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How great are those transit workers? So many people support their union, and want them to get better wages and working conditions. You can thank Transit Union prez Roger Toussaint for that one.

Support from political figures doesn’t come cheap these days — many a politicians have been served a chunk of the $3.7 million pie of campaign contributions from the Transport Worker’s Union.

The Daily News reviewed 1,525 donations, lobbying bills, media buys, gifts to nonprofits and other expenditures of the Local 100 Political Contributions Committee.

Totaling $3.7 million since 2001, according to filings at the state Board of Elections and the city Campaign Finance Board, the payments cover the political gamut.

Politicians who have received contributions to their campaigns include: Reverend Jesse Jackson, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno, and City Councilman Charles Barron, among many others.

The Daily News reports, “since the election of Toussaint as head of the 33,750-member TWU in December 2000, the union has pumped cash into the political war chests of at least 38 of the 51 members of the City Council.”

While donations are volunteered from union members’ paychecks, NYDN speculates that many transit workers don’t realize that their money is going to states like Michigan and Montana.

Ok, so these contributions are not a huge pay-off scandal (espeically in light of Jack Abramoff). Still, one would think that all this money could at least get them a decent contract the TWU could agree on. Or get some pants for those freaks on the subway.

TWU money for pols [Douglas Feiden, NYDN]

Jan 23, 2006 · Link · Respond

We haven’t seen this harsh of a rejection since Brad Pitt left his wife for his hot new girlfriend, who was already pregnant with is baby.

Today, transit workers said “huh-uh” to the 3 year contract offer from the MTA, which would have provided them with raises of 3 percent, 4 percent and 3.5 percent over the next three years. However, the contract did require workers to contribute 1.5 percent of their salaries toward health care premiums.

Out of over 20,000 votes, a mere 7 made the difference in the final decision not accept what MTA put on the table.

We’re sure you all remember the strike which occurred exactly a month ago, forcing even Mayor Bloomberg to walk his ass over the Brooklyn Bridge.

Hey, at least with a nice leisurely walk, there is a smaller chance of sitting next to a dead guy on the Q train.

NYC Transit Workers Reject New Contract [David B. Caruso, AP via LAT]

Jan 20, 2006 · Link · Respond

Channel 4 may have had snacks, but NY1 News had little Bobby Cuza, the young-ish reporter who would stop at nothing to bring New Yorkers their news. (Yeah, last we heard, Doritos weren’t really the go-to for reporting.)

It was Cuza who broke the transit strike story, sparking a trail of snags on behalf of the station before the strike ended. Personally, we’ve always thought NY1 rocked. The 24 news service, full of repeticious newscasts, and its hourly reading of major papers get us through some rough mornings. “Why?” we have often wondered, “does this station post so many job openings for entry-level reporter positions on Time Inc’s webiste?”

Finally, our questions have been aswered. There really are people out there who beleive in young-ish reporters. Fresh, hungry, and excited by the news, these guys don’t need no flippin’ snacks! Just give them a pen and a taperecorder, and watch them break New York’s biggest story of the year.

One thing did confuse us though, and that was the New York Times‘ little remark about starting reporters making $40,000 a year? NY1 reporters might kick-ass, but we hightly doubt that anyone who has to ask his collegues from another station to move his camera into place is pulling in $40K. That’s like millions in reporter salary terms.

The Little Channel That Could [Alex Mindlin, NYT]

Jan 3, 2006 · Link · Respond

Ok, we know how much you????????ve all loved our little Jossy awards so far. Today, however, we thought we shake things up a bit with a ??????? Top Ten List! Yay! We kinda???????? felt left out, being the only ones in the world who totally didn????????t have one. Plus, today????????s awards are all about this grand city we call our own, and so we had to get a bit pickier.

Even though New York can sometimes be a real bitch, we love her. We do. After all, she allows us to live here when no other city will have us. And since New Yorkers are the best people in the world, and nobody can tell us we????????re not, everything we do is so New York (translation: fuckin’ fabulous).

So what if celebrities don????????t get smashed into by paparazzi or get caught on camera snorting mad blow in our city? Some things happened in ????????05 that were so big, they so belong on our So New York in 2005 list. We’ve narrowed it down to 10, and each one gets our love/hate, but only #1 wins the Jossy! (After the jump, blah, blah, blah.)

