Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I Just Have One Question

How are people expected to WALK to work from Brooklyn if it is 22 degrees out? I am wondering what my friends in Brooklyn will be doing today. What are you expected to do? Are your places of providing transport? Are you carpooling or something? This is f*cked.

96 comments:

pd said...

I am in denial. I've been lounging around pretending I have all the time in the world! I shoulda left hours ago. But I saw the pictures of people walking on the bridge --hoards of 'em....and now I'm stuck.

mountain man said...

PD, don't go. Stay inside. This is crazy!!!

pd said...

I may have to call my boss soon.

fairy butler said...

arthur is taking a vacation day. I am taking an unpaid day off. but tomorrow i may be expected to be in if the strike is still on. in that case I will either have arthur take me to the w'burg bridge and then i will walk or catch a ride - or - i can go to LIRR jamaica station and take train in, but there may be swarms. i don't want to take my car into manhattan. it seems insane.

mountain man said...

It certainly does seem insane. Everything I read about it just makes me more mad. Incomprehensible. What is supposed to happen.

fairy butler said...

i wonder how long of a walk it would be over the w'burg bridge and then to my office on 8th and 15th? a couple of miles? i could probably do it but it would make for a really long day. maybe it end today. i hope. pray.

mountain man said...

Me hope so too...me hope so for selfish reasons too which are that I want to see my favorite people tomorrow night......

fairy butler said...

i know, the festivities will be seriously altered if the transportation situation is all horrible.

mountain man said...

Seriously. I know. Very much a bummer.

krixfort said...

holy smokes! I'm just catching up. . .Mountain Man, is this true? you are part girl?

Freaky but cool. So am I. A girl, that is. Maybe I am freaky but cool too. Jury is out.

Here's to hoping that the transits don't strike past today. I want to see the Brooklyn peeps too.

fairy butler said...

word from the hunchback, i do not have to come into work tomorrow if it is still a strike. phew.

Heart As Arena said...

Slothy loves when I say the following two things in reaction to stupidity. I rarely get the chance to say them together though, so this is a special occasion. Ready? Here goes . . . This sucks the bloody stools out of fetid weasels. They can all bite my butt and chew on the hair.

hammy said...

two and a half hours later I am at work. It wasn't that bad but I think I might smell

mountain man said...

Nicely done Ham. I admire you greatly.

And HAA that sentiment is unique and I would like to quote it at the appropriate occasions, if I may. May I?

nardlet said...

There is food and beer at beige today... way too much, in fact. Seems un-christmaslike to waste it in such a flagrant way. Maybe it should be air-dropped over Bangladesh er sup'm.

sloth said...

Ham, wear your smell proudly, like the badge of honor that it is!

Heart As Arena said...

Oh, please do MM. It'll be like a prayer everytime it is repeated.

Mountain Man said...

I am weeping inside at the thought of brooklyn saints not being with me tomorrow. Weeps, weeps, weeps.....WHY IS THE TWU SMITING US??????

fairy butler said...

MM, I am saddened. I am unsure about tonight's dances of the world, if we dare drive into the gridlock. Maybe it is not so bad after 7? but, will there be ANYWHERE to park? any thoughts on this?

krixfort said...

can I still come? I promise not to be boring.

fairy butler said...

HP. 2 and a half hours of walking? I am not liking the sound of this. Can you just take a car service? since you are on different hours than the 9-5? My friend M walked all the way home from 8th & 27th to grand stop in w'burg last night. He got a ride in - only had to walk to the bridge. It's too much. hunchback says i can stay home today. so i am. but next week after the holidays I will have to return to earning money again. ugh.

Mountain Man said...

I don't know. I will look around today in my travels. From what I just read at the NYT, Manhattan is supposedly empty so maybe there would be parking? Or perhaps that's wishful thinking on my part. I will get back to you. There is no obligation of course for you, my dear FB, just the sadness of not having you, PD, Ham and the like might possibly kill me. You know how delicate I am.

fairy butler said...

it may sound surprising - but i am kind of against the union. they make more money than teachers, police, and the last offer didn't sound so bad to me? but what do i know...

they make more money than most new yorkers, me included.

