The first draft of history is in. Somewhat buried in the instructions to its members, the Transport Workers Union Local 100 explained why it had called New York City’s first transit strike in 25 years.
“Local 100 had to walk out to stop the TA’s 11th hour pension ambush. We walked out strong, and we walk back stronger.”
So it really was all about the pensions.
The “ambush” in question included a demand that workers contribute more to their pension plans and pushed the age of retirement back from 55 to 62. Whether the workers will end up getting what they want or caving—even a little—remains to be seen.
Local 100 has been out front on the pensions issue, which shows no sign of going away, in New York City or elsewhere. In his Bush Beat blog today, Ward Harkavy takes a nice long look at the problem, as did Generation Debt columnist Anya Kamenetz in this blog yesterday.