The union is demanding an 8 percent raise each year for the next three years (total of 24 percent). They also want to keep retirement at age 55 and want to have zero responsibility toward health-care costs.
But here's the real damning part of the whole thing ...
Because the union can't get its way, it authorized an illegal strike. Public unions in New York have not been allowed to strike given the adverse effect it would have on the security and safety of the city – thousands of people going by foot across the Brooklyn Bridge, 17-degree weather and the loss of between $100-400 million in revenue per day to the city that needs it to jump start much of the rest of the country.
And the cherry on top? Folks like Maria, who called my show this week to explain that she lives across the river in Jersey City because of the lower rent. She has no car and cannot afford one. She couldn't get to her job at one of New York's impressive hotels because of the combination of the cold and the lack of public transportation. She may lose her job because those who never should have been allowed to are holding out for a 24 percent raise on top of the $63,000 they are already making. Maria admitted her salary is in the mid-20s.
The transit workers are solidly middle-class wage earners. Their demands are extortion. And their willingness to make the less fortunate suffer just so they can get their way is completely analogous to people who fly planes into buildings.
Though the effect may be less extreme, the brutality of their method is no less severe.