As many of you know I live, work and attend school in Philly. When I moved to Philly I, decided to live in the safest neighborhood I could find, the issue is that it also the highest tourist attraction of the city, Olde City. The Betty Ross House, Penns Landing and Benjamin Franklin House are about 1 block away (all in different directions), the liberty bell, constitution center, independence mall, the federal mint, the national Reserve, federal court, Carpenters Hall, Franklin Square and Washington Park are all within 7 blocks as are other sites like the 1st and 2nd national bank and other early central hubs of the government. All these sites mean one thing, lots of tourist and little parking, therefor no street parking for residence. So I sold my car rather than pay $200 each for parking and insurance.
I thought being carless in the city would be fine, as I lived next to a subway station and I would sign up for Zipcar and save TONS of money. WRONG about zipcar, but that story is for another time.
Last night I watched the Phillies and went to bed, expecting to wake up, walk my two dogs and go to work event free. Again, I was WRONG. And about 850,000, minus SEPTA workers and families, people probably felt the same way. SEPTA's, the local transit authority, largest union has been threatening to strike since the beginning of the world series. Both sides said all weekend that the talks have been moving along and that "only the issue of wages" was really a debate now.
Last night as I went to bed I thought TWU, the striking Union, wouldn't strike. I wake up and find out the are striking and started striking at 3:50 this morning. I mean WTF, right? I am on fence as far my view of unions go. I know that if they didn't exist workers would be abused but I also don't like the picketing they do when contractors hire non-union workers.back to TWU, why would a Public Transit union strike at 3:50 in the morning, with little or no warning to public? If they want people on their side they need to be courteous, as it is the union, not SEPTA that will get a black eye from strike, this time. That will dwindle public approval and support and eventually lead to a NO vote on future tax measures regarding SEPTA. That could hurt union members future pay.
One group of people enjoying this? Taxi drivers, for me it is about a $15 taxi ride to work. According to google map, I live 3.2 miles from my place of employment and school. I walked it this morning, about 55 minutes, and couldn't find one open cab for the first 35 or so minutes.
Bottom line. I am fucked for the near future. Why is it not illegal for public transit unions to have a full strike? And what are your views of unions? Has a union ever fucked you over, or benefited you?