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December  22

Strike Ends!

Transit workers have been called back to work and subways and buses should be running by the morning rush tomorrow.

Bloomberg live press conference going on now (3:39 pm).

December 22, 2005 in Buzz | Permalink


and they better be smiling,

Posted by: cstarling | Dec 22, 2005 3:36:25 PM

They're not paid to smile. If you want them to smile you'll have to anti up more than money!

Posted by: exit_151 | Dec 22, 2005 5:40:15 PM

Hmmmmm... I wonder how many TWU members will be thanked by riders for ending their thuggish and selfish strike?

Posted by: Appletony | Dec 22, 2005 6:21:53 PM

Hmmmm... I wonder how many Baristanet commentators will give up calling the TWU members names.

Merry Christmas to you to Appletony!

Posted by: exit_151 | Dec 22, 2005 7:01:26 PM

Thuggish is a strong word. I did not hear about any transit workers assaulting anyone or vandalizing anything or threatening anyone. That is thuggish behavior. They simply didn't show up for work and showed up on the picket line instead, acceptable union behavior..

Was it illegal? Yes. Ill-advised? Yes. Thuggish? Not by a long shot.

Posted by: Bitpusher | Dec 22, 2005 7:17:36 PM

Thanks, but I'll go with "thuggish" -- they economically assaulted small businesspeople and low income workers, they vandalized the Christmas spirit of the city and they threatened to keep doing so.

Illegal mass extortion without physical violence still qualifies as thuggery in my book.

You just have a different book.

Posted by: Appletony | Dec 22, 2005 8:08:35 PM

Dictionary definitions seem clear on the point that thugs use physical violence. I'm not buying use of the term in this context.

Posted by: crank | Dec 22, 2005 8:54:40 PM

I wonder what book (dictionary) you're looking at- or are you making up your own definition- This from Merriam-Webster Online

Main Entry: thug
Pronunciation: 'th&g
Function: noun
Etymology: Hindi thag, literally, thief
: a brutal ruffian or assassin : GANGSTER, KILLER

Posted by: badd_patti | Dec 22, 2005 8:54:55 PM

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Thug - derived from Thuggee. Generally taken to mean a ruffian, a miscreant, a person who behaves in an aggresive manner towards others.

Anyway, I'm being dyspeptic. In real life, I smile and act politely toward TWU members. I understand that they do jobs that I wouldn't like to do in my current circumstance. But, as an organization, the TWU pulled a thuggish stunt.

Posted by: Appletony | Dec 22, 2005 9:11:11 PM

Hmmm- that's not what I see on the WIKI- so are you calling them gang members- cult members- it appears that you are also calling them amoral- what a weird characterization of folks who went out on strike to protect their benefits--see below all direct quotes- no editing From Wikipedia.

"Thuggee (or tuggee) (from the Sanskrit root sthag (Pāli, thak), to conceal, mainly applied to fraudulent concealment) was an Indian cult sometimes described as the world's first mafia, operating from the 13th to the 19th centuries, whose members were known as Thugs. This is the origin of the term thug, as many Indian words passed into common English during British occupation of India."

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Thugs (alternately written "thugz"), in the hip-hop/gangsta rap sense, are persons who are ruthless and who will do whatever it takes to get ahead. The term also carries the connotation of living a rebellous life and being prone to operating outside the established status quo (particularly the law). Thugs share the same principles commonly associated with gang members: hip-hop-inspired thugs believe they are entitled to whatever they can get and keep through street cunning and force, having no moral compunction against theft from and robbery of those not known to them or part of their 'posse.' Loyalty to one's friends is a strong value among thugs, but if there are disagreements between two groups of thug friends, the two factions can behave in a way similar to rival gangs, even if they are not technically in a gang. Violence is applauded in the thug lifestyle, especially among middle-school and high-school aged thugs, and often in the form of "jumping" a victim, (several thugs attacking a single victim).

