Freitag, Dezember 16, 2005


MTA strike

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) does not do a general strike for now, but partial spontaneous strikes.

What does it mean?
New York's Taylor law, which outlaws strikes by public employees, provides a powerful incentive for the workers to reach a deal. They risk losing two days' pay for every day of the strike – a big blow to blue-collar workers whose wages range from $45,000 to $68,000 a year on average. Major Bloomberg’s administration has asked a judge to fine the union $1m for each day of the strike.

The issues – rising pension and health insurance costs – are similar to those creating tensions between management and employees across the US private sector. The transit union is resisting the MTA's demand to require new employees to contribute 2 per cent of their pre-tax wages toward health benefits; current workers are not required to pay anything toward health insurance. Other issues are pension age and contracts for new employees.

The MTA swung to a surprisingly large surplus in 2005 thanks to higher real estate tax revenues and lower debt service costs. But it is expected to slip into a $152m deficit in 2007.

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