UPDATE ON THE BOTTOM, BELOW INITIAL POST
"TWU [Transit Workers Union] Attorney:
SEPTA Pension Fund ‘At Risk’"
I highlighted a KEY sentence, below, in BOLDFACE:
"....SEPTA's pension fund, which has become a key issue in the three-day-old transit strike, contained about $640 million at the end of September, down from $719 million in June, 2008.
The fund, affected by rising and falling stock markets, has rebounded from its level in March, when it was down to $471 million. But it remains well short of being "fully funded" - able to meet all potential payments to current and future retirees...."
A similar issue surrounding the Chicago Teachers Union and all other pension funds, really.An excerpt, again, MY emphasis in BOLD:
"...English teacher Jay Rehak has been keeping an eye on both the pension and the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) budget for many years. Last August he attended budget hearings to question the Board’s fiscal decision making. He noticed a footnote in the financial report: the Board had experienced losses due to derivatives investments, the same type of investments that have dealt a crucial blow to the nation’s economy..."
So, what else is new?
Heck, union pension monies are invested in every major private, multinational corporation under the sun, including PRIVATE medical insurance companies, hedge funds, THE MIDDLE EAST privatizing, speculative bubble, etc.Unions are and have been happy and greedy collaborators globally in our counter-revolutionary, privatization process and the downfall of the USSR.
I see NO principled opposition to ANY of these policies.
Just the opposite.
What about National, Universal, Single Payer, Not for Profit, medical insurance?Not a peep out of these bastards.
Instead, our national union leadership ACTIVELY sabotaged Single Payer with their bogus public option bullshit, crap, red herring.
And, NOBODY CONFRONTED THEM.
And, NOBODY CONFRONTED THEM.
Now, local, Philadelphia City and State government officials, politicians, are talking about the possibility of getting a legal injunction against Philadelphia's striking transit workers.
I am not sure quite what an injunction entails, but, I ASSUME, IF striking workers do not return under a court ordered injunction, they will be declared illegal and the City can essentially bust the union if it wishes and hire NEW employees, which, I can assure everyone, will NOT be difficult, or, bust the union effectively by financial penalties incurred if they do/did not comply with a court ordered injunction.That would certainly escalate the present confrontation into a clear cut showdown, and if the rest of the labor movement stood idly by and did NOTHING, as they do NOW, it would indeed be a sight to behold.
So, it is difficult to know IF government, political, officials will force the issue to a crisis of that sort.
But, they might.
And, as our protagonist, Rhett Butler, says to his leading lady, Scarlett O'Hara, in the movie, "Gone With the Wind," at the very end, "quite frankly, dear, I DO NOT GIVE A DAMN!"
I have no crocodile tears.
Either they CHANGE their policies, ways, present behaviour and leadership OR they become extinct.
Just after posting, above, it is/was indicated, tonight, on the local news that our Philadelphia TWU would agree to a legal procedure called "Binding Arbitration," an appointed, so-called, presumably, neutral third party that determines and sets the terms upon which they MUST all agree.
Similiar to a judge in a courtroom.
Whatever the courtroom, judge's verdict, outcome, they MUST agree.
It is legally binding. They now await SEPTA to concur with Binding Arbitration. I fully expect SEPTA to agree and that is how everyone involved will extricate themselves from this uncomfortable impasse into which they have cornered themselves.
No doubt, the TWU, faced with a real, distinct threat, possibility of injunction, AND, lacking ANY other union, or, popular, solidarity, that was the only face saving way out.
Thus, everybody concerned can blame whatever happens on this supposed, neutral, third party.
And, that will be the end of that.