Don't like the transit strike?

The NYC transit strike has exposed some interesting inconsistencies; it's proven to be one of those issues, like immigration, that smudges the line between left and right.

Inconvenience will do that. One of the built-in problems of the traditional labor model is that striking relies on knowledge and sympathy. Otherwise, what you're left with is the impression that workers are messing things up, causing the machinery to run less smoothly.

In a city like NY this risk looms large. David Sirota asks this question to pissed-off New Yorkers (of which, it should be mentioned, I'm not one. My commute is roughly 15 feet): "For every New Yorker trying to blame transit workers for striking - are you angry at Goldman Sachs executives and your elected leaders who sold out to them?"

Sirota points out that the Transit Worker's Union's final demands amounted to roughly $20 million as opposed to the nearly $2 billion recently given to gazillionaire firm Goldman Sachs to build its headquarters in Manhattan.


"So I ask again - who is at fault? The billionaire mayor and the bought off Republican governor of New York who handed over $2 billion in taxpayer cash to the wealthiest investment bank in the world, and are now trying to shaft workers who sweep subways? Or are the workers at fault for using their only economic weapon - their labor - to fight for their rights?"
Lindsay has a strike roundup [HERE] including a letter from Steve Gilliard calling the mayor out for using the word "thuggish" in reference to the union. A sample:
"But you are using racial code words to demean the working class of the city. Men and women who work day and night, rain and snow and 100 degree heat. To demean them, to question their sincerity is offensive."
"Maybe such language makes you feel like a big man, but to most New Yorkers, you might as well as called then ungrateful niggers."
Bonus: A 9-year-old breaks it down. (Sirotablog, Majikthise, Steve Gilliard)

--> Sign up for Peek in your inbox... every morning! (Go here and check Peek box).

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.