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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:So New York City transit workers are planning to strike at midnight.

Now, having seen the contract they have (floor sweepers make $45k a year plus benes), I have little sympathy.

Furthermore, the transit system is essential for this city. Shutting it down will clog streets. It will make it very difficult for emergency vehicles to get around. It will be WAY more than an inconvenience.

I think for every death attributable to the strike, the union bosses should have to stand trial for one count of negligent homocide.

The cops don't strike, firefighters don't strike, doctors don't strike (and on the rare occasion that we do, we continue to provide emergency medical care), so I find this to be wholly inappropriate and unethical of the union. ESPECIALLY given the contracts they have.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:Well why not the electric company? Or the water?

there are services that the government should provide in order to avoid the mess of privitization. The NYC subway system is the result of two private companies and the organization of the system is a mess because it is two independently designed systems.

But those essential services should not be strikeable for a reason. And if you want the right to strike, then get a different job. Nobody is holding a gun to anyone's head and forcing them to work for the MTA.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:do i think police should be able to strike?



in a word, yes.



if their employers (who, in the case of the transport workers and in the case of police officers, hold a complete monopoly and are therefore uniquely placed to take advantage of their workforce) propose an unfair contract and refuse to negotiate fairly within an appropriate timespan, i think a union boss is within his/her rights to offer a strike to their union members.



many uk fire services has gone on strike in previous years due to unfair pay and i supported them entirely - if more people die in fires while they were on strike, i blame the people in charge that are not offering fair wages, not the union leaders that called the strike.



i would have supported this strike if it had gone ahead too: paramedic strike





if, as you believe mike, the nyc strike was only called because "the union boss wanted his 15 minutes of fame, wanted to get everyone riled up, and make a statement" i think the members of the union would probably have rejected his proposal to strike.



i do not believe this was a vindictive attack on the city of new york and its residents.



i certainly do not believe the striking union members to be terrorists.



that use of the word 'terrorist' is exactly the kind of twisting of the concept of terrorism that we all feared the 'war on terror' and the patriot act would introduce, and here it is in the flesh.



think about it:

you are a dedicated american citizen, who's job it is to run a public service.

you get offered a bum deal and are worried about providing for you and your family (especially in the distant future because of the changes to your pension scheme).

but when you join your union in protest through a strike, rather than perceiving the strike as an expression of how strongly you feel about the issues at hand, instead you are immediately labelled as a terrorist - by an american doctor that uses the service you provide no less.



train and bus drivers striking over their rights to pay and benefits should never be compared to terrorists.



it not only devalues the word but is highly insulting to those who have experienced a true terrorist attack - would you be so quick to label this as a terrorist attack if you had been in nyc for 9/11...?



the equal and opposite accusation to labelling the strike as a terrorist act would be: "the mta are facist dictators comparable to the german nazi regime".



i believe that statement as much as i believe that the striking union members are terrorists.





i think the lesson for the mta to learn here is if you want to cut costs and lay it on your employees, try and do it without messing with their pensions - people are sensitive about that kind of thing...





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:Written by: coleman

do i think police should be able to strike?

in a word, yes.



There are many many 'job actions' that a police force could do that wouldn't involve endangering the public.


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:that is true nyc and applies across the board.



but it doesn't change my opinion - in a some disputes, a strike is what the union decides is the only course of action that will have an effect.



the point of a strike is not to hurt civilians or cosumers or anyone at all - it is to bring the employers attention to the fact the jobs of the union members are vital and ill-treatment of employees could end in disaster for that service.



here is an example of a police staff strike in the uk: linky linky



a few police workers worked through that strike to keep essential systems running but the message to their employers was clear and that is why i think they all unionised employees should have the right to strike.





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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NYC
NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Member Since: 26th Aug 2001
Total posts: 9232
Posted:Written by: coleman

the point of a strike is not to hurt civilians or cosumers or anyone at all - it is to bring the employers attention to the fact the jobs of the union members are vital and ill-treatment of employees could end in disaster for that service.



I'm not sure that such a blanket statement is accurate. I think that A point of A strike could be to bring it to the attention of employers but not always.

I do not think that the point of the MTA strike was to bring it to the MTA's attention. I think it was to do damage and play a public relations game of chicken. If anything, it was to bring it to the attention of the CUSTOMERS, not the employers.

I think that this has been hashed a bunch. Everyone has their own definition of 'work' and 'ethics'. I know if my employer did something horrible to me financially I wouldn't turn around and refuse to prepare my students for their statewide final exams. I would look to transition out of my job and look for a smooth transition that would hurt my students least. I can't see Lightning checking his paycheck (or pension benifits) before jumping to the aid of a dying child.


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:I'll say it again. If you desire the right to strike, then you should take a job that doesn't prohibit it.

The law is simple: no striking. They should have played by the rules and gone to binding arbirtration.

I'm very concerned that they're going to start pulling this every 3 years.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:nyc - very true, apologies for the blanket.
there are indeed many reasons a workforce chooses to strike.


mike - so we agree, they're not terrorists; they're just regular criminals? wink

fair enough though - the strike was illegal and that cannot be denied.

keep in mind that if only legal strikes were carried out, we wouldn't have ever got them in the first place (they were made illegal after the first few due to political pressure by the employers of mass labour) shrug

so yes, i believe that the taylor law is unfair but that point is secondary to the discussion of whether the strike was immoral (and whther those that instigated it should be held responsible for the effects of it) or if it constitutes an act of terrorism (i.e. a direct and intentional attack intended to harm citizens).

the defining issue for me is that a contract dispute prompted this strike and the workers felt strongly enough about that to choose to support the action, despite the fact that it made them criminals, cost their union millions and cost them two days' pay for every day they did not attend work.


so evidently, we disagree about whether the union was in the right or in the wrong to strike and i don't think we're going to be swayed there.


how about we discuss the effects of the strike?

this is quite a nice discussion of the political ramifications.

and this is the kind of effect that mike was highlighting.


cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:strike was illegal for all workers at some point... I'm pretty hapy they did it anyways and were able to establish workers rights...

Sorry to stick to my opinion:

a) the strike was good and for good reasons
b) nobody should be deprived of his right to refuse to go to work
c) 8% wage raise every year is not demanded too much
d) rules are - made up by people to keep control - meant to be broken at a certain point. shrug


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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coleman
coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay
Member Since: 29th Aug 2002
Total posts: 7330
Posted:don't apologise for that tom!



i still stick by my opinion too (which agrees with your points a, b and c above) but i don't think us stating it, over and over, will change anyone else's opinion smile





cole. x


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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