The agreement between the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and its biggest union, the Transport Workers Union, expired last Wednesday, and workers didn’t go on strike. The union’s motto used to be “no contract, no work.” So the fact that we don’t even have a work slowdown might be seen as positive news. It’s not: It shows that the union, despite incendiary rhetoric, trusts Gov. Andrew Cuomo to deliver a good deal.
One might think labor relations are acrimonious. Two weeks ago, John Samuelsen, the public face of the union even if he’s no longer officially in charge, told management amid an overtime crackdown that “any transit worker that does a lick more than they have to do for you . . . is crazy.”
Behind the scenes, things are less theatrical. The union isn’t cowed by the MTA’s $467 million budget deficit next year, doubling two years after that even with congestion-pricing revenues.
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