Thugs idealize Gangsta Rap and the idea being "cold" or unfeeling. "Cold-blooded killa" is a popular epithet in Gangsta Rap, and the ability to commit homicide without being emotionally affected is a trait that is generally highly respected by hip-hop-inspired thugs. Another similar epithet is "cop-killa," which, in addition to lauding the murder of a police officer, is used often as a reference to "Cop Killer", a 1992 rap song by Ice-T. Crime, especially homicide, theft, robbery, battery, assault, and drug trafficking, is idealized in thug culture, and often thugs who have been to prison are given respect and looked upon as "hard" (meaning both strong and emotionally callous when necessary). Great respect is given to those who, in general, disregard consequences for their actions; this is frequently regarded as a mark of strength. The thug sub-culture, although primarily derived from ideals espoused by African American gangsta rap and hip-hop artists, is not over-represented by African Americans. Additionally, many thugs are other minorities or whites who idealize the gangsta rap/hip hop scene.

Posted by: badd_patti | Dec 22, 2005 9:26:14 PM

And again patients who travel into city couldn't get in and around the city

-so now patients will be forced to have evaluations -operations-services rescheduled till after January causing them to pay deductables they might not had to. That is certainly thuggish.

I am not blaming the workers just the union "thugs", who had the option to be respectable by handeling this in a civilized manner.

Also, a fireman riding his bike to work was also hit by a private bus and lays in grave condition-his untimely condition is attributed to be strike related.

So should we refer to them as heroes?

Or shall we admit that the timing of this was surely a strong arm tactic (ruffian) that cost many a loss that may not be recouped and no conpensation in sight. And possibly the lose of life, for what? They are back at the table and still working without a contract.

If I was a worker, I wouldn't be too pleased with my union at this point.

And no kidding 151 -no one gets paid to smile although having gainful employment when plenty others have none might be a courtesy to offer considering the alternative.

Which quite honestly is that they can be replaced.

Posted by: cstarling | Dec 22, 2005 9:28:01 PM

Before there was Wikipedia there was something known as a dictionary. I am certain Bloomberg was unaware of the gansta rap "thug" subcultures self inflicted use of the word.

Posted by: cstarling | Dec 22, 2005 9:37:39 PM

bad_patti, this is the page I looked at:


Posted by: Appletony | Dec 22, 2005 9:38:58 PM

I prefer selfish, self-centered prigs myself.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Dec 22, 2005 10:09:26 PM

I love the smugness of Pataki & Bloomberg,
Gangsta Milbillionaires telling us moral tales.

Posted by: PAZout | Dec 22, 2005 10:29:42 PM

how 'bout all of the small businesses like the pretzel and hot dog vendors unable to get into the city? I know it will be hard for me to smile at a TWU thug who ruined the 2005 NYC Christmas season.

Bah TWU thugs.

Posted by: The Iceman | Dec 22, 2005 10:34:25 PM

I, for one, could only support the strike, Municipal workers are working class poor folks who deserve to make money. Its an unfortunate consquence for many commuters, yes , but a necessary step for the TWU in a capitalist economy which sees Municipal work as a seperate entity, simply as a labor cost,(While the MTA is trying to scrimp on their PENSIONS,-Its the MTA that doesn't give a shit about commuters, not the TWU) This strike is no more selfish than any other, it just happens to affect people Directly unlike any other could., And Instead of aiding the rift between MTA and TWU, Bloomberg blamed others.

Blame the MTA for not paying their workers fairly and for trying to scrimp on many many working class peoples' livlihoods. Thats who you should be directing your frustration towards, most of you posting seem to ride public trans., not getting private car service(though i could be off-base) But it seems many are arguing on the Wrong Side

Posted by: Bloomberg is a billionaire | Dec 23, 2005 12:37:16 AM

"I prefer selfish, self-centered prigs myself."

Selfish and self centered, yes, thugs, no.
Again, unlike some unions (and some bosses), they did not engage in physical violence against people or property.

Words have meanings.

Posted by: Bitpusher | Dec 23, 2005 12:56:56 AM

"Words have meanings" says Bitpusher while ignoring all the meanings of "thug" in common usage that do not involve physical violence.

Bitpusher, maybe the word you want (requiring physical violence to have meaning) would be "vandal" or "mugger"? Anyway, "thug" is appropriate here for those of us who really, really disliked the strike.

