Sat Mar 19, 2005
STEP-UP BUS STRIKE SOLIDARITY!
NY TWU 100 Executive Board Member
WE NEED TO STEP-UP OUR solidarity with
the Bee-Line Bus strike. At the moment, talks are stalled due to the arrogance
and greed of the Bee-Line owners and their friend, County Executive Andy Spano.
TWU Local 100 needs to turn up the heat.
I went to the White Plains strike rally last Thursday and found the strikers
really psyched for battle. Several hundred Bee-Line workers were there
chanting and pumping their fists in the air. Organizers say that every
Bee-Line worker supports the strike and there are no scabs. Great.
Unfortunately though, few members from other divisions were present. Yes, it
was a mid-day rally so the AM workforce couldn't make it but many
PMers and night people could have.
On the days that I've managed to get to the picket lines (I have no car)
only a few members from other divisions were there besides union staffers.
Thanks unacceptable. There should at be hundreds walking the line from other
We hope the strike will end soon, but it could get nasty and become a
protracted battle. One thing's for sure: Local 100 needs to play catch-up
ball.....fast. We must bring the entire weight of our union down on the
heads of Bee-Line management and Westchester County. That's not going to happen
by accident; the Toussaint leadership must step up to the plate. We must
build a culture of resistance and solidarity in Local 100.
The fact that some Divisions are now raising money for strikers is great but
a Local-wide fight-back, struggle perspective is what's needed most.
As we"ve learned in the token booth fight, small photo- ops with politicians
aren't enough to win. You need a mass mobilization of THE MEMBERSHIP.
What's more, the Bee-Line strike and the plight of all PBL workers -
should be seen by us as a dress rehearsal for our December contract
fight. The MTA is watching our every move.
AS AN EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER I CALL FOR AN EMERGENCY JOINT EXECUTIVE BOARD
MEETING OF ALL OFFICERS ASAP AS IN YESTERDAY! - TO TAKE EXTRAORDINARY
MEASURES TO DEVELOP LOCAL-WIDE BEE-LINE STRIKE SOLIDARITY.
Here are some ideas for discussion:
** Reach out to all members about the issues: Local-100. A Phone Blast
to each member such as Toussaint's recent one about Irish leader Gerry
Adams must begin, coupled with mass action. A special strike edition
of the Local 100 Express should come out as well as regular strike
bulletins sent out via email and leaflets.
** An emergency Local-wide mass membership meeting.
** A special shop stewards meeting to help spread the word.
** Organize shopgates throughout the Local.
** Organize and advertise Local-100 bus/van shuttles to picket lines and
** A well-planned Local 100 demonstration in downtown White Plains in
support of the strike. A big rally would force Bee-Lines, Westchester County
and New York City to ask themselves, Will Local 100 members extend their
anger and solidarity to job actions within NYC itself? That's added
** Mass leafleting of passengers. Advertise to members.
** On the job activities in support of Bee-Line workers, such as overtime
boycotts and other activities.
** Begin serious strike preparation by the Local. That will scare the
MTA resulting in a phone call to Spano for sure - and, at very least, lay
the groundwork for our December contract fight.
** If other PBL workers are not yet covered by the Taylor law - and
still in a legal limbo - then militant solidarity may be easier to organize.
500 Bee-Line workers and their families are in a pitched battle over their
futures. Our solidarity is more than a nice idea, it's a necessity.