Thursday, December 29, 2005

Where's Mikey?

Now that the transit strike has all been settled, with the rank-and-file expected ratification of the negotiated contract the last hurdle, there are press reports and grumbling all over today's editorial pages that the union put one over on the MTA as well as on the public. If this is the case, where does all of the lionization of the mayor stand?

This is precisely the point that is made by Adam Brodsky in his Op-Ed column in the Post today. All of the mayor's "selfish" striker and "thuggish" union leader rhetoric amounted to little more than hot air. We've made this point ourselves before, with specific reference to the failure of the mayor to tackle the governor and MTA governance.

Brodsky focuses on a failure of a diferent sort: the failure of both the mayor and the governor to even threaten to do what President Reagen did in the PATCO strike in the '80s-simply fire the workers. In Adam's view this eviscerates the entire Taylor Law and, as a result, makes the TWU the big winners.

On a more substantive level this is precisely what Steve Greenhouse is reporting in today's Times. Greenhouse underscores that TWU president Roger ( of "Throw Roger from the Train" fame) has emerged from the strike "in a far better position than seemed likely just a few days ago."

This perspective is dramatized by the comment of union critic Steve Malanga, "'For them, you could say this is a great deal." Which is precisely why the Daily News and the Post are sputtering editorially in today's papers. We're still waiting for these opiners to begin to focus on governance and political leadership.

One person who we know will do this is AG candidate Richard Brodsky, a frequent and thoughtful critic of the MTA. The political capital is there since, as last week's NY1 poll found, there is wide public suspicion of how the agency is financed and governed.