Monday, November 12, 2007

Thanks, But No Thanks

New York City stagehands went on strike over the weekend, joining TV screenwriters in work stoppages that have brought Hollywood and the New York TV and theater worlds to a screeching halt.

The NY Times reports that Mayor Bloomberg - himself a hard-nosed contract negotiator and a noted union-buster - offered to help "moderate" the stagehand strike:

At the Veterans Day parade yesterday, Mr. Bloomberg told reporters he had offered to provide a moderator as well as a neutral venue to continue the talks, as he did during the musicians’ strike in 2003.

“It is a private dispute,” the mayor said, “and they have to, in the end, work it out. We can’t tell them what to do, but we can make sure that we give them every opportunity.”

The president of Local 1, the stagehands' union, James J. Claffey, told the Times he continues to decline the mayor's generous offer to moderate the dispute and provide a setting for negotiations.

Might that be because the mayor has taken every city union to the cleaners over the past six years in contract negotiations, forcing work rule changes and additional concessions from union members for "raises" that often have amounted to less than a cost of living adjustment?

I dunno what Claffey's thinking is on this point, but as a fellow union-member who has watched my work day, work year and work load increase while my standard of living has fallen, I say it's best not to take any chances.

Tell Mayor Moneybags to go scratch and bang out a deal without his help.
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