Sunday, May 17, 2009

TBOU Contract Update - No Arbitrator's Decision Before We Vote‏ by Steve Downs

When Toussaint announced in January that he was sending the contract to binding arbitration, some of us warned that this was a sign that he had agreed to concessions in the contract and that he was afraid to present them to the membership. He feared that, even if we approved the contract, the members would vote against him and his slate at election time.

The Local recently issued a leaflet that heightens our concerns. The leaflet makes it clear that there will not be a decision by the arbitrator before the ballots are mailed out. Why not? The Toussaint/Tate/Watt crew has been telling the members for months that the MTA and Toussaint had reached agreement on everything last fall but that Bloomberg blocked the deal. Then what's the hold-up at arbitration? Maybe they've been lying to us about reaching an agreement with last fall. Or maybe they don't want the arbitrator's decision to become public before we vote because it contains major givebacks -- givebacks that Toussaint agreed to last fall.

Toussaint wants you to re-elect the officers who let him negotiate in secret and who raised no objection when he went to binding arbitration -- and took away your right to vote on the contract. If the arbitrator's decision was good, Toussaint, Tate, and Watt would make sure it came out before the election because it would help them win votes. The fact that the arbitrator's decision is not out should tell you something.
Steve Downs Chair, T/O Division of TWU 100

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