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NYC Subway Strike in 2005 - Essay Example

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New York subway is the most used mean of transport in United States of America. Every day almost seven million people utilize it. Metropolitan Transportation Authority is a public corporation responsible for public transportation in U.S, so also in New York…
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NYC Subway Strike in 2005
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Download file to see previous pages On the other side, the transit workers have bigger wages than the teachers although their work is unqualified .
In December 2005 the contract between Transport Workers Union and Metropolitan Transportations Authority expired so they had to sign another one. The two parts didn't agree because the Union asked wages too big and the MTA wanted to increase the retirement age from 55 to 62 and the retirement funds would have been reduced. These demands were considered unacceptable for the transit workers and MTA didn't drop out their requirements mostly because of the Taylor Law, which was very much used by the Metropolitan Authority during that period. The public employees fair employment(or the Taylor Law) defines the rights and obligations for public employees. If they have the right to organize and to elect their union representatives they are not allowed to strike. The fine for striking is twice the employees' salary for each day the strike lasts. MTA relied on this law and thought the workers will not strike. Christmas time was an important period for New York and the renewal of the contract overlapped with this moment. The Transport Workers Union took advantage of this, thinking that in this way they will obtain all their claims.
The Union wanted raises of salary(6% per year for each of the five years of contract) , more expensive accommodation for maternity leave, finance for station maintenance , to lower the age of retirement from 55 to 66(while MTA wanted to raise it), improved health plans and a stronger pension fund. They didn't agree with the age of retirement or the percent for health insurance.
One of the most intriguing demands of MTA was that the new workers should contribute to their pension plan with 6% of gross salary and to pay 1% for their health insurance and offered only 3.5% raise every year.
However it should be specified that the average salary for a normal New Yorker is 45.000 dollars a year while that of an employee in public transportation is 51.000 dollars a year, with the mention that a bus or subway operator could earn even 63.000 dollars a year.
During the strike seven million people were forced to go to work on foot or by bike , and the whole system almost collapsed .Some blamed the strikers for the crisis, saying that their wages are big enough for an unqualified work and some blamed MTA for taking advantage of the Taylor Law and having exaggerating demands. However 54% of the New Yorkers believed the complaints and requirements of the Union were fair and 36% didn't agree with it.
The city was the one that suffered most from this crisis because all happened during the holidays and the tourist season when the city is like a throng. One thing is for sure none of the two parts didn't think at these. MTA thought they could ask anything because the Taylor Law would allow them and the Union speculated the period hoping that they will get what they want. The public response about who was responsible for the strike was once again divided: 41% said the both sides are guilty, 27% that MTA was to blame and 25% didn't agree with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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