Mountain Man said...

Krix please come!!! Sloth will be there. I would be honored for you to come and have no fear that you would be boring.

Mountain Man said...

Uncle Fritz says parking should be no problem, FB. He is an expert. Maybe it could work???

fairy butler said...

It may take some arthur-tricking but I am willing to at least try and get into the city. If it is awful we can always turn around is my thinking. Both of us have another day off today so what else are we going to do?

fairy butler said...

we do not want to have to cry ourselves asleep because we were trapped in bushwick and missed all the funz.

Mountain Man said...

Tell Arthur there will be sausages. Maybe that will work. And if not that you can tell him MM will flash his c-cups. And if that doesn't work then tell him he is the smartest and most good-looking man in the world and the party is in celebration of him.

fairy butler said...

any one of those ideas might be enough to lure him in... but combine then and i think we have a sure bet.

Mountain Man said...

By the way, it took me a minute to figure out where I stood on the whole union thing but I totally agree with you. I think Toussaint is a power-mongering thug and what they are asking for is WAY more than most people get in their jobs. WAY WAY WAY.

Mountain Man said...

FB that you will try to come is making me weep again, tears of joy this time.

krixfort said...

hooray for FB! You must come!

Chimney Sweep said...

Happy Holidays to you all! I hope you are all warm and well.

At the risk of being unpopular, I am in favor of workers rights, as I am somewhat of a marxist. However, kind MM, I will not pollute your blog comments with my politics.

I tip my hat to all of you and wish you well through all the frustrations. Please keep up your cheer in the face of adversity.

hearts,
chimney

postmoderndebunker said...

I just walked from B'kln Heights--I am freezing. About an hour and 45 minutes.
MM...I will be there tonight--it will be my salvation. And now that I heard there will be sausages...and Krix...I've gotta go. I'll just try to hail a cab home--if that is possible.

fairy butler said...

PD! If Arthur and I make it in we can give you a ride home.

postmoderndebunker said...

Thanks FB! Only if the traffic isn't bad, of course. I am so excited to see everyone. I am so not ready to go to Philly tomorrow.

krixfort said...

I am excited to see everyone! It's making my day!

flo said...

The city is trying to erode pension benefits for all public workers; the transit union is only the first to go. The strike may be illegal under the Taylor law, but so is changing the pension rules. In the grand scheme, it would be better for public workers if the MTA's plan is thwarted.

Mountain Man said...

Flo, thank you for your informed view. It is hard to know what to think but you make an excellent point. I just feel badly for all the people either losing money or walking several hours to work. It doesn't seem fair.

Mountain Man said...

PD, I am so happy that I will be able to view you later. Hearts.

voice of the many said...

i have no pension. i am destined to be destitute and living on garbage scraps or hauling my 75 year-old-ass to walmart to work as a greeter for 7$/hr.

flo said...

It is definitely a hardship. The union is playing the strongest suit that it has, as is the MTA. Trash collectors strike in the summer, so the garbage will pile up & smell; transit workers strike in the winter, when the city is the most dependent on them. This puts pressure on the MTA to settle.

Transit workers are also suffering. They are fined 2 days' pay for every day off the job, plus losing that day's salary, which they still have to pay taxes on. Also they are standing/marching out in the cold. they are 70% racial minorities, they are not wealthy, their job is hard, and their life-span is shorter than people with white-collar jobs. The strike demonstrates how much we depend on them in our daily lives. They deserve to keep their pension benefits.

By not settling, the MTA is going to lose money -- much more than the $20 million in pension benefits it would save over the next 3 years in the latest offer. This strike is about more than just the details of the contract -- it's a power struggle between labor and management, which is an old story. I can't help but side with the underdog.

flo said...

Voice of the Many, you must not belong to a union. A union is the Voice of the Many. If only the employees of Wal-Mart had a union, they wouldn't qualify for food stamps.

lucky lucille said...

I can't seem to go with the Flo.

postmoderndebunker said...

MM, I am so happy to have something other than a long, cold walk home, to look forward to tonight.

Anonymous said...

