The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is the Transport Workers Union for the transit strike they have started in New York City. Its an illegal action because of an injunction issued by a judge. Not to mention the disruptive effect it will have in our nation's biggest city with Christmas 5 days away. No many people are going to suffer from this act of lawlessness and stupidity? Alot and for that and defying the law, the Transport Workers Union is today's Knucklehead of the Day.
Open Post- Jo's Cafe, Bright & Early, Is it just me?, Third World County, Adam's Blog, Basil's Blog,
Update- Gop in the City is Strike blogging. Michelle Malkin also has a blogger round-up.
The city's 34,000 bus and subway workers walked off the job early this morning, setting up a dramatic confrontation in the courts and on the streets, and paralyzing the city before the holidays with the first transit strike since 1980.
The strike shuts down the transit system and triggers the city's stringent contingency plan, with vehicles entering the city this morning required to have at least four passengers, some roadways closed to all but emergency vehicles, and taxis moving to a zone-based fare system.
Union President Roger Toussaint told union members to report to their "assigned strike locations, picket lines, or [nearest] facility immediately," and asked the city's riders for their "understanding and forbearance" during the strike.
Authorities began locking turnstiles and shuttering subway entrances shortly after the Transport Workers Union ordered the strike, and the city began bracing for a rush hour filled with disorder. At one subway booth, a handwritten sign read, "Strike in Effect. Station Closed. Happy Holidays!!!!"
As early as 5 a.m. today, televised traffic reports showed bumper-to-bumper traffic in Manhattan-bound lanes leading to the Brooklyn Bridge, crowded lanes leading into the Lincoln and Holland tunnels and also heavier traffic than usual on the West Side Highway.
Brooklyn commuters were walking and biking along the pedestrian lanes of the Williamsburg bridge, braving bitter cold and wind to get into Manhattan early today.
Police were setting up cones at different HOV zones outlined under the city's contingency plans and were stopping cars one-by-one at 96th Street in Manhattan to make sure drivers were following the four passengers per car rule.
Cab drivers were getting ready for a long day of gridlock traffic -- and anticipating some tough customers when it comes to enforcing the upped contingency plan fares.
Anderson Thomas posted a sign in the back of his cab at 4:45 a.m. this morning with an enlarged map of the HOV zones that explains the new fares -- $10 within a single zone and an additional $5 for traveling from one zone to another -- "so no one gives me a hard time," he said.
After a late night meeting with executive board members at TWU Local 100 headquarters on the West Side, union president Roger Toussaint announced the citywide transit strike, effective immediately.
"The Local 100 executive board has voted overwhelmingly to extend strike action to all MTA properties," Toussaint said.
Toussaint also asked riders to stand with the union, saying "We did not want to strike. Evidently, the MTA, the governor, and the mayor did."
MTA chief Peter Kalikow, speaking shortly after Toussaint, said the strike action was a "slap in the face to all MTA customers" and called the strike "bullying tactics."
He said the MTA would be taking "every necessary step to bring this illegal action to an end as soon as possible," saying the MTA would be proceeding to court to start contempt proceedings against the union.
A Brooklyn State Supreme Court judge had issued an injunction against a strike last week.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg echoed Kalikow's tough stance with his own early morning remarks, labeling the strike a "cowardly attempt" by the union to exert leverage in its negotiations with the MTA.
"We will show that the city of New York will run even when our subways and busses don't," the mayor said.
The Transport Workers Union executive board voted to strike around 1:20 a.m., two board members told Newsday. The board had the choice of withdrawing the strike authorization approved last week and keep negotiating, or allowing a strike to proceed.