Strike That


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When Karl Marx contemplated the fall of capitalism, he never anticipated large, robust, and effective labor unions. Marx never imagined that rich and powerful capitalist jackboots would allow workers to organize, unionize and halt production with crippling industry-wide walk outs and strikes.


Well, Marx was wrong but be thankful: The ability of low paid, ill-treated workers to collectively organize and fight against their employers strengthens our system, even when it leads to high prices, poor service and an inefficient distribution of human resources across the marketplace.


And so, for the greater good of all labor organizations, I politely ask the [Taxi Worker’s Alliance to please go away] and never, ever, come back.


A labor strike is fundamentally a bluff, and NYC called the TWA’s bluff months ago. This week's "taxi strike" was the equivalent of going all in when your opponent has you beat on the board. Most people didn’t even know there was a strike on Monday until they hopped into a (readily available) cab and found out that the [contingency price gouging plan was back in effect].


All labor is hurt when one union grossly misuses the power to strike and is utterly ineffective in the process. The striking workers accomplished nothing yesterday, other than ensuring a higher payday for the many drivers that did show up for work.


This is nothing new. Taxi drivers have been losing battles with the City for nearly a decade in this city.  Remember when Giuliani – the Stalin of crushing low income dissent in the marketplace – t[hreatened reprisals if they walked out], and then sent in the police to [break them when cabbies did protest in 1998](http://lmtonline.com/news/archive/053198/pagea9.pdf)?


Taxi drivers will keep getting stomped on until their labor leaders come up with better strategies than one day strikes that nobody knows or cares about.  The TWA needs to take a lesson [from the Broadway stagehands]. If they strike, they’ll do it at Christmas and bring the entire industry to a halt. Right now, the TWA is part of the problem for taxi drivers, and their bungling makes it that much harder for other labor organization to fight City Hall.


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