As a person with socialist leanings I absolutely respect the right of workers to strike. It's really the only hardball tactic available in a situation where the odds are greatly stacked against them. I also appreciate the larger importance of fighting for viable pension plans and lower retirement age when national trends are rapidly stripping these benefits away. Won't it be great when our generation works until age 70 without being guaranteed benefits and pensions comparable to what our parents will receive?
That being said, I'm a wage slave myself, and don't look forward to the prospect of missing a day's pay tomorrow or being reprimanded for not coming in. But I'm sure finding a cab at 8AM will be a nightmare and I'm sure as hell not walking across the Manhattan Bridge in 13 degree weather. I don't own a bicycle.
I like the idea of simply staying home, both for convenience and in some form of lily-livered solidarity. I'm unsure of the repercussions of this, as my company has been maddeningly mute on any contingency plans it may have up it's sleeve. It's been memo after memo stating nothing other than "look out for more memos."
I am not too familiar with the nuts and bolts of the negotiations, or what the transit workers are demanding, other than an 8% raise. Is it 8% each year for three years, or just 8% over three years? I hear their average salary (including overtime) is $55,000. Now that seems like a lot to me, but I imagine it's not much for, say, rasing a family in New York. And a retirement age of 60 after 30 years of service seems like a lot, especially considering that's 30 years spent largely underground. Not to mention the photos of the toilets at the MTA locker rooms. Plus, the MTA is the most repugnant city organization around.
I'm also dismayed by the apparent low-level hatred of workers shared by a large segment of the population. This extends beyond New York. I think it's a nation-wide affliction. We are the "I want it served to me and I want it now" culture, expecting all of our services delivered to us promptly without deigning to consider the human beings whose occupation it is to deliver them.
I'm sort of rambling here. I'd love to here everyone else's thoughts...