About the New York City Transit Strike

Myth: The members of Transit Workers Union, Local 100, who run the bus and subway systems in New York City, are "overpaid."
Fact: Newly hired workers start at $35,000 per year in gross (not take-home) pay. That's way less than it takes to support a family in New York City. With prices of everything rising, the union's demand for a 6% raise per year might keep up the increases in the cost of living.

Myth: The TWU is "greedy."
Fact: The union is defending the health care and pension benefits that already exist. The MTA was trying to cut benefits and raise the retirement age from 55 to 62. The MTA wants to force newly hired workers to accept pay cuts of 6% for the first ten years they work. Bus and subway jobs are tough and stressful, working under any and all weather conditions, with high rates of disabling injuries.

Myth: The MTA can't afford to give the workers a decent contract.
Fact: The MTA admits to having a $1 billion surplus, but it still wants the transit workers to accept a cut in benefits and a wage increase that won't keep up with inflation.

Myth: Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg are looking out for the people, while the TWU workers are just out for themselves.
Fact: Pataki and Bloomberg represent big business, not working people. Bloomberg's theatrical walk across the Brooklyn Bridge shouldn't make anyone forget that he's a billionaire who lives in total luxury. He's got a lot of nerve calling TWU President Roger Toussaint and the union membership "cowardly." Roger Toussaint and the TWU members have taken a courageous stand risking huge fines and jail time to defend what all working people need and deserve: living wages and real benefits. Millions of workers have lost health care, pensions and seen their wages decline in recent years. The New York City transit workers are saying, "Enough is Enough!" The outcome of this strike is crucial for all workers, whether you're a union member or not. If a strong union like TWU Lo. 100 can't defend its benefits and wages, everyone else is in big trouble. All working people should support this strike.

Myth: The Taylor Law and the MTA are in the public interest.
Fact: The Taylor Law is a vicious anti-union law, meant to take away workers' most basic strength the right to withhold their labor. Denying workers the right to strike means giving the bosses tremendous power. It creates a completely unfair negotiation, and encourages the bosses to try to impose take-away contracts, as the MTA has done to the transit workers. The Taylor Law not only fines workers two days pay for every day on strike, but allows them to be fined $25,000 each. It also allows for the union to be bankrupted by fines of millions of dollars. The Taylor Law should be thrown out. The MTA is run by real estate and banking executives with the aim of maximizing the profits of the big corporations, banks and stores. MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow is president of one of the city's biggest real estate firms. His vice-chairs, David Mack and Edward Dunn are real estate and finance executives, respectively. For workers, and the general public, mass transit is a means of meeting basic needs. For big business, mass transit is a means of making profit. It brings their workers to work and their shoppers to shop. They should pay for mass transit and the buses and subways should be free.

Question: Why is that as the economy keeps growing and rich keep getting richer, working people are supposed to accept cutbacks in our wages, benefits and every government program? Isn't it time we all said, "Enough is Enough!" Click here for ANSWER updates and flyers on the transit workers' struggle <<a href="http://www.pephost.org/site/R?i=vJ-eBFRkg9FkfhhPjWXjEw..">http://www.pephost.org/site/R?i=vJ-eBFRkg9FkfhhPjWXjEw..>