Application of the Bargaining Power Model to Evaluate the Outcome of the New York City Transit Employees Strike of 2005
On December 20, 2005 the Transport Workers Union (TWU) called a strike in the city of New York after initial talks to resolve issues on a new contract with the Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) failed. The strike was, “Over wage rises, health-care and pension costs and the retirement age of employees.” (BBC News, December 20, 2005) The strike went on for three days and was called off on December 22, 2005. The strike was illegal in the state of New York according to the 1967 Taylor Law that prevents municipal employees from going on strikes. The striking employees faced criminal prosecution and fines, as they are a critical resource in New York City. The strike was successful, although it was illegal, in getting the authorities to negotiate and accept some of the demands put forth by TWA. Bargaining Power Model:
The bargaining power model explains how successful a collective bargaining can be to the employees, employers or other entities based on the nature of services provided and the perceptions of the parties involved. The success or failure of a collective bargaining exercise can be evaluated based on five questions: 1. Is the employee group’s activity critical to the employer? If the employee group involved is critical to the employer and can affect short term operations of the employer, then the employee group has an upper hand in the bargaining process. If the group is not critical and the employer is able to operate without the employee group, then the bargaining power of the employee group is reduced. 2. Is the service provided by the employee group replaceable? If the service provided by the bargaining group is replaceable then the employee group is at a disadvantage in the bargaining process. In other words, the bargaining power is reduced...