Monday, November 24, 2008

Port Authority Not Striking Yet

This is strange: The AFL-CIO and national ATU is holding meetings with the local ATU and the Port Authority. These meetings have canceled the November 23rd strike meeting. No word on what is in these meetings, other than a lot of questions.

Is the AFL-CIO trying to mediate? That's a pretty strange position. My incredibly uninformed guess? The AFL-CIO is trying to avoid a strike that will be a national black eye for labor, when the AFL-CIO is trying to push the Employee Free Choice Act under future President Obama. But that's my hearsay.

And something interesting: Steve Bland's message in the latest Rider Report:
As you ride your bus, T or incline today, please understand that the leadership of ATU Local 85 is solely responsible for this situation, not the union rank and file members. Union members and our other employees are hard working people who deliver vital transportation services each day. They are merely victims of their leadership’s failure to acknowledge Port Authority’s dire financial situation.
The CEO is trying to get on the good side of operators. Smart, but will it work if the strike gets a full union vote?

But will it get a full union vote? A strike (technically a lockout if the union thinks the contract is illegal) is still very possible, and the power will be in a judge's hand:
Mr. McMahon has indicated workers will be asked to stay on the job while the union goes into court seeking an injunction and possibly other legal recourse. But if court intervention fails, he said the union will consider the authority's action a lockout and will not report for work.
Stay tuned. Good news though: the Boulevard of the Allies bridge is reopening tomorrow, allowing for some easier traffic through Oakland.

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