My father in law has had a 7:30 am appointment with a specialist in Manhattan on the books this morning for over a month. At 79, sick with an ulcer, a heart condition and on dialysis, he's really not interested in any percieved disrespect that TWU Local 100 leader Roger Toussaint uses to justify the illegal strike Local 100 (not the union) called this morning at 3am. He just wants to stay alive long anough to have a conversation with one of his grandchildren. Better bloggers than I have eloquently approached this from the angle that TWU workers have little to complain about. My purpose here is to put a face on a fraction of the $400 million a day in productivity that the city will lose due to this strike.
Smartly, the in-laws scheduled dialysis a day early this week, so Grandpa is in the clear until Wednesday. However, as anyone familiar with dialysis knows, the off days are recovery days. Instead, he must brave single digit winter conditions and take who know how many hours to make it to Manhattan, then wait like a piece of meat in a hospital wating room for his appointment, and then, exhausted, figure out a way to get home to Queens. Then, no rest for the weary as he and Grandma have to find a way to get back to Manhattan for life-preserving dialysis tomorrow. The man worked his whole life to build something, and now his mortality rests with the collective judgement of the TWU Local 100.
They will continue to run a poorly run, awfully maintained system called "Access-a Ride," which my in-laws tried a few times and stopped using when it proved worse than the subway: rude phone attendants, late vehicles, even later arrivals, and overall shoddiness. Transient dialysis in Queens could be fatal if he's not in a unit that has a means of giving rapid blood transfusions. It has, in short, taken us a year to find his care niche. A 35 year old who misses a dialysis is not in danger. Grandpa is.
Here is my offer to the TWU were I in charge, and please forgive my less than warm tone toward rogue locals when the parent union advised them not to walk off the job:
- Retirement age is now 65. It should be higher. The days of working until you are 55 are long gone.
- You'll contribute as much as 5% of your health care premium.
- Annual wages will be indexed with inflation, capping at 4.5 %.
- Sick and personal days are cut in half for new workers and will grow with time served.
- In addition to Taylor Law fines, the union will be assessed fines in an amount equal to triple anything they spend on PR commercials during the strike.
- If this is not acceptable, you are fired. Plenty of people would give their right arm for an MTA job, and all the perks that go along with it.
Grandpa and Grandson two days ago at Gregory's 1st birthday party. For a man who had to wait until age 76 to be a grandfather, he's a natural.Update: GOP and the City & Wizbang have much more, and a link to the TWU Local 100's Blog, where the comment section is still enabled.Cake or Death has a picture that says 1000 words.