Posted by: Appletony | Dec 23, 2005 2:59:51 AM

"It's the MTA that doesn't give a shit about commuters, not the TWU."

Have you ridden a subway lately, BIAB?

I have been working in NYC now for more years than I would like to admit. Whenever there's been problems with a particular line (delays, disabled cars, whatever), TWU workers never make an announcement or come out on the platform to tell commuters what's going on. They are very good, however, at holing themselves up in the ticket booth and ignoring our questions.

To say the trains are crowded would be an understatement. A few years back, a reporter from the NY Post actually wrote an article comparing cattle cars to subway trains and deduced that the cattle on said cars actually enjoy more space than subway commuters!

And good luck hearing the garbled stop announcements.

Many of the stations are decrepit and filthy (much of that, I know, is due to sloppy commuters, but some of it is just plain neglect: missing tiles, leaky ceilings, rusty fixtures...if you visit other countries and see THEIR subway systems, you will be appalled and ashamed at ours.

Yet, while service decreases, the fares continue to increase.

I could go on and on, but you get the drift....

Posted by: Miss Martta | Dec 23, 2005 6:17:05 AM

How is any of this the fault of a union member, Miss Martta:

"To say the trains are crowded would be an understatement. A few years back, a reporter from the NY Post actually wrote an article comparing cattle cars to subway trains and deduced that the cattle on said cars actually enjoy more space than subway commuters!

"And good luck hearing the garbled stop announcements.

"Many of the stations are decrepit and filthy (much of that, I know, is due to sloppy commuters, but some of it is just plain neglect: missing tiles, leaky ceilings, rusty fixtures...if you visit other countries and see THEIR subway systems, you will be appalled and ashamed at ours."


Posted by: g | Dec 23, 2005 6:45:32 AM

cstarling - the dictionary definition was posted above. I was merely answering Appletoney's (don't spell my name right I'll do the same for you)post from the WIKI- which appeared to me to be abbreviated or edited.

Maybe you should read the whole thread before commenting.

And by the way- we can *all* be replaced.

so, by being on strike for 3 days they "ruined" your Christmas season Iceman- a large snowstorm could have done the same- sucks to be you!

Posted by: badd_patti | Dec 23, 2005 7:34:55 AM

I have a hunch some folks above don't get out much, that they don't quite get what a thug is or can be. For example, the sort of bouncer who's more than a little aggressive, who revels in his position. Thugs also enjoy conveying an aura of menace, swaggering, making others move aside. Think bike club members carving out "their" corner of a bar, or hostile-looking sorts in baggy jeans and ridiculously puffy parkas stomping gloweringly through a mall and rudely brushing past other pedestrians.

And Miss Martta is eminently correct that subway systems elsewhere are run by much nicer folk and are much cleaner. I was in Prague last spring and the system there, while a Communist-era relic that's showing its age somewhat, remains clean, safe and well-run.

In all my travels in other cities, in fact, I've never seen a mass transit system so infested and infected by mean-looking and acting characters as in New York. (Where's a good Brit-style "Anti-Social Behavior Order" when you need one?) And many of them are employees of the system! Many of whom could certainly be characterized as, yep, thuggish.

Posted by: cathar | Dec 23, 2005 8:03:22 AM

No matter the definition, Appletony's use of "thug" is covered by the Use of Metaphorical Words and Phrases Act (1872).

Posted by: Chris | Dec 23, 2005 8:42:50 AM

Do the math, G.

You mean to tell me with the millions of people who ride the subways every day, they can't--or won't--make some minor improvements that would most certainly enhance the riding experience of the public?

Why ISN'T this so-called union out there replacing those missing tiles and burnt out light fixtures, cleaning the tracks or fixing the leaks in the ceiling? At $2 a pop, they are certainly taking in more than enough money to cover it.

On the rare occasions that they DO embark on a construction/repair project, it can go on for an eternity. Some of the same construction projects started in 1998 are still going on, with no completion date in sight.

And yes, I concur with Cathar. I've been to England and France and their subway systems blow ours away, in both efficiency and cleanliness. According to one of my co-workers who's been over to the FSU, the Russian subway system is probably one of best in the world.

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