Determinants of impasse
MTA thought that they could strong arm the union as they had in the past. In 1999 and 2002 MTA threatened the union with fines and jail time if they did not negotiate. Therefore, union leaders accepted terms and contracts that they normally would not have if they had other options. But members of the union were tired of promises by management of better working conditions and wage increases that did not cover the cost of inflation. Union members also felt that because they were minorities that they did not get the same pay as their counterparts in other MTA companies. They were determined not to settle for a mediocre contract. But when MTA proposed a contract with small pay increases, an increase in the pension age, increases in the amount that workers would pay for pension and workers now paying for healthcare that was once free to them, they decided that the striking was their only option even though it was illegal.
The public definitely suffer from the strike. It was especially hard for low income residents that could not pay for an alternative way to get to work or school. Because of this hardship, many New York residents remain at home. “Scores of commuters walked, pink-faced and sniffling, to their final destinations, across bridges, down busy avenues, where the determined but agree face its people will not let commerce stop” (2005). Strangers even started riding together in order to get to work. All in all, it was not a good time for New Yorkers. As businesses suffered just a few days for the holidays, Christmas seemed to have come early for New Yorkers this year.
The most important factors to management are the pension plan, healthcare benefits and wages. Management wants new workers to pay a 6% toward their pension versus the 2% workers are currently paying. They also wanted the age and years of...