mlah The “culture” that has evolved here isn’t conducive to sissies

December 20, 2005


Filed under: Politics — mlah @ 11:13 pm

watching the strike in nyc?

i’m just throwing out my position. just because i’m like that.

i hope they get fired. the whole bunch.

i don’t like unions. never have. the nyc mass transit people get paid way too much, and get to retire way too early.

fire them.

and i hope they hire illegals at minimum wage. maybe then we can get some action on border control.

heartless? firing people at christmas? they are STRIKING at christmas.

fire them.


  1. I agree man. Public transit strike during the holiday season? WTF… How can they expect anyone to give a crap about them? Our public transit here in Ottawa threatened to strike… it was narrowly averted. I think they shouldn’t be permitted to strike… blah.

    Comment by Sean — December 21, 2005 @ 12:58 am

  2. They’re striking over the issue of the pension plan. If the mayor/governor/MTA/whomever were to take the pension plan off the table and discuss that SEPARATELY, they would never have gone on strike. If they would take it off the table NOW, the workers would go off strike immediately.

    They’re only asking for the pension plan to be discussed separately, especially since it seems that the pension issue is an attempt to establish a city wide pension plan for all city workers not only the MTA employees. A pension plan that may or may not be fair.

    Comment by moonbatty — December 21, 2005 @ 5:12 pm

  3. An illegal strike is an illegal strike.

    I don’t give a crap about their pension being fair. A lot of people don’t have a pension plan at all. If you don’t like the plan opt out and get your own RRSP.

    Comment by Sean — December 21, 2005 @ 9:24 pm

  4. no matter how reasonable their demands might sound to anyone, sean is right. illegal is illegal.

    they should be fired.

    Comment by mlah — December 21, 2005 @ 9:44 pm

  5. I haven’t really kept up with the details of the strike. I vaguely know it’s happening.

    I grew up in a Southern Democrat family, who is really one step away from being a Republican family, they just don’t want to admit it. However, my stepfather is a union ironworker, of the highest caliber. There are positives and negatives about unions. Unions historically did great things for the laborers of our country.

    Your assessment that the MTA workers make too much money needs to be clarified. What do they make? They retire too early? When do they retire, and what is their pension after retirement? I see the MTA workers, and I surely don’t see millionaires living it up. I also don’t recall NYC being a cheap city to live in.

    You may not agree with their timing, which is fine. But to pass judgement on their financial status without either stating what qualifies your judgement is without merit.

    Comment by Madame Butterfly — December 22, 2005 @ 9:00 am

  6. I’ve always liked that t-shirt/bumper sticker that says “UNIONS: The people who brought you the weekend!” One might add: and the 8-hour day, and stopping child labor, and worksite safety programs, etc…
    I don’t know about the details of this strike at all (I’m on vacation and haven’t been paying attention to the news), and I know some graft & corruption has come out of unions, but in general I automatically give workers’ views a good hearing before bosses’– with their one-track minds (profit above anything). I mean, which side are you on, Mlah? Hard-working Americans, or The Man? (With your military pedigree, I guess your family has been spared some of these struggles, eh?) That’s been the saddest effect, in my eyes, of the Republicans’ successful wooing of Democrats, since Goldwater/Reagan, with emotional social issues like race, abortion and homosexuality: Working people voting against their own best financial interests, in favor of the party of the rich. Fucking saps.
    Things are tough nowadays with globalization, and it’s not such a clear moral issue as it used to be, so I’ll get off my soapbox. Everybody has to make sacrifices. In fact, the UAW just recently made some major concessions.
    I’ll be interested in how this turns out, as I’m sure thousands of business-owners are shitting their panties right about now and exercising major pressure to get it settled, not that they’ll say so out loud.

    Comment by f-in_cheney — December 22, 2005 @ 12:54 pm

  7. Unions have done some good and some bad. Can’t be denied. What cracks me up are comments like “but in general I automatically give workers’ views a good hearing before bosses’– with their one-track minds (profit above anything)”.

    What the hell does anyone go into business for or take a job to do other than to make money? God forbid that a business make enough money to cover its costs and make a profit for its owners.

    Comments like the above show a clear disregard for reality. If the owners are not focused on making money, there are no jobs for the workers. Then there are no incomes to tax for the social empowerment programs that the government wants to ram down our throats.

    What makes the world go around is greed. Not an avaricious greed, but a desire to improve the quality of one’s station in life. Without this there would be no big business, no unions, no employment, no need for government, and how boring would life be then?

