Monday, November 24, 2008

Strike Update

Well, just like everyone who is interested in Pittsburgh transit/transportation issues (and of course people who rely on public transportation) I've been following the goings on with a lock-out/strike/work stoppage/whatever you want to call it pretty closely.

Alot's happened in the last 24-48 hours, so here we go:

Pat McMahon's a tv star:

What better way to spend a sunday afternoon, than by watching PCNC? I was suprised to see an interview with Pat McMahon concerning the looming strike. I attempted to find a link to the video on the internet, but god forbid they post that, it makes alot more sense and is much more relevent to the citizens of Allegheny County to instead post a video featuring "The World's Sexiest Man".

Nothing too earth shattering really, other than the fact it was nice to see him squirm.
No seriously, he looked as though at any moment he would break into hysterical tears and run off the set.


Aside from that entertaining bit, he stuck to the party line, we've negotiated to get to this point, we don't want to take a step backward, bla bla bla. The one note of interest was the fact that he brought up the trust fund to pay for retirees healthcare. I had heard about this as an alternate proposal, but don't know the details. At face value, I don't see a problem with a trust fund, but I don't know how much or if the union is looking for the Port Authority to kick in.

Someone let me know if you can find an actual link on the internet.

Meeting Canceled:

-ATU 85 was supposed to have a meeting yesterday concerning the looming work stoppage, but as the Post Gazette reported, the meeting was canceled. It apparently had something to do with an emergency meeting for Pat McMahon, and Steve Bland in Washington, D.C. More to follow on that.

-The Trib is reporting that because the meeting has been delayed, the stoppage has been temporarily avoided. The doomsday clock has been slowed, but is still ticking. Even if they stave off a work stoppage for the foreseeable future, the fact still remains that the Port Authority will run out of money in January and the employees will be laid off anyway.

Mr. Bland and Mr. McMahon go to Washington:

-As I talked about earlier, the meeting by the local ATU 85 has been temporarily canceled because of an emergency trip to Washington to discuss negotiation options with the AFL-CIO. Apparently both men met seperately with the AFL-CIO.

According to Steve Bland, the meeting, at least from the Port Authority's perspective was more fact finding on the part of the AFL-CIO. Call me a skeptic, but to me this seems that this information is being gathered in hopes strenghtening the Union's position as opposed to legitmately helping to bring the two sides together for a solution. We'll see. Also, Pat McMahon is quoted in the article as saying that as of Dec. 1st the workers will not walk off the job. Again, we'll see.

This is the first time he has said they will not walk off the job Dec. 1st. Previously, he has hinted to the fact but not said it in a quote. I wonder why the slight change in tune. Maybe it's because the general climate is not terribly sympathetic to Unions, or if it is as a direct result of the meetings in Washington, purely heresay on my part.

The plot thickens...

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