The good news is in that an end to the strike is imminent, but I have to say: our news commentators and leaders need a “Labor History 101.” I’ve been astonished at he amount of times I’ve heard someone say “You don’t get anything done by breaking the law” – a comment first articulated by Mayor Mike Bloomberg – because of course that’s not true at all. Every major strike in this country had injunctions thrown at it, fines levied, and involved some law-breaking by the strikers. Susan B. Anthony broke the law when she registered to vote, Rosa Parks when she sat down on that bus.
It goes to show that the law is often there to protect the owners and the people who already have power.
I am especially disgusted with Bloomberg. Bloomberg calling Toussaint a “thug” is out of the 1920s. It has been a long time that union leaders have been respected participants at the bargaining table. The rhetoric was a kind of flashback, to me, of the era of Carnegie and the Ludlow Massacre – though of course things didn’t become as bad as that.
The larger issue at stake still seems to be the fact that the MTA is a bossy boss, that TWU workers don’t feel respected or heeded when they suggest changes.