NYC Subway Strike Heroes and Villains
The strike lasted three days, but it shouldn't have happened. It wasn't justified. The City, its people, its business, its visitors, all were hurt badly. As were the members of the TWU union, who, with the union itself, are now subject to large fines under the state law.
Who are the heroes and villains in this situation?
First the Villains
Roger Toussaint, President of the Union- the MTA had a reasonable offer on the table, but Roger led the membership to a strike anyway. Toussaint has a history as a " militant ", but he has militantly led his membership into the ditch.
John Mooney, a TWU Vice President, and more militant than Toussaint. He decried the decision to return to work as a " disgrace ". He would have preferred that the union stayed out longer, with larger fines against it and its members, a suicide strategy worthy of Rev Jimmy Jones.
New York City Building Owners- the huge majority of them made zero accomodation for bicyclists. At least for the duration of the strike, they should have allowed people to bring bikes in the buildings.
Now the Heroes
Richard Curreri He led a three-member state mediation panel that brought the MTA and the TWU together in a very short period of time. In lesser hands, this effort would have dragged on or broken down, causing untold damage to all parties.
The People of New York - New Yorkers are wonderful in a crisis. There was an astonishing level of cooperation and kindness among ordinary people. This includes drivers who picked up hitchikers ( like me ! )
New York Police Department- there was a four-to-a-car rule that kept traffic flowing somewhat, but it would have been meaningless without enforcment by NYPD. They did a great job, with great skill and with a smile.
Neither Heroes Nor Villains- the TWU membership. They did the wrong thing, which hurt a lot of people. But they simply are not bad guys. I find most of them to be good working class guys and girls, who do work hard and who give you respect if you give them respect. I'm happy they're back, and I wish them all a good Christmas.