The last contract between the MTA and its largest union, TWU Local 100, expired on January 15, Gothamist reports. Yet the two have failed to reach a deal in recent negotiations, and things may be getting a little hairy.
MTA Chairman Joe Lhota publicly pleaded with union members by way of a New York Post op-ed piece, saying it’s “time for labor to sacrifice.” Lhota asked for a three-year wage freeze, arguing everyone else has given their share and now it’s time for union workers to do the same.
Lhota pointed to fare and toll hikes for train riders, local business taxes and manager and non-union employee salaries, which have not changed in four years. He also pointed to MTA’s delicate financial situation, which has improved drastically but continues to be hindered by union demands.
The op-ed suggests a “growing rift,” says Capital New York’s Dana Rubinstein. Rubinstein refers to the fact that Lhota has been hesitant to publicly negotiate with union members in the past, maintaining a policy not to publicize such communications in the press. Clearly the two groups have reached an impasse.
“It’s time for labor to be part of the solution,” says Lhota.
TWU responds via its Twitter: “OUTRAGEOUS” and “#Fail.” When a Twitter war is brewing, we know things are serious.
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