I hate the MTA, but the fat cats of the TWU are no better. I think the surplus should be used to actually improve service, clean up urine-soaked stations, get safer turnstiles in the event of mass-evacuations, and what about this so-called security??? The recent offer by MTA is fair enough considering all the other things that need to be done to the system...that is... if they bother to do them.

Anonymous said...

Just tell me, someone please tell me how to reconcile:

1. Insane fair hike to $2 per ride
2. MTA was short on cash and then no oops, SURPLUS
3. TWU says we would like a piece of that surplus
4. Yes I agree that they deserve pensions but
5. I think they are asking for more that what most working NYers have

Anonymous said...

Yeah--I agree with anonymous the second. Things are tough for all workers these days, especially with regard to pensions and health benefits.
My dad worked for 40 years for a transit system in another city and he had the best benefits around. Only paid $1 per perscription (and I think it is still somewhere around $1) and his union was on strike recently--asking to pay absolutely nothing for their prescriptions and benefite.

flo said...

Why on earth wouldn't the MTA agree to retaining the relative pittance of $20 mil. in pension benefits? The pension cuts will not help with the things that need to be done in the subways and buses. The MTA makes an enormous amount of money - if it can't allocate the funds properly, it's not the union's fault. The city is experimenting on the transit workers to try out their plan for cutting benefits to public workers across the board.

fairy butler said...

workers everywhere are facing pension cuts, white-collar and blue-collar. who these days is even offered a pension? this model of job is passing. the mta pension cuts are asked to account for savings for future years - exponential cost over pass of time because health care costs are skyrocketing and (maybe people are less healthy?). the problems are systemic in the US culture/economy.

the mta sucks my ass, obviously, they mismanage money and are greedy. but this strike is really the shits. i hope they can all soon come to an agreement.

fairy butler said...

I read about it in the NYTimes. Our fucking country is going DOWN. i predict catastrophic economic collapse. buy some canned veggies.

Mountain Man said...

It does feel that way FB. I am waiting. I don't have enough cans of veg though. Maybe 1 or 2 which I don't think will be enough.

flo said...

Agreed about the hoping for a settlement!

The elimination of pension benefits is especially hard on blue-collar workers, who generally retire earlier and have higher medical bills because their jobs are physically harder. They are also less employable when they do retire. Most of us have never had such a job, so it's not really our place to judge whether they "ought" to have pensions.

Mountain Man said...

Flo you sound very well read on this. Like the voice of reason. None of us know enough about the workers' actual situations, you are right, but do you not feel that Toussaint may not only have their best interests in mind? Just curious.

Mountain Man said...

That came out funny, but I think you know what I mean?

fairy butler said...

my comment was that the system of 'pensions' seems to be fading because of skyrocketing medical costs - everywhere for everyone. not judging whether they are deserved or not.

pooper said...

how many times have you seen 5 mta workers standing around watching 1 mta worker actually 'working'? It's hard work to sit in a token booth.

pooper said...

i am just stirring up trouble, i know. sorry. i like to makey the brown sauce.

flo said...

Toussaint is trying to preserve the same benefits for new workers, to keep the system fair across the board. Interesting article & variety of responses here:

http://www.villagevoice.com/blogs/powerplays/archives/002217.php

pooper, if you had the scrutiny of millions looking over your shoulder at your job all the time, would your nose be completely clean, i.e., would you be working constantly, or sometimes getting paid to do your own stuff, say, blogging?

fairy butler said...

There is waste/beauracratic glut/mismanagement on both sides - mta and union - i imagine. neither side is superior in my book.

flo said...

agreed!

Anonymous said...

Hey wait a minute Flo, Pooper may waste time at work like many many others, including MTA workers, but I bet Pooper isn't on strike and Pooper doesn't have a pension. Just a hunch. Sorry. More trouble stirring.

flo said...

Which is a shame... in a perfect world, everyone would have these benefits (and we'd have single-payer health care, too). Unions are good for things like worker benefits. People with essential yet crummy jobs deserve decent benefits. We all do. Just because benefits in the private sector are dwindling doesn't mean public workers should be expected to give up theirs, too.

postmoderndebunker said...

Really, who is offered a pension anymore?? Many workers don't even get health benefits! They get a box of band-aids and a bottle of advil with their first check.

