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Comments by YACCS
Thursday, December 15, 2005

NIggers? Raise? Are you kidding?

Boy, be happy you got a job

Off the Rails

Published: December 13, 2005

THE Transport Workers Union, representing the city's nearly 34,000 subway and bus workers, is threatening to call a strike this Friday if the Metropolitan Transportation Authority doesn't sign a contract to its liking. Such a strike would be illegal: public employees in New York State are forbidden from walking out on the job.

And not only would a strike be illegal, it would be unjustified. The authority is a generous employer by any standard. Its employees take home bigger paychecks and more lavish benefits than most of the city's private employees. The authority is not looking to drastically slash those salaries and benefits. It is merely proposing to increase worker productivity and to cut back modestly on its own pension and health-benefit obligations.

Subway operators and token clerks are blue-collar workers, but their paychecks match those of middle-class workers, even ones in New York City. According to the authority, the average subway or bus operator earns nearly $63,000 per year. The average subway conductor earns about $54,000. The average station agent earns about $51,000. A subway cleaner earns about $40,000.

Compare these numbers with salary figures in New York's private sector. According to the state comptroller, the average New York City worker earns about $60,000 a year. This number includes workers on Wall Street, whose six-figure salaries distort the picture. Take out well-paid finance-industry workers, and the average worker in New York earns just $49,000. What about workers without a college education? Most factory workers, health care employees and restaurant and retail workers in the city earn under $35,000.


What does the authority want that's so insulting? Most union members are now eligible to retire, at age 55, after 25 years on the job, at half their annual pay; the authority wants to raise the age to 62 for new employees. (Mr. Toussaint calls this "selling out our unborn.") Union members now pay nothing toward their own health-insurance premiums; the authority wants new workers to contribute about 2 percent of their pretax wages before overtime toward those health benefits. Most employees in the private sector would love to be similarly insulted.

By 2008, the authority - that is, riders and taxpayers - will spend more than $1 billion annually on these escalating costs. This amounts to about one-third of the total fares the authority will earn that year from city subways and buses and is partly why it projects an $800 million deficit in two years. Worse, since the authority has limited financial resources and already shoulders a historically high debt burden, money that goes toward paying overly generous benefits takes away from investment in New York's public-transit network.

Nicole Gelinas is a contributing editor to the Manhattan Institute's magazine, City Journal.

City Journal is published by the racist Manahattan Institute.

But the facts here are of the condescending kind which only applies to minority workers. The MTA has proposed money-losing boondoggles tro benefit rich landowners, they have eliminiated jobs, and the jobs that remain are dangerous.

I don't think Ms. Gelinas has ever worked in 20 degree weather in a train yard. If she had, doing so until 62 might seem unreasonable. As the union became more black, more work was expected from them, work not expected from their suburban counterparts.

As far as the salaries go, they make no more and certainly less than their suburban counterparts and less than many other blue collar workers.

Ms Gelinas misses the point of the TWU. The relatively few problems MTA staff have is due to the value of their jobs, a fair salary, health care and promotion. Which is why they can pick and choose their employees.

I wish these right wing hacks would just say what their fancy words imply: these niggers don't deserve a big raise because any nigger can do their job. When the LIRR unions ask for a raise, no one says they make too much money or that their jobs aren't valuable. But when the TWU asks for a raise, they don't deserve it and their members should work themselves into an early grave.

How do I know this is a race-based argument?

Because of the number of white, "liberal" office workers repeating it. You don't hear black people repeating it, because like me, they have relatives who worked or have worked for the MTA. My uncle retired from the MTA years ago as a token clerk. The rules were so onerous that MTA inspectors would come to his house when he called in sick, something Ms. Galinas doesn't expect in her cushy think tank job.

There should be a rule about the comments of think tank employees commenting on real work: have you done this job? No? Then shut your fucking pie hole, you pampered git.

posted by Steve @ 11:35:00 AM

11:35:00 AM

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