, there are many people who feel that (this illegitimate form of)
government actually 'owes them' many things. I confess to feeling the
same way at times in my weaker moments. But seriously, this shell game,
or whatever needs to stop sometime. otherwise the balloon is going to
Government should NOT be in the transportation business. They are not
into transport where private automobiles are concerned (although they
are trying hard to do so), nor in taxicabs, nor in airplanes or
intercity busses. Why should they be into local busses and subways?
In the 1930-40's, Chicago had a perfectly workable system of _private__
bus and elevated train lines. Six different companies were involved.
Then in 1947 government decided they should take over. It has been a
disaster ever since. Until 1939 we had perfectly workable _private_
housing, then Miss Jane Addams (in Chicago's instance) came along and
decided govenment should run the housing, and the Chicago Housing
Atrocity was born. It also has been a disaster ever since. Is the
publicly owned housing in New York in any better condition? I think
not! Literally _everything_ the government decides to take over from
the private sector (transportation, housing, etc) is like the old
story of King Midas; in his case everything he touched turned to gold,
but in the government's case, everything they touch turns into shit.
And the education of children; we have been brainwashed into thinking
that public schools serve a good community purpose; no one wants a
bunch of ignorant children; after all those children will be our
country in a few years; so we have to have public schools to insure
a good education. Are the public schools in New York any different
than those in Chicago? Somehow I doubt it. So just imagine if our
overall tax payments were about two percent of what they are now (let's
refer to it as the 'adminstrative fee' to run what the government
has the legitimate right to run) and with the rest of the money we
educated our own children, provided for our own housing, and managed
to somehow drag our own asses to work each day? Would things be
any better or worse than they are now, in a system of _commercial_
transportation lines, _commercially_ owned housing, and _commercially_
owned/operated schools? I for one am tired of seeing the government
thinking _it_ can do a better (and more noble, more honest and all
that rot) job than the public can do on its own. PAT]