NYC Transit Workers Reject New ContractIn addition to those issues, remember Pataki had threatened to renege on the agreed-upon reimbursement of $110 million that was legitimately owed to back pension payments that were taken illegally.
By DAVID B. CARUSO, Associated Press Writer
14 minutes ago
NEW YORK - The city's 33,000 union transit workers narrowly rejected their proposed contract Friday, one month to the day after starting a crippling three-day strike that stranded 7 million bus and subway riders.
The workers, by a seven-vote margin out of more than 22,000 votes cast, rejected union President Roger Toussaint's call for ratification and followed the lead of a dissident group urging rejection.
The voting ended at noon Friday, and Toussaint announced the unexpected result a few hours later.
Toussaint blamed "downright lies" by opponents of the proposed three-year contract and said the union's leadership was ready to "go back to the drawing board" with negotiators as soon as possible. He left without taking questions about the possibility of another strike.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees the city's mass transit system, had no immediate comment.
There was a small but vocal minority that was protesting this contract, as well, calling it a "secret deal" between Toussaint and the MTA, but it was generally held this was a nuisance more than an effective opposition.
The workers say they are against paying for healthcare and were not told of what they call a "secret" side deal concerning pensions. John Mooney, a TWU Local 100 executive board member spoke near Union Square:
[Mooney]: If this pension refund goes through the MTA board...goes through the MTA...transit workers will lose half their money towards taxes.
New York, New York City, transit, TWU, Pataki, George Pataki