Okay, no picket lines, no petitions, no protests. But if you're still amped up
about the strike, there is something very important you can do.

The media by and large played a very bad role in the contract struggle, echoing

and amplifying the MTA/Bloomberg/Pataki line and trumpeting the imagined
hostility of "average New Yorkers" toward the TWU strikers.

There's a good possibility the union will wind up with a clear victory in this
struggle--based in part on real support from a majority of New Yorkers. If the
media backed a losing pony, let's really rub their noses in their error. if we
burn a lesson or two into their long term memory, it may result in a more
temperate approach the next time public workers have a major fight on their

Write letters to the editor, email the ombudspersons, call the station

If everyone on this list does this just once in the next day or so, some
letters will get printed and the owners will definitely feel the heat. I know
it's a
pain in the ass, but you can do it at home in greater comfort than walking the
line for a couple of hours. I also know it's right before Christmas, but use
the time you saved commuting today. And push the idea to other folks.

I'm putting my money where my mouth is. My letter to the Times is copied in
below. If I can do it, so can you.


To the Editor:

While biking around Manhattan for three days may have been good for my health
(and certainly made me feel virtuous), I am as glad as any New Yorker to see
buses and subways running.

But like most New Yorkers, I supported the strikers, and note with some
distress that your Dec. 23 editorial "The End of A Senseless Strike" continues
anti-union slant of previous commentary. The strike's violation of the Taylor
is once again invoked, with no mention that the MTA's (last-minute) placement
of pensions on the bargaining table likewise violated that law--first.

In fact, the editorial admits that the strike was the only weapon the union had

in its arsenal. If management was convinced they were afraid to use it, what
choice did Roger Toussaint and the other leaders of Local 100 have but to
unsheathe it?

Coming weeks will show if the strike helped win the 30,000-plus MTA workers the

contract they need and deserve. If they get it, it will be hard to convince any

city workers that the strike "never should have happened."

Dennis O'Neil
New York, Dec. 23, 2005