Harry Harrington, a New York city MTA Train Operator writes his account and analysis of the strike that shut down New York.
In December 2005, 34,000 New York City transport workers walked out against cuts in benefits and the creation of a two-tier workforce. Their union was fined millions of dollars, and the strike was called off, having won important concessions. So what were the lessons of the action?
In Industrial Worker, February 2006 he wrote:
Hundreds of striking bus workers of the state-owned Vahed bus company are still in detention in Tehran today following the vicious attack by thousands of members of the security forces on their strike on Saturday 28th January.
Reports are coming in of more arrests last night and today, in particular in transport districts 4, 5 and 6. A gathering of workers in district 6 last night to press for the release of their jailed colleagues was attacked by the security forces, resulting in more arrests. Workers are being intimidated into signing pledges to give up strike and protest actions or risk being fired.
Iranian bus drivers in Tehran are on strike again, in the face of mass arrests and repression, including the families of the four main union leaders.
Iran focus reported that agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), Iran’s notorious secret police, raided the homes of bus drivers in Tehran in the early hours of the morning, arresting hundreds of bus union activists and in some cases their relatives as well, according to one resident.
Those arrested have been taken to unknown locations.
Unions in South Korea launched a general strike today after the passage of a temporary workers bill by the National Assembly.
The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions began a full nationwide strike at 1 p.m., protesting parliament’s approval of the non-regular workers bill that unionists claim will increase the number of temporary laborers.
It said that a total of 150,000 unionists at over 150 workplaces, including 40,000 workers at Hyundai/Kia Motors, took part in strikes across the country.
New York City transit workers rejected bosses' offer after their illegal three-day strike last month.
A tiny margin of just seven votes scuppered the deal, leaving the New York Times to report that angry workers may turn to other forms of direct action, such as wildcat stoppages and slowdowns.
From NYtimes.com on January 22, 2006:
Fourteen leaders of Tehran’s transport workers’ union were arrested last month after staging a no-ticket action (when bus drivers refused to collect fares) against Sherkate Vahed, a state owned bus company, to demand higher wages.
By an Iranian socialist, Thursday 5 January 2006.
Bus drivers in North West London took wildcat action last week and refused to leave their garage in protest against management bullying and 'spy' cameras in their cabs.
Rob Bleaney and Andrew Brightwell reported on hamhigh.co.uk:
Furious bus drivers walked out this week after bosses put spy cameras into their cabs.
Passengers waiting for buses on the 31 route to Camden and the 328 route to Golders Green were left stranded on Tuesday morning as drivers refused to leave their bus garage until 8.30am.
A report and analysis of the strike of New York City transport staff that shut down the city for three days, and brought down all the government's anti-union laws on the workers. Despite this, strikers managed to win important concessions.
New York City’s nearly 34,000 transit workers shut down the country’s largest public transportation system last month in a three-day strike that became a battle between working-class New Yorkers and the bosses, politicians and ruling elite of the city.
Organising efforts by the Syndicate of Workers Of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company in the Vahed Bus Company have resulted in the dismissal of 17 union activists.
The union is calling for solidarity in the face of what it describes as the company’s extremely harsh reaction to the workers organising efforts.
As well as the dismissals many have been harassed and have undergone interrogations at the hands of the Company’s security forces.
A judge has imposed a $1m (£570,000) per day fine on New York's main transport union for a strike that has brought city transport to a standstill.
34,000 New York City transport workers are on an illegal strike, shutting down the entire city's transit system to oppose benefit cuts, despite large profits. Their Transport Workers Union is now being fined $1m per day that the strike continues.
The 34,000 members of the Transport Workers Union went on strike after talks over their contracts collapsed.