I don't think the TWU is out to solve the problems of the masses.

postmoderndebunker said...

I am blogging now, obviously, but I do not have a pension. When I don't work, I don't get paid. I have health benefits--that's it.

flo said...

If you think your benefits package is lacking, it only shows how important unions are. If your workplace had a union, perhaps you would have a pesion.

Also, these MTA employees tend to stick with their jobs and retire from the MTA. Will you be retiring from the place where you work right now? People who work their entire productive lives at one job deserve a pension from that job.

I know my position is unpopular, but I hate to see the REAL fat cats getting fatter.

flo said...

i.e., corporate fat cats.

postmoderndebunker said...

this strike will not prevent the fat-cats from getting fatter. I f the union gets what they want, it just means there will be more service cuts, higher fares, etc...
No, I won't be retitring from this job.

flo said...

If the MTA had just agreed to maintaine the pensions, there would have been fewer servie cuts, fare hikes, etc. It would have been far less expensive for the MTA to drop its attack on pensions than to continue to insist upon it. Also, it's the MTA that (mis-)manages the system, not the union.

My earlier reference to "fat cats" was in response to the description of union bosses as such. Toussaint requested a $15K-per-year pay reduction for himself when he took the job. He earns way less than MTA management. This is a tug-of-war where the individual workers have more to personally lose than management, or even ridership.

Most white-collar workers in the private sector move from job to job; they have more options and mobility than your average city worker. An employee who commits his or her life to a public-service job deserves a pension.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to George Bush--things will never be the same for any of us--public service or otherwise.

AlsoArthur said...

No one is denying the union deserves their pensions. sure the mta only saves 20 mill over 3 years with their demand that NEW workers pay in 6% instead of 2%. But in the long run they will save tons so i find the 'why did the mta do this for 20mill' argument to be bogus. Times are changing. It's tough all over. To even have a pension at all, be very fucking thankful. And new workers STILL get to retire at 55 (while non pensioners will probably NEVER retire) and would only paying in and extra 2k a year. They are paid more than teachers, policemen and firemen. and i hate to say it, but their jobs are fucking easy in comparison. and the fact that they would get over 3% raises every year and were asking for 6% (i think it was?) well fuck me charlie. I haven't had more than a 1.5 - 2% raise every year for THE LAST 5 YEARS. It's the economy, stupid. (not calling anyone stupid, it's the olde Carvelle line!)

log story short, i am all for unions. they are perhaps even more necessary now than back in the day with the rise of megacorporations. But bottom line...35,000 workers fighting for their rights versus 7 MILLION riders dependant on a PUBLIC transportation system in the biggest city in america. Most of whom earn LESs than any transit worker, have NO pension, have NO retirement in sight...

Fuck all.

flo said...

You make a strong argument, AA. But comparing a private-sector with a public-sector job is apples and oranges.

If they're equivalent, and "it's the economy, stupid" logic applies to the MTA, then their management should be getting the superfat salaries, bonuses etc. that corporate bosses in the private sector get. And being a public sector industry, this just doesn't seem right. So why is it not okay for the workers to insist on maintaining their pension plans?

Saying that "I" don't have a pension, so why should "they" isn't a logical argument against it. Teachers etc. certainly should be earning more. They just don't have the bargaining power of the MTA, and I say, more power to 'em!

pd said...

Well said, Arthur.

Anonymous said...

Also Arthur, how do you know their jobs are easy? Have you walked in their shoes? If you have it so hard at your job, and they have it so good, why not get a job working for the MTA?

Mountain Man said...

Oh oh oh oh. Me got so drunky. Me sorry for the outlandish behaviors. Thank you for being there Krix FB, PD Arthur, Sloth, HFP and all the goofy ones. I get carried away with the dances and I am a naughty blogger.

Anyway. Thanks for making the trek.

pd said...

WAKE UP Mountain Man!! Thanks for the holiday fun! Goofy dancing is my favorite way to decompress--and thanks for the drink and snausages.
You are the hostess with the mostest. So good to see the gang again.

Mountain Man said...

We are awake and cleaning the gigantic mess-mess. It was great to see you all too. PD. You and your impression of SW were top notch.

sloth said...

