Wednesday, December 21, 2005

From the Teachers at Health Professions

To Transit Workers Union Local 100:

We, the teachers of Health Professions High School are in solidarity with the striking transit workers of TWU Local 100. We recognize that their strike is in the interest of the working class.

We would like to thank you for fighting back against fines, threats, and the power of the MTA, the city, and state governments. Thank you for, as Bloomberg says, “immorally and selfishly” breaking the anti-union, anti-working class, and unjust Taylor Law. By fighting for what is right, you illustrate the essence of justice and morality to all workers and students.

While the strike will cause short term suffering for workers living in New York, it is a sacrifice that benefits and supports workers everywhere in the long term. The strike exposes the underlying problem of the working class’ eroding standard of living due to rent, gas, and food prices rising faster than our wages. Executives use the lowest wage they can pay one union to set the pattern of bargaining for future union negotiations; you are forcing them to raise the wage for all bargaining in future union negotiations.

Thank you, the transit workers of the TWU for not just fighting over the narrow demands of wage increases and pensions, but against dangerous speed ups, toxic work conditions, and the general interests of the working class. Your working conditions are our living conditions, because we must ride the transit system on a daily basis. Your solidarity across racial and gender lines will help all who must work for a living. When unionized workers’ rights erode, the non-unionized workers suffer even more.

Thank you for not “eating your young” so that only one section of the TWU benefits, and illustrating solidarity across age, time, and experience barriers. You are fighting to raise the future wages of our students, as the rights you fight for now will set the pattern of bargaining for them in the future. We will support you by joining your picket lines during our off hours, raising funds for your sacrifice, distributing this letter, and by raising awareness of your struggle among students, parents, and staff.

You are fighting to preserve the legacy of a union’s power by fighting for your own self-interests, as opposed to hoping for the goodwill of the MTA at the bargaining table. You said that “cutbacks means fight back” and you meant it. Thank you for being an example to all workers in this time of unions capitulating to the bosses’ demands and thus sacrificing our living standards. We thank you, support you, and are emboldened by your actions.

In Solidarity,

The Teachers of Health Professions High School
UFT Chapter


Anonymous said...

TWU demonstrates the true spirit of democracy!

Anonymous said...

Even if the strike is called off, this union was able to get certain givebacks off the bargaining table.
Not bad for a guy who worked his way up the ranks.

An Educational Voyage said...

What a great letter of support!

Wouldn't it have been a wonderful show of support if Randi gave coffee to the picketers?

Nice teachers finish last --Lets kick ass. said...

Where exactly was Randi? Why didn't the UFT, that bastion of worker justice and dignity, show an outpouring of support for the TWU?

In the beginning, it was great media to show her screaming into the microphone about worker's rights. Then, when things got serious, she disappeared. "Uh oh, can't upset Bloomberg", she thought. "Already got my 30 seconds of soundbite fame, I';m done in terms of this job action. Too heavy and real for me"

Don't you just love Randi? I think they should design a Barbie doll after her -- call it Union Barbie. Comes complete with megaphone, law degree, contract in hand and cell phone with mayor on speed dial

Boy, these blogs are really helping me to improve my writing skills.

Lets show real support for the TWU by sending them a check for the strikers and their families. Any amount I am sure will be appreciated.

northbrooklyn said...

Yo! Randi reads this blog! did you see her pic on the uft website PASSING OUT COFFEE to the transit folk at city hall. educational voyage you da man...even if you are a woman.
Great idea to support the workers on strike-even if they are now back on; they could still walk later...but to whom do we send the check?

Anonymous said...


Look at the picture again.
The caption reads "commuters" not transit workers.

Norm said...

Randi said something at the Exec Bd meeting that if the UFT takes open contributions for the TWU it might be charged with Taylor Law violations for helping the strikers. There's guts for you. How about they take out the tail from between their legs and take a stand, other than making nice rhetorical statements?

If you read today's Times you get a picture of the role Randi played in convincing the TWU to go back, something that will be bragged about while Randi talks out of the other side of her mouth as she did at the Exec Bd meeting of a UFT "NO contract, no work" policy and praises TJC for their position on a strike after Unity bashed them for daring to suggest that over the past 2 years.

I maintain that a smashing TWU victory was a big threat to the union leaders like Randi who capitulated with givebacks and they must have the TWU give back something to justify their "climate of the times" argument they used to browbeat teachers into giving back the contract for salary gains.

Nice teachers finish last --Lets kick ass. said...

Fuck the Taylor Law! (Excuse me)

We send a check to the TWU and we label it 'belated Christmas gift'. We collect it at the ICE/TJC /UTP and Unity delegate (ha, ha) meetings and buy a bank money order and send it to the appropriate person.

The union leaders and Bloomberg were 'plotzing' (besides themselves with fear and anxiety) that a union actually took direct, fearless action. And the fact that most of the membership is Black or Latino and the leader is Black really got them nervous. After all, we already know that no white male or female dude will ever go up against Napolean Bloomberg and actually speak up for what they believe in. It would have to be a leader who is a used to fighting injustice and (as Toussaint said) sees justice as higher than an unjust law.

I wish they had held out until they got a contract. But they did the best they could and did far more than the teachers could even dream of. To those who call the Transit Workers 'uneducated', I would say that teachers have an great deal to learn from the 'uneducated'. Get Ready. 2007 is closer than you think and we will be without a contract and looking at a 6th period.

Anonymous said...

Surely, someone has analyzed the legality of the Taylor Law. Isn't there a way to circumvent this law or get it overturned:?

Anonymous said...

Sure, just keep on giving those COPE $ to legislators who have the power but not the interest in repealing or at least modifying the anti-labor Taylor law. Hey, we have a "leader" who uses dues NOT to give hot coffee to fellow civil service workers but to commuters. Weingarten hasn't gotten it from day 1 and never will-she didn't come up through the ranks and has no understandinding of daily school issues.

Anonymous said...

Please explain how to stop giving to COPE and I will do so.

Also, shouldn't we start thinking about the who the candidate will be to run against Randi in the next election?

Can we explore the history of fighting against the Taylor Law? Someone must know about this.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah!

Anonymous said...

What do our cope endorsed candidates say about the strike:

"I thought that the mayor handled this extremely well. i thought he was forceful. i thought he was strong. I think he deserves high praise." - james oddo

"I think that the strike was really the height of human folly and I think both sides could be considered losers. But the real losers were the people of ny, who were only trying to get to work, and the many businesses that took a hard hit." - michael mcmahon

Can we use cope dollars to send our endorsees to labor school?