Wednesday, November 4, 2009
PHILADELPHIA TRANSIT STRIKE and IRAQ LABOR UNION
Well, first, ALITTLE labor excitement developed, burst forth, here, unexpectedly, in this otherwise sleepy, plantation town of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a valley snuggled, nestled between two rivers, the Delaware and Schuylkill (indigenous name), whose largest PRIVATE, BUT, nonetheless, tax-exempt employer, is a well-endowed, Ivy League, for profit, sprawling, gigantic, educational, institutional complex, and one of the city's largest real estate developers, the University of Pennsylvania.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia's public transit workers, who have been working without contract for MANY, MANY months, walked out, SURPRISINGLY, UNEXPECTEDLY, from ongoing negotiations with their regional transportation authority, SEPTA, South Eastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority, at 3am on late Monday, November 2, early Tuesday, Nov 3, morning and the entire city was caught off guard only a few hours before Tuesday's early morning work time traffic rush.
Also, coincidentally, it was a local election day, here.
Not a major election, nonetheless, well chosen, symbolic timing.
Well, SEPTA'S Board, a politically appointed one, their Democratic Mayor, Governor, et. al., are crying, as usual, THE STATE HAS NO MONEY and the unions are greedy.
Recall, this is the same state, previously, our so-called oxymoron Progressive Democrat, Pennachio, i.e, Pinocchio, made the laughable assertion, joke, Pennsylvania would be the first state to have single payer medical insurance!!
We will be lucky if we have public transportation, let alone single payer health care.
Aside from wages, two major sticking points in the negotiations are health care benefits, private, of course, and pensions, also NOT part of a national, public, system, either.
Now, this is NOT the first time extensive public transit strikes over wage issues, etc., occurred.
But, here's what I especially like this time around.
First, the obvious hypocrisy surrounding our organized, national labor AFL-CIA and SEIU's ACTIVE support for NAZI Citigroup/Exxon/Morgan Obooma's bogus public option medical insurance plan, a total, complete red herring, as opposed to supporting national Single Payer medical insurance, thereby, insuring Single Payer will never happen and our present, for profit, private medical insurance system remains intact and, of course, remains a labor union bargaining tool and issue.
And, of course, the pension issue, as well.
AND, apparently, our LOCAL TWU, Transit Workers Union, leader has asked, said, requested, demanded SOME OF OBOOMA'S STIMULUS MONIES!!
I really like that part.
I like his audacity, which, elsewhere, may represent the norm, but, NOT HERE.
HOWEVER, as I write, I have not studied the situation carefully and am NOT sure IF this still, yet, MAY be an orchestrated political ploy, posturing, confrontation, between all parties concerned above to actually allocate some of those monies under an "emergency" scenario, with everybody coming out smelling good AND/OR behind this confrontation MAY be more excuses to continue further impoverishing public transportation, thus, rationalizing and increasing privatization, which has already eroded the system, until there is nothing public left in public transportation.
As it is, Philadelphia's current public transportation system is a skeleton of what exists in other major cities throughout the world and NY.
Further, fares are outrageously expensive and constantly increased, RATHER THAN THE OTHER WAY AROUND, thus, diminishing rather than expanding ridership.
Then, another factor.
The Philadelphia City Transit Workers Union is but ONE of several other, additional regional entities that exist to service both the city of Philadelphia, proper, and its surrounding environs.
The additional source of transportation in and out of Philadelphia City to its surrounding suburbs, but, also part of the SEPTA system, is a network of intertwined, regional Railroads.
They are NOT on strike!!
The net effect of this is to cripple MOST those within City limits with the least amount of alternative resources and options, the poorest, while leaving intact this other, alternative means of transportation for all those who commute back and forth to work, school, whatever, from more comparatively, relatively wealthier, or, more economically well off, suburbia into downtown.
IF BOTH, ALL regional services and unions were on strike, it would be DEVASTATING, CRIPPLING and settlement WOULD HAPPEN ALMOST IMMEDIATELY.
The City could NOT function!
But, in this current, present arrangement, the impact of the basic, City service strike is ameliorated, divided, not nearly as potent and powerful as would be otherwise.
So, I leave you to wonder, ask, ponder and marvel at the basic question this intentional setup poses.
And, of course, why it goes unchallenged by everyone concerned, including our union leadership.
Where's the class unity, solidarity??
Answer, as usual, missing in action.
But, of course, same question and answer, above, for United Suckers and Assholes national, universal, single-payer, NON PROFIT medical insurance.
So, remains to be seen what happens next regarding transit strike.
And, here is just one link which I ARBITRARILY chose.
You can follow threads, embedded links, further reading, etc., if you wish, although I think the subject matter in a nutshell is contained between the above and the following snapshot:
And, following the theme, above, on an international level, the latest development in the sickening, repulsive, disgusting, obscene, anti-Communist, Fascist led USLAW, AFL-CIA/SEIU collaborators and their respective, newly minted Iraq unions, now affiliated with the ILO as opposed to Iraq's previously dismantled, umbrella led and WFTU affiliated national labor organization.
As you will recall, the London liason of Iraq's newly minted union is/was Munir Chalabi.
And, of course, BP, along with China, has just signed TENTATIVE contracts, subject to parliamentary approval OR disapproval AND upcoming on and off again Iraq elections, with Iranian Mullah Sistani's son-in-law, Oil Minister, Shahristani, in Baghdad.
And, strangely, oddly enough, of all things, below, IF accurately reported, Iraq's newly minted union is screaming against Baathists.
To which Baathists do they refer, I wonder?
The ones already dead, killed, executed, the ones who did/would not collaborate or cooperate, or the ones staging a comeback and to whom I refer in my previous posts regarding Hillary Clinton, MECATAC, Mashhadani, Allawi, etc.?
Oh, yes, and then, simultaneous disturbances in NAZI occupied Iran, itself:
So, what do events in Philadelphia and Iraq have in common? Woe upon those who do not understand.
To conclude, a brief, illustrative, editorial commentary and synopsis and reminder from yet another place: