Monday, December 12, 2005

New York Strike Blogging

We are less than a week away from a transit strike in New York city. This Friday we could see 38,000 members of the Transport Workers Union walk off the job if a contract is not finalized. A strike will bring all city subways and busses to a stop at the height of tourist season.

The union is asking for 24% over three years (8% a year). The MTA offered 5% (3% this year and 2% next year), which the union rejected. The average worker can only expect 3.5% in 2006, according to the LA Times.

The effects of the looming strike can already be felt. I spent 30 minutes on a 10 minutes subway ride on the E train this morning. Each stop, the doors flew open and instead of the usual quick closing, the conductor held the doors for what seemed like an eternity. I spoke with co-workers who repeated similar stories from all over the city.

The NY Post reports that the TWU has put out a booklet that details how its members can cause havoc prior to the strike.

-Take full allotted time to prepare the train for service
-When the train goes BIE (break-in Emergency), check sufficient distance behind the train after walking around the train
-On yard moves, inspect all equipment and read the iron before moving train
-Release full-service break until you have solid indication.
-Second-guess signals. When in doubt, stop and call control center.
-Open train doors until the train has come to a complete stop.
-Leave the terminal without checking for strike marks and snow block.
I have no idea what these mean, but for riders it appears to mean longer subway rides. Post any gripes about slow service below.