Skip to comments.The 'I' Word: Today Still Can't Bring Itself to Call NYC Strike Illegal
Posted on 12/21/2005 4:39:51 AM PST by governsleastgovernsbest
by Mark Finkelstein
December 21, 2005 - 07:02.
When it comes to the Transport Workers Union strike in NYC, the Today show just can't bring itself to pronounce the 'I' word, for illegal.
In contrast with his Today show appearance yesterday, this morning NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg took off the verbal gloves, repeatedly condemning the union for its illegal strike, which violates of the Taylor Law prohibiting public employees in New York from striking. Among other things, Bloomberg stated that striking union members would be fined two days pay for every day the strike lasts.
But whereas Today gave sympathetic treatment to the plight of commuters and the city's economy, and Katie made sympathetic noises in her interview of Bloomberg, the show continued its peculiar reticence when it came to reporting the undeniable fact that the strike is illegal.
The 'I' word was never uttered by any of the Today crew covering the strike.
Lester Holt came the closest, indicating that a judge had found the Transport Workers Union "in contempt" and had imposed fines on it. But in contempt of what? Holt informed us only that the union had been found in contempt "of court". For all we knew from Holt, it could have been for picket lines too close to schools. No mention of the strike's illegality, no word of the Taylor Law.
When Katie concluded the coverage by observing: "it is really a difficult situation," she probably had in mind the plight of the city.
But her comment aptly applied to Today itself, as the show tiptoes around the intractable fact that a union is blatantly violating the law in a way that causes hundreds of millions of dollars of damage daily, with much of the brunt being borne by lower-income New Yorkers suddenly without jobs or unable to get to them.
Today Show/NewsBusters ping.
Democrat Congressionnal Election 2006 Platform:
Elect us, and well impeach Bush, Bush who tried to protect you from murdering Muslims.
Yeah, thatll work real well.
Under the Taylor Law, the transit workers do NOT have the right to strike.
Workers have the right not to work. They have the right not to show up to their jobs. If an employer doesn't like it, the workers should be fired.
FIRE THEM ALL.
BLACKLIST THEM ALL FROM FUTURE GOVERNMENT JOBS.
REFUSE TO EVER AGAIN DO BIZ WITH THIS UNION, OR IT'S LEADERS.
PRIVATIZE THE TRANSIT SYSTEM.
FOX has been calling it illegal all morning. Compared this to the mob. Callers are overwhelmingly saying "FIRE THEM!"
I bet Haliburton could get the trains and buses moving.
Give them a no-bid contract for 180 days, that'll give the politicians a chance to come up with long range plans.
I saw a bit this morning. Bloomburg's been the only person to use the I-word.
I'm home watching Fox & Friends......
Sorry, I meant "Big" deal.
Well, yes, they have the right to strike in the sense that police can't force them at gunpoint to go to work. But pursuant to the Taylor Law, and as stated by Bloomberg, they will be fined two days pay for every day they strike, and their union is being fined $1 million per day. Some 'right'!
Thank God, our local NYC Fox network has a big "ILLEGAL STRIKE" logo.
And they wonder why Fox is winning the ratings wars. You can just see the news meeting at NBC..."Now, we can't seem to take sides in this; these are good working people in the proud union tradition, most of them people of color, who our demographic surveys tell us we must reach out to if we are to maintain market share blah blah blah...."
While 99% of the NY audience is screaming "DIE RAT BASTARDS DIE" as they freeze on their forced march to work. And the angriest are those same people of color.
I never watch the Today show. I wonder, though, how many times the word illegal was used in the discussion on the NSA electonic intelligence gathering.
The local FOX affiliate (WNYW) has a graphic they've been using- It has the word "ILLEGAL" right over the top! Jodi Applegate, one of the hosts, made a comment that "Even the New York Times called the strike illegal"!
Throw Roger for the train!!!
Nice - I'd love to see it. Anyone out there with screen-capture technology?
FOX on the ball this morning. They have a bus taking people where they need to go. Awesome! And GREAT PR for FOX.
If the Taylor Law fines workers and subjects them to jail time for exercising their right not to work, it is unconstitutional. The MTA's remedy is not to "force" workers to work through fines and jail, but to fire them if they don't work.
You have no idea what you're talking about.
