- Last Updated: 12:34 AM, March 17, 2012
- Posted: March 17, 2012
Want to know why New York’s tolls and subway fares shoot higher and higher, year after year? Well, this week, somebody finally ’fessed up.
The longtime former head of the Transport Workers Union Local 100 distilled the greedy essence of his subway syndicate into a single sentence, explaining why his union demands massive pay hikes when the ailing MTA is so deep in the hole.
“The issue is not if they have the [money] — it’s about getting it from them,” Roger Toussaint told The Wall Street Journal.
That is, there are chumps out there in New York who work hard, pay their taxes and feed the public fisc — and it’s the TWU’s goal in life to rob them all blind.
And it doesn’t matter if the agency has the money or is flat broke — the union is happy to bankrupt it all the same.
Toussaint’s galactic sense of entitlement is shared by the union’s current chief, John Samuelsen — who ousted Toussaint in 2009 and is right now engaged in contract talks with the MTA.
Samuelsen hasn’t threatened a reprise of the union’s illegal 2005 strike; in fact, he admitted this week that the court-sanctioned penalties for that outrageous job action hurt the union (underscoring their deterrent power).
But he differs from Toussaint only in methods, not goals.
To that end, the union rolled out “a new front in our battle” with the MTA at the end of February, when transit employees “occupied” a meeting of the MTA board.
The new campaign: “The MTA Can Pay.”
The demand: that the agency — which is facing a steep operating deficit this year and also struggling to fund vital equipment, station and track upgrades — award fat raises for the 35,000 union members.
It’s impossible, of course.
The money simply isn’t there.
And straphangers can’t afford more fare bumps to cover another round of pay hikes, pension sweeteners and benefit boosts for the omnivorous TWU piggies.
It’s something to keep in mind at the tolls and turnstiles: With labor costs now making up some three-fourths of the MTA’s expenses, all those fare dollars are being sploshed directly into an overflowing union trough.
Your money, that is, is going into their pockets.
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