MM, you know how to throw a shindig! With tasty meats and liquids, and wall-to-wall great peeps. It was so fun to see everyone... sad to leave earlyish, but my tums was not so great. xoxo!

Mountain Man said...

Hope your tums are feeling better Sloth. I was sorry not to have talked to you more!! THANKS SO MUCH FOR THE POKER CHIPS!!!!! You have no idea how happy that made us. Texas Hold 'Em night is coming soon.

Anonymous said...

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Lila said...

Dear Anon,

I am trying to decode. I am sure I will.

Love,

Lila

Dirk said...

Texas Hold 'Em? Is that the game where you look a person straight in the eye and tell them one thing when really it is another? I love that game.

sloth said...

YES to poker night!!!

krixdork said...

I had so much fun! I got a little carried away with the wine. I am hoping I was not too much of a horse's ass.

hee-HAW!

Mountain Man said...

Krix you were so fun. I am so glad you were there. IT was me with the high kicking and squats that got carried carried carried away on the wings of dorkbird. But whatever!!!! We rocked the house with great moves.

slothdork said...

Krixy, you were totally fun & cool last night... and there were plenty of drunken revelers present to share the joy.

hammy said...

I'm so sad I missed it! It sounds like super fun. my legs were rubbery numbness and feared walking across the bridge again. maybe tonight is my last walk!

sloth said...

You were missed too, dear Hamlette we were thinking about you... we will be sure to have many fun gits-togethers in 2006.

Hope your stems aren't too sore from all that walking! Crummy strike is over! Yaaay!

pd said...

Yeah Ham, we all missed you. My legs are a lil' sore from all the walking too, but I was lucky that FB and Arthur were kind enough to take me home.

Mountain Man said...

Dear Hammy Hammy,

I was so sad you weren't there. Nothing seemed quite right without you. I love you dearly, my little candied pink one. Good luck to your leggers. I will commune with you and whirl in the manner of the olden days very soon, I am hoping.

With Love and Affection,

Your Very Own,

MM,

Mutant of the Hills

Mountain Man said...

I can't make a new post due to blogger fouling and quitting the program over and over.

The Capt'n said...

Thank fucking goodness this particular strike is over. But still I gotta say that I, too, must go with the Flo.
Thank you, Flo, for keeping the love alive, for bringing on the critical analysis, and for speakin' with compassion, reason, and intelligence in these dark days of late capitalism.
I thought the "Me Decade" was over but it looks like it's still dog eat dog out there in some corners, even within the thoughtful artist set.
But that's how capitalism do us, child, with all the divide and conquer business. It encourages us to resent and betray eachother, and say things like, "Why should they get a pension when I don't get a pension?"
Children please. Have we completely lost sight of the bigger picture?
How would the failure of the transit worker's union, or any union, be good for any workers anywhere?
When did Union become a bad word?
Would you rather see them give up their pensions, health care coverage, living wages, job security, representation, seniority, overtime, decent and safe working conditions, and everything else that organized workers have struggled and died for, for most of the 20th century?
How would that be good for anybody who works for a living?
Instead of backstabbing, why not make public statements in support of the transit workers, and then ask for their support when you organize and fight to regain those pensions that everybody in the private sector seems to be losing?

Anonymous said...

'union' did not become a bad word. but how can you honestly think having that much power over 7 million riders is a good thing? I still say 'fuck that'. lameasses on both sides.

The Capt'n said...

It's not about them "having power over 7 million riders." It's about them having leverage. Workers without leverage become exploited wage slaves (or just old fashioned slaves with no wages.)
Yes, strikes bring hardship. But it's hardship that brings strikes in the first place. Don't you see?
I sense that you want to cling to your bitterness, anonymous, and I respect your right to do so. The strike did indeed bring a huge hardship to NY, including to the strikers themselves, who paid a big price to stand out in the cold and be penalized two days' wages for every day they struck.
I know it sucked bad for everyone in NY. But the situation for most workers has steadily gotten worse throughout the years since Reaganomics. In this atmosphere, the unions that still remain as contenders (and national membership is WAY down) have to do what they have to do.

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