Saturday, January 07, 2006
WILL RANDI LEAD A UFT RETURN TO MILITANCY IN 2007?
WE DOUBT IT.
(Quotes from Randi's Dec 22, 2005 interview on New York 1 [not taken out of context for sure], the night the Transit Strike ended)
Davidson Goldman: But going back to Monday night when the transit workers were on the verge of a strike, did you ever say to him, "Hey Roger (Toussaint- TWU leader) don't do this; this is not a good idea; give it a few more days?
Randi Weingarten: Look, my conversations, both Brian (McLaughlin- President of the NYC Central Labor Council also on the program) and myself have spent a lot of time at the hotel, spent a lot of time talking to a lot of different people and we tried to play a constructive and also a supportive role.
Davidson Goldman: Did you support their (TWU) decision to strike?
Randi Weingarten: The issue here is the strike is over; the workers are back. The workers had legitimate claims. We have constantly said and I have constantly said that they needed fundamental fairness and that you need to have a process where workers can get to that.
(Later in the Interview)
Davidson Goldman: You run an 80,000 member union.
Randi Weingarten: 140
Davidson Goldman: 80,000 teachers and 60,000 non teachers. 140,000 members, plenty of resources, certainly more than the 34,000 member Transit Workers Union. You've gone as we pointed out two and a half years most recently without a contract. Transit workers' decision to strike clearly could destroy the infrastructure at their union. Courage or reckless?
Randi Weingarten: Look, I'm glad that the strike has been resolved. I felt what Roger Toussaint did in the last couple of days...
Davidson Goldman: Was it courageous or reckless?
Randi Weingarten: ...in yesterday's press conference was terrific and I totally and completely understand their frustration. My members feel the same frustration.
Davidson Goldman: But your members didn't go on strike? Do they not have the guts to do what transit workers did?
Randi Weingarten: My members are having the discussion right now about whether we take a no contract-no work philosophy, whether we go back to that. But the point is this. Every union is different. Every way in which we go about bargaining is different... (blah, blah, blah, Randi goes on about how TWU has legitimate complaints concerning 16,000 disciplinary measures against 34,000 members)
Davidson Goldman: I should know by now Ms. Weingarten when you don't want to answer a question, I shouldn't necessarily try again.
Why wouldn't Randi acknowledge that the TWU was courageous to strike?
Does anyone think she could lead us in a strike or even give us a credible threat of a strike?