Am I the only person who thought it strange to see Pat Lynch, President of the POLICE union on NY1 applauding Roger Toussaint saying he'd break the law again?
Many people refer to a jail sentence as a state-funded vacation or taxpayer-funded vacation. Regarding Roger Toussaint's taxpayer subsidized vacation that begins today and will last for the next ten days in a Brooklyn jail cell, I was wondering, is he being paid for his time served or is he taking vacation time?
Considering how irresponsible the strike was, how many people were harmed, either physically or financially, and how many people's lives were turned upside down by Toussaint's leading this illegal strike, it's fair to ask if he will also be penalized by the TWU.
After all, the union did not escape unharmed either. $2.5 million in direct fines and the loss of their dues check off from transit workers paychecks might cripple the union indefinitely. Not that I'm crying for the union, but it would be the height of arrogance if Toussaint continues to collect his paycheck while serving his jail sentence.
The transit strike that occurred in December crippled the city, ruined the holiday season for some businesses, and cost quite a bit of money for the city. Still, I believe that Roger Toussaint made a horrible calculation. Of course the MTA was not negotiating in good faith, but what did he expect? And, why did Toussaint fail to understand that he would lose the battle and the public? How, exactly did he expect to move a lame duck administration through a strike action? I believe that the TWU had a right to be have some action, but, as I stare out of my window this morning, I pose this question -- how many more people would have been supportive of the strike action if it had been delayed until April 16th?
During the transit strike, defenders of the TWU when asked why the union was striking while other municipal unions did not strike even as negotiations dragged on for years, fell back on one defense - that the TWU had a policy of no contract - no work. Now even at the time, this was a pretty weak argument for so called progressives to make - "tradition requires a strike". But now, as we are in the 5th month of no contact, I'm wondering what happened to no work? Even the anti-Toussaint militants aren't demanding an immediate strike . Has this important policy gone the way of the token?
In short, Toussaint gets 10 days and must pay $1,000. Ed Watt and Darlyne Lawson, two other TWU administrators, face fines of $500 a piece, and no jail time.