posted on Apr, 25 2006 @ 05:56 PM
Gaining a good familiarity with the Taylor law and the reasoning behind it is a good first step to take before really considering the weight of this
As some of you know, I live and work in Manhattan and before graduating college (mid-late 90s) interned for the city government. You learn a lot as
an intern, especially when you have a good boss, as mine was, who understands that the point is for you to learn. One of the things I had the
privelege of discussing with long time employees was labor relations in the city. At the time there were issues with the Teachers union, the Fire
union, and of course the transit union.
In such a priveleged position, being able to speak to people that dealt with the city charter, labor negotiations, and emergency management I learned
the true importance of the Taylor law.
Imagine if the firefighters decided to go on strike. While an apartment building burns, the firemen are out picketing. Is this a good idea? Imagine
if the policemen strike? While a bank is being held up and hostages are taken, the policemen are out picketing.
They both have unions, they're just not permitted to strike because of the potential damage and danger it would cause. Transit workers fall into the
same category. Your solution of "wake up earlier and get a bike" is the solution of someone who, thank goodness, does not work in public
administration. When transit goes on strike, people forced to use their cars cause monstrous traffic jams that do such things as make it IMPOSSIBLE
for ambulances/police/fire trucks to reach those in need. It makes it impossible for home nurses to reach their patients. It makes the elderly (who
maybe can't "hop on a bike" or "stroll across a bridge") completely homebound and sometimes unable to reach doctors or pharmacies.
That is why transit is included, and will remain included in the Taylor law. It's been challenged and crushed every time, and will remain a powerful
tool to keep the citizens of New York safe.
The strike was illegal according to laws that Mr. Toussaint was very familiar with. The city is permitted to keep him in jail far longer than 10
days, the city is permitted to fine every single member of his union 25,000 dollars per day that they went on strike, and the city is permitted to do
this without batting an eyelid.
And so, Roger the martyr walked across the Brooklyn bridge with his two recent best friends Al Sharpton and Herb Daughtry, and will spend a cushy,
short, ten day sentence due to a 3 day strike that crippled the commute 8 million people, and hurt the lives of countless numbers of them. He should
consider himself lucky.
It's too bad that not everyone can just hop on a bike and "do what they gotta do", but thank goodness our lawmakers realized that correctly and did
what was necessary back then.