Thursday, December 22, 2005

I've revised my position

Hello faithful readers,
George & I made it to Chicago, and barely. It took hours to get to the airport, but thanks to Jim's willingness to pick us up & brave the horrible traffic, we made it in the nick of time.

Jim and I were talking about the strike, and I would have to agree with his point of view to some extent. People are pissed as the transit union for striking, but more because of WHEN they chose to strike (right before the holidays) rather than BECAUSE they chose to strike.

It's true that they are already more highly paid than the majority of workers, and they don't currently contribute anything at all toward their health or pension plans. It seems unfair to the rest of us.

But that's why they have a union. Unions serve a good purpose (at least the ones that aren't controlled by gangsters.) And just because all the other workers and/or unions in the US have caved to The Man doesn't mean the transit union has to. They've decided to draw a line, and they're sticking to it. So, ok.

But they finally realize what a PR nightmare they've created for themselves. This strike would have been more effective if they had made noise in the media about seeing New Yorkers through the holidays before going on strike. People would have appreciated that gesture. And so, that is why (in my opinion) they have called it off for the duration of the continuing negotiations.

While we're still on this topic, what is the deal with calling Bloomberg a racist because he called the union leaders "thugs"? Everyone knows the stereotype of unions being run by the mob. I thought "thug" was just a synonym for "mobster." I have never associated that word with any kind of race. When I think of a "thug" I think of one of those big bald guys with five o'clock shadow that you might see in a Mad Magazine cartoon - the kind of guy who grunts out "dis is a stickup!" Since when does "thug" refer to a black, Latino or Asian person? It's quite possible that I'm behind the times with respect to the definition or connotation of this word. Just curious.

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