Fox & Friends is giving a free ride on a double-decker bus for anyone.
Notice the picket sign: "Not Going Our Way." It's meant to be a sarcastic variation on a transit system advertising slogan. But it could turn out to be an unintentional admission of how things are going for the union!
I dont think so. I'm not a New Yawker, but I have taken numerous trip to Manhattan - and I am quite impressed concerning their public transit system - especially their rail lines.
Channel Five news last night (I think it was 5, a ten pm broadcast anyway, so the local news) said "illegal" pretty much every time they said the word "strike". It was like, enough already, we get it, it's illegal!
Bloomberg should start firing those who it will be easiest to replace. Today. And keep moving up the line to the highest skilled workers. I doubt the token sellers will risk losing their jobs in order to help the motor men. Spread class warfare throughout their ranks, that would be my plan.
The Taylor Law has been on the books for decades and its constitutionality has never been successfully challenged. What is your source or basis for arguing that it is?
What prevents an employer from saying to employees: "I'm willing to offer you these wages and benefits in return for your agreement not to strike"?
Are laws prohibiting members of the armed forces from striking unconstitutional too?
Did you see it???
People are breaking the law. Arrest them or fire them. What's so hard about that, Katie?
After the public airing of Bloomberg walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to go to work in city hall, I was told by a reliable source that Bloomberg actually lives in Manhattan.
Is that the case? Was this just another publicity stunt on Bloomberg's part?
Responding to a question about how the strike could turn tourists (and their money) away from NYC, Bloomberg chuckled nervously. He said that the strike was making things a bit difficult, but "it's exciting!"
The CBS anchor said: "'Exciting'? That's an interesting word."
Perhaps its simply an undocumented strike.........
Yes, Bloomberg lives in Manhattan, so he wasn't really walking to work. So while in a sense this was a publicity stunt, I cut Bloomberg slack in this situation. It was basically a way of showing solidarity with commuters and defiance to the union.
The Unions want Higher wages and Earlier retirement.
No Problem Fire them today and let them look for higher paying Jobs.
Replace them with non union employees and treat them fairly.
No. Can't hear the tv from the computer room.
A contract is a contract.
These people are breaking the law. And to top it off - it's for more pay than there is money to pay them...
This strike represents the #1 reason Unions have become obsolite and bad four our country.
Comment 'o the Day Award Winner!
Yeah. I wasnt intending to give Bloomberg a hard time on taking the walk, either. At least he hasnt caved in to the union, yet. Just found it interesting if that was the case.
The last time a strike was threatened, Bloomberg bought a bicycle to ride to City Hall in the event of a strike. It's a little too cold for that now.
It's my understanding that he has homes in both boroughs. Either way, I think it was for the cameras.
Still no pic posted?
You raise a straw main when you speak of jail. Have you heard Bloomberg or any government official mention jail? We're speaking of fines and potential firing/replacement.
LOL. I'm with you. Another few weeks of 'fair & balanced' at Today and I'd have been out of a 'job' here!
I don't know if Bloomberg has the authority to fire them.
Allison just delivered the bus load to Fox & Friends! Free donuts & coffee.
I caught the end of the segment, with the hosts giving away calendars and the nice lady saying she'd love her husband anyway if he gave her an automatic car starter instead of jewelry for Christmas. But I'm unfamiliar with the reference to Allison and the bus. Could you explain? Thanks.
F&F's had Allison with a camera crew on board the bus before the bus departed - with a free ride to the studios.
She was doing some spot interviews with some of the passengers before it departed.
I hope I didnt imply that Allison was driving the bus....
If you take a look at the plight of US auto manufacturers due to the cost of labor and the strength of the United Auto Workers (UAW), you may see my point.
I understand this time, the union wanted more than an annual 3% raise, and didn't want to fork over 1% of their salary to contribute to health care benbefits...they currently don't contribute one dime toward the premiums, and wanted to increase the retirement age on new hires from 55 to 62.
Personally, I think the city has had a lot of time to reach an agreement and declined to bargain.
What I don't like is that everyone...every business suffers, but the acrimony should be targeted toward BOTH sides, IMO.
By the way, I dont know where FNC got the doubledecker bus - but they had it & offered a bus ride for pedestrians.
I dont know where it's starting point was - probably somewhere in lower Manhattan.