Gridlock in NYC ...
-- Sticking it to the man ....... :lol:
New Yorkers Scramble After Transit Strike
Millions Of Commuters Scramble To Get To Work; Emergency Plan In Effect
UPDATED: 12:46 pm EST December 20, 2005
NEW YORK -- Subways and buses across the nation's largest city shut down Tuesday morning as transit workers walked off the job, stranding more than 7 million daily riders and threatening the city with a $400 million a day financial hit.
About eight hours after the 3 a.m. strike, a closed-door meeting was under way at a Brooklyn courthouse regarding the walkout. No details were available, but City Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo was among those at the session with state Supreme Court Justice Theodore Jones.
Across the river in Manhattan, commuters were angered by the disruption that turned a typical work day into a test of wills.
"It doesn't seem right to tie up the cultural and investment center of the world," said Larry Scarinzi, 72, a retired engineer from Whippany, N.J., waiting for a cab outside Penn Station. "They're breaking the law. They're tearing the heart out of the nation's economy."
Authorities began locking turnstiles and shuttering subway entrances shortly after the Transport Workers Union ordered the strike, and commuters struggled through a rush hour filled with disorder. At one subway booth, a handwritten sign read, "Strike in Effect. Station Closed. Happy Holidays!!!!"
The city survived the morning rush without the anticipated gridlock and widespread chaos as many commuters adapted to the absence of mass transit -- some by just staying home. Traffic at the Lincoln and Holland tunnels was about half of the usual volume, and Manhattan streets were unusually quiet.
Commuters, scrounging for ways to get to work, lined up for cabs outside Penn Station and gathered in clusters on designated spots throughout the city for company vans and buses to shuttle them to their offices. There were carpools, and bicyclists, and hundreds of people trudging across the Brooklyn Bridge -- including Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The weather, with temperatures in the low 20s, added to their woes.
Yvette Vigo, a Citibank employee, was waiting for a company-run shuttle bus that would bring her from Wall Street to 42nd Street. Her teeth were chattering despite a hooded parka and gloves.
"I'm not happy about this," said Vigo, who had walked a couple of miles downtown from her home on the Lower East Side. "It's too cold to walk this far."
Kathy Ko took a water taxi from Fort Lee, N.J., to lower Manhattan rather than her usual bus and subway ride. "It's just a mess," she said. "Absolutely a mess."
At Penn Station, hundreds of people waited for cabs. Driver Angel Aponte said frantic riders were "pulling doors left and right. I had to make four stops." The cost: $10 per person, rather than the usual metered ride.
At Grand Central Terminal, riders were trying to figure out what trains were going where. "Throw that away," one police officer told a tourist clutching a subway map.
The city instituted a sweeping emergency plan to reduce gridlock and keep certain streets open for emergency vehicles. "It will be difficult, but people are following our rules," the mayor said on the bridge. City schools opened two hours late, and city police were dispatched to guard subway stations abandoned by the workers.
Huge lines formed at ticket booths for the commuter railroads that stayed in operation, and traffic backed up for up to six miles at bridges and tunnels leading into Manhattan as police inspected cars to make sure they followed a four-passenger minimum rule in effect at most crossings.
All the while, transit workers took to the picket lines with signs that read "We Move NY. Respect Us!" as they forced the 24-hour-a-day bus and subway system to shut down. The nation's largest mass transit system counts each fare as a rider, giving it more than 7 million riders each day -- although many customers take a daily round trip.
The union and Metropolitan Transportation Authority had worked furiously to reach a new contract, hoping to avoid the first citywide transit strike since an 11-day walkout in 1980. It is illegal for mass transit workers to strike in New York, which means the 33,000 bus and subway employees will incur huge fines -- two days pay for each day on strike.
The union called the strike after a late round of negotiations broke down Monday night.
"This is a fmOhZt,bxs3/4, the head of the MTA -- and commuters.
MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow called the strike "a slap in the face" to all New Yorkers, and a court hearing was scheduled for Tuesday morning as authorities sought a legal remedy to end the strike.
Bloomberg called the walkout "a cowardly attempt by Roger Toussaint and the TWU to bring the city to its knees to create leverage for their own bargaining position."
"I think they all should get fired," said Eddie Goncalves, a doorman trying to get home to Queens after working an overnight shift. Goncalves said he was expecting to spend an extra $30 per day in cab and train fares.
Bloomberg has said the walkout could cost the city as much as $400 million a day, and would be particularly harsh at the height of the holiday shopping and tourist season. He said a strike would freeze traffic into "gridlock that will tie the record for all gridlocks."
"They have broken the trust of the people of New York," Gov. George Pataki said. "They have not only endangered our city and state's economy, but they are also recklessly endangering the health and safety of each and every New Yorkr."
MTA spokesman Tom Kelly said the agency "put a fair offer" on the table before talks broke down. "Unfortunately, that offer has been rejected."
The union said the latest MTA offer included annual raises of 3 percent, 4 percent and 3.5 percent; the previous proposal included 3 percent raises each year. Pension issues were another major sticking point in the talks, particularly involving new employees.
But Toussaint said the union wanted a better offer from the MTA, especially when the agency has a $1 billion surplus this year.
The down-to-the-wire negotiations came as workers at two private bus lines in Queens walked off the job, a move meant to step up pressure on the MTA.
The contract expired Friday at midnight, but the two sides agreed to keep talking through the weekend and the union set a new deadline for Tuesday.
Re: Gridlock in NYC ...
that was from fox,---duh! the union is not the bad guy here, its the manangement! support the strikers!
Re: Gridlock in NYC ...
Re: Gridlock in NYC ...
i never support the strikers. if you wont work for what you are getting paided, someone else who doesnt have a job will.
Re: Gridlock in NYC ...
We are going through the whole thing of a union trying to come in where I work; its getting ugly.
The election was postponed and the union is filing lame false charges with the NLRB. Its really tore apart a ton of friendships and made things miserable for us.
I am not a union supporter. I do not need to pay more to have somebody represent me. Unions were good back in the 30's when the rights of workers were abused.
Today...unions are nothing more than a business.