The following report was filed before the strike was certain, but it still contains

Negotiations over a new contract between the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the Transport Workers Union Local 100 have been tense. The MTA has entrenched around demands for givebacks, while the TWU have stood militant against them.

So far, the most contentious of these giveback demands have been those regarding the benefits of new workers, with new hires having a raised retirement age and assuming a greater burden for healthcare and
pensions. The TWU's president, Roger Toussaint, has declared that such a deal is unacceptable and compared it to "sacrificing the young.

The TWU "stopped the clock" last Thursday night into Friday and let the original midnight December 15 deadline for a new contract to pass in favor of talks stretching deep into the night. After no deal was reached, Toussaint upped the ante, however: on Friday morning he announced the TWU would go forward with a strike on two Queens private buslines (soon to be incorporated into the MTA) beginning Sunday night going into early Monday morning, should the MTA did not begin to bargain in good faith and make progress. If matters continue to go on without progress, he announced that this would be followed by a full system shutdown and strike beginning 12:01 am Tuesday.

The two sides talked on Saturday with both sides reporting no progress on a deal had been made. Both sides took Sunday off. Notice of the beginning of a private lines strike has already been made on TWU Local 100's website:

The MTA and TWU will return to negotiations on Monday. The TWU has called for a solidarity rally from 4 to 5pm at 34th and 3rd Avenue, at the offices of Governor George Pataki. The TWU and its allies have repeatedly blasted Pataki for ignoring the negotiations while going on a presidential campaign trip to New Hampshire. Pataki controls
appointments to the MTA.

If the shutdown and strike against the MTA goes forward, the TWU has announced that all MTA facilities will be picketed and asks supporters to come to the one nearest them to render whatever aid possible. A list facilities follows as a MS Word attachment.



Transit Strike Is Our Strike!