Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cutting Off Their Nose To Spite Their Face

New York City's budget woes are well known. In an attempt to bring some semblance of fiscal sanity to the place, former mayor Michael Bloomberg earlier this year opened up 1,100 of the city’s 7,700 bus routes to non-unionized drivers. That led to a city-wide strike in January by the Amalgamated Transit Union. The strike lasted five weeks, creating a nightmare for commuters and parents of schoolkids, who had to find alternatives to get their children to class.

One of the eye-openers during that strike was the city's decision to hire taxicabs to take kids to school. That ended up costing less than paying the bloated salaries of the union's bus drivers.
“We paid for a taxi to take every kid who needed it and their parent to school and then take the parent back and the same thing to pick up,” Bloomberg told host John Gambling on his weekly radio show. “Our costs were half of what a regular bus company costs. So we saved a lot of money during that strike.”
An additional outcome of the strike was the loss of some union jobs to replacement drivers. Now, ten months later, the union is extracting a bit of revenge, albeit at a high cost.
Atlantic Express Transportation Corp. and its unionized drivers were unable to reach a new contract agreement on Wednesday, and as a result, the more than 40-year-old bus operator on Staten Island said it will be shut down.

The closure will leave 1,000 bus drivers with Staten Island routes out of work and hoards of South Shore commuters who rely on two express routes -- X24 and X22 -- literally out in the cold.
It will also affect - again - an unknown number of children (and their parents) who ride Atlantic Express buses to school.

In addition to the 1,000 drivers, about 4500 other employees of the firm will also lose their jobs.
"We have the highest paid workforce in the country, which is a big part of our financial burden. We can't compete (for the city bus route bids) because we have all these obligations with the union," (a company spokesperson) said...

A union representative was not immediately available for comment.
Ironically, the earlier strike by bus drivers was to protest NYC's plan to put bus routes out to bid. The union claimed it would have threatened the job security of its members.

Now, as a result of the union members’ decision to reject Atlantic Express’ contract offer, the drivers will have no jobs at all. And they're taking thousands of other workers down with them - at Christmas time, no less.

Happy Holidays...


Toejam said...

Is this "Texas Justice", CTT?

Old NFO said...

Your caption is correct... And nice timing...

CenTexTim said...

Toejam, there's a lot of controversy here about that case. I could - and maybe I will, if I get the time - write volumes about the Texas mindframe towards DWI in general, and the Couch case in particular. But I will say that money can influence justice. Perhaps the most notorious case that I can recall is that of T. Cullen Davis.

CenTexTim said...

NFO - thanks.

jeff said...

Tim - Unions are a blight. Had their place 50-60 years ago, but took advantage.
There is no way they care about kids or their plight, just about themselves.
The judge in the DWI case should be removed from the bench.
"I was too spoiled" is not a defense. Accountability in all phases of life should be enforced no matter how much your parents are worth.

CenTexTim said...

Jeff - agreed on the unions. Also agree that the kid's defense was absurd, and he should be held accountable. That said, however, there's been a lot of debate over exactly what "held accountable" should entail. I'll try to elaborate in the next day or two.

jeff said...

Young man, (child), gets drunk, gets behind the wheel and kills and injures people.
Proven he was driving, proof he was intoxicated. Game over.
I know he was young but he should sentenced to sometime served somewhere. Probation don't get it.

As Obammer would say, it's the law.