The two-day-old NY transit strike is officially at an "impasse" and neither side seems to have the smarts, strength or savvy to solve the problem.
In my opinion, Messrs. Pataki, Bloomberg, et al, should take a page out of the Gipper’s play book and start acting like genuine leaders.
Back in 1981, our nation’s air traffic controllers did exactly what New York transit workers did yesterday: they walked out. But, unlike his contemporary counterparts, Reagan didn’t equivocate or rattle his saber. He gave the striking workers 48 hours to return to work or risk losing their jobs. The controllers held fast and so did Ron. He replaced them with management personnel and military air traffic controllers, while simultaneously initiating a nationwide job search for a whole new group of controllers to fill the vacated positions. It worked. The nation’s air traffic system continued to function and life went on as usual (except that tens of thousands of air traffic controllers found themselves permanently unemployed with no transferable job skills).
As Reagan might say if he were alive today, "Mr. Bloomberg, tear down those picket lines." Let’s give the transit workers 48 hours to get back on the job or risk losing their livelihoods. In the meantime, let’s get management personnel lined up and beg, borrow or steal qualified transit workers from other sources (i.e. Other cities, etc.).
It’s high time our leaders stopped allowing unions to hold our country and its economy hostage.
I guess New York City may be one of the last bastions of socialism. It’s shameful that many of our elected representatives rally and march in solidarity with Red Roger and his comrades. Instead, these cowardly fellow travelers should do the right thing by the majority of us who work for a living (without the gold-plated benefits that the transit workers possess) and break the unions once and for all.
Let’s learn from President Reagan. Fire all the striking workers and make them reapply for their old jobs in a newly-privatized, non-unionized transit system. Then, and only then, will we be able to hold the MTA, its managers and its employees accountable.
Looks like this will be avoided given that transit workers have just agreed to go back to work tomorrow.
That said, the damage to the Union’s reputation has already been done. It will be interesting to see if the use of a work stoppage had any real effect on the outcome at the bargaining table. Time will tell.