The United Nations agrees that workers are entitled to free association rights. A UN commission ruled that the NYS Taylor Law's prohibition on strikes by public employees is a violation of international law. Twelve states in the US allow legal public employee strikes. Supposedly progressive N.Y. is not one of them. Our so called liberal leaders Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio agree teachers and other public employees should not have the right to strike.
Cynthia Nixon came up with a pro-worker campaign proposal in her quest to unseat Cuomo as governor. Nixon wants to change the Taylor Law to allow public employees in NYS to exercise what under international law is a protected right: the right to strike.
From the Daily News,
first Mayor de Blasio:
"I have a lot of respect for Cynthia but I disagree with her on this,” de Blasio said. “I acknowledge and appreciate that she said there should be an exemption for first responders, but I don't agree with changing the Taylor Law.”
The mayor said “the Taylor Law serves an important public purpose and at the same time there are lots of ways for workers rights to be acknowledged and their voices to be heard. I think we have the right law now."
Is the mayor serious? Voices heard? DOE workers filed many hundreds of sexual harassment complaints and almost none of them were substantiated. I am not surprised he would like the current law. After all, city employees under his leadership are receiving salary increases that do not even keep pace with inflation and giving back on healthcare. He is no friend of working people.
Governor Cuomo is a long time enemy of workers.
Cuomo in that same Daily News piece:
The premise of the Taylor Law is you would have chaos if certain services were not provided,” said Cuomo, citing police, firefighters, and prison guards.
He didn't mention how countries like Bitain and France as well as 12 US states manage to survive with public sector employees being allowed to legally strike. Cuomo also has not negotiated with state workers raises that keep pace with inflation in two terms as governor.
Nixon and her campaign blasted Cuomo, her opponent for governor, not de Blasio in a response.
“While Cuomo has done an election year about-face and started aggressively courting the support of union leaders, today’s comments make clear that the governor remains anti-worker at heart,” Nixon said. “We should be standing alongside our brave teachers, not cracking down on them for fighting for fair pay and dignity and better education for their students.”
Most of the public employee unions have endorsed Cuomo this year.
She noted that the president of the Transit Workers Union served time in prison and the union fined $2.5 million after transit workers illegally walked off the job in 2005.
Nixon campaign spokeswoman Lauren Hitt told the Daily News de Blasio’s comments don’t change Nixon’s stance on the issue.
“We still feel public sector workers should be able to strike,” Hitt said.
Nixon has made transit issues a top priority of her campaigns. Hitt dismissed the idea that giving transit workers the right to strike could further derail the subway system.
“The problems with the subways is not because transit workers are striking,” she said. “The problems with the subways is because of decades of mismanagement, most recently under Gov. Cuomo.”
I don't see the gutless public employee union leaders making a big deal, or saying much of anything, on the strike issue. That is not surprising unfortunately as they seem more interested in their seats at the Democratic Party table than with improving rank and file working conditions.