    Comment by RojoXia — December 22, 2005 @ 10:16 pm

  8. I’m so sick of this “military pedigree” attitude. WTF? I may not agree entirely with Mlah’s opinion, but I can vouch being in the military is not a well-paying job in the junior enlisted ranks, nor do you have any “rights” in the military. So if anything, those of us who have served sure as hell know about working conditions and demands that would cause most civilians to quit their job. Leave the military background out of this, it has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

    Another issue: Every Republican is not a millionaire+. There are a lot of hardworking lower- and middleclass income Republicans. You talk about parties being concerned about income? Why is it Democrats want to tax the crap out of everyone just to turn around and give to every John Doe who doesn’t want to work? Why is it Republicans don’t want to pay taxes, they want to keep their income and invest it as they see fit? Thank you, I’ll keep the democrats out of my back pocket every chance I get.

    Comment by Madame Butterfly — December 23, 2005 @ 8:39 am

  9. “Comments like the above show a clear disregard for reality. If the owners are not focused on making money, there are no jobs for the workers.”
    I know, douchebag. That’s why I said that everyone has to make sacrifices nowadays. But if there hadn’t been unions– if we had only ever listened to the bosses– then we would all still be virtually slaves. You can see that, right? Otherwise you’re disregarding history. And in fact you’d be as bad as the US elites who give China a free pass in the face of their f’ed-up view of human rights. Tianenman Square? Tibet? Orwellian control? Who cares! Give ’em fast-track trade authority!

    MB, I think you misinterpreted my point about generations of Mlah’s family being in the military. I certainly didn’t mean any disrespect; I only meant that Mlah perhaps hasn’t experienced the value of unions since he and they worked for Uncle Sam instead of in the private sphere like the rest of us slobs. Hoping striking workers get fired and replaced by scabs is a cruel and appalling attitude, and I’m trying to figure out why he might feel that way.

    Why are you sticking up for the rich, MB? They wouldn’t give a dime if they didn’t have to, for things that even you partake in (roads, etc.). We’re all taxed “too much”, even as the Republicans have control of the Presidency and Congress. What’s wrong with taxing the rich more than the poor, on whose backs the rich get richer? Traditionally, the GOP was the party of business, and they still have most of the control, I would argue. Your notions of welfare abuse are out of all proportion to the reality (and most likely with racist undertones). Corporate and military-industrial welfare are and always have been exponentially larger. ANY taxation feels like too much, no duh. I think it would be hilarious if we could all dictate where our tax $ went. Our priorities would change overnight, I can promise you that.

    Comment by f-in_cheney — December 23, 2005 @ 7:36 pm

  10. f’in cheney. just a little fyi. i WAS a TEAMSTER. unloading trucks for ups.

    don’t they qualify as a union? hmmmmmm? just maybe?

    and after my experience with the teamsters, and being an 89’er assembling cars at the gm plan t in arlington texas over a summer. my opinions of unions are that their time has come and gone.

    back in the day they did some good. but that was before the fed govt got involved. and created things like OSHA, and mandated a lunch break.

    all unions do now is take your money.

    and i still hope all of the nyc strikers get fired.

    Comment by mlah — December 24, 2005 @ 11:43 am

  11. “all unions do now is take your money.”

    Quoted for emphasis.

    Comment by Jeanna — December 24, 2005 @ 8:55 pm

  12. Don’t forget that they strike at the worst possible time with total disregard to the public or cusotmer of the business they are trying to stick it to. I totally agree. Unions cause more damage than good now.

    Comment by Sean — December 25, 2005 @ 12:39 am

  13. My mother was a union Shop Steward for a lonnnng time. Even SHE thinks the strike is bullshit.

    I worked in a union shop ONCE. Exactly once.

    And I have to tell you that the restrictive work environment was as stressful as any stupid rule a non-union shop could come up with.

    Let’s just say that both sides do themselves a disservice. Whatever good unions can do is usually UNDONE by their own stupidity. Same goes for a lot of non-union managers.

    Because, you know, both think the average working person is a schlub.

    Just my two cents’ worth.

    Comment by Margi — December 25, 2005 @ 2:34 am

  14. “and after my experience with the teamsters, and being an 89’er assembling cars at the gm plant”

    Really?! How fascinating! Could you do a post about your experiences? Especially whether there was much difference between your “summer job” status and the lifers around you? Of course you’d hate putting your hard-earned money towards dues in that case, where you really weren’t invested in the system. But maybe those whose livelihood was on the line thought otherwise. Just an idea.

    Comment by f-in_cheney — December 25, 2005 @ 2:04 pm

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