10. The Westside Stadium, which thankfully never was
9. The 2012 Olympics, which thankfully never will be
8. Pacha, the club of clubs. You can stay there all night — and still shower before work
7. New York magazine’s “Hottest New Yorkers” issue (even though we weren????????t in it)
6. The week in which the 6 train completely stopped running, like, everyday.
5.Per Se giving NYC a glimpse of dining in L.A.
4. Peter Braunstein wiggin???????? out like a maniac on Halloween
3. Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgard, and Maggie Gyllenhaal lunching with Jake’s puppy in SoHo
2. The two shows that make everyone hate women and New Yorkers: PowerR Girls and Gastineau Girls

And finally, the winner of Jossip’s So New York in 2005 Award goes to:


Dec 29, 2005 · Link · Respond

Because you didn’t have to walk to work today, any transit news is so much less pressing than, say, waiting to find out if Angelina Jolie is really pregnant.

Still, the MTA and Transit Workers Union reached a contract agreement last night. The contract states that transit workers will have to contribute to their health insurance and pension, but workers will then recieve lifetime benefits after retirement. The 37-month contract is also expected to serve as a format for future city contracts.

Next month, 33,700 transit workers are set to vote on this contract. Keep your fingers crossed that they don’t call another strike over being asked to vote.

Transit Workers in Deal to Share Health Plan Cost [Steven Greenhouse and Sewell Chan, NYT]

Dec 28, 2005 · Link · Respond

Nothing gets New Yorkers into the seasonal spirit quite like complaining. Luckily, the transit strike fell within the same week as the holidays, which truly gave us all something to bitch about. So, in honor of our city’s lovely civilians, we wanted to put together a little synopsis of the cheer felt by New Yorkers during this most frustrating time of the year.

And since we don’t even give our unpaid slave bloggers time off for religion or Santa, Intern Wendy has compiled some lovely prose in order to capture the news media’s coverage of last week:

Since the subways were closed to everyone, city dwellers had the bliss of watching no-talen street performers “working” above ground, freezing their asses off like everyone else. Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like knowing they’ll be off the streets for at least three days, recovering from hypothermia. There was also the off chance of seeing Mayor Bloomberg on the reopened trains. Why dream of a “White Christmas”, when you can dream of saying “screw you” to the man who helped cause this mess in the first place?

The City’s youngest residents get snaps for getting their priorities in order…FAST. Who needs the Santa shit! These kids knew that if the trains stayed shut down, they wouldn’t get any presents from the real Saint Nick: their parents. Of course, once Mommy and Daddy (or their underpaid, illegal immigrant nannies) DID get into the stores, they participated in the greatest holiday tradition of all: fighting tooth and nail for butt ugly, overpriced toys, that the whiny brats will destroy in less than three hours, anyway.

So, what have we learned from ChristmaHannuhKwanzaKuh 2005? That no matter what you throw at New Yorkers, not only will they survive: they’ll bitch about it…at least until 2006.

With Public Transit Restored, Christmas Shoppers Hit Stores In A Hurry [NY1 News]

Dec 27, 2005 · Link · Respond

Ok, this time, the strike really is over. Now the MTA workers can go back to napping in their booths and stuff, and you can go back to not needing the MTA because you’re probably going out of town for Christmas. Hey, at least the tourists will have modes of transportation. That’s who really matters, anyways, right?

Union Says NYC Transit Strike Is Over [Deepti Hajela, AP News]

Dec 22, 2005 · Link · Respond

Even though all of Jossip’s writers, editors, and interns are working from their non-NYC offices (filling our vacation time with blogging) we certainly hope that everyone is not too, too, too excited over the “talks” of a strike break. “Talks” and “steps” do not mean that that MTA is officially ending their strike, as far was we can tell, anyways.

• “Both parties have a genuine desire to resolve their differences,” said Richard Curreri, head of a three-member state mediation panel. “They have agreed to resume negotiations while the TWU takes steps toward returning its membership to work.”

• Striking bus and subway workers agreed Thursday to “take steps” to go back to work while their union and the transit authority resume negotiations, a mediator said. The deal with the Transit Workers Union could pave the way for a resumption in service by Friday, if the union’s executive board gives the final OK.

• In a definite sign of progress, mediators who met separately with the transit union and the MTA all morning, announced Thursday that both sides have agreed to resume talks while the union takes steps to return members to work, thereby ending the strike.

If you are still walking home and clawing for cabs after work tonight, don’t say we didnt warn ya’.

NYC Transit Union Moves to Return to Work [David B. Caruso, AP]
Union Executive Board To Vote On Ending Strike [New York 1]

Dec 22, 2005 · Link · Respond

What’s worse than walking to work in the freezing cold? Being forced into the nauseating act of walking with people who have no sense of style.

Some of them, like what appears to be a sudden outbreak of studiously mismatched winter accessories, are inexplicable in a city that should be accustomed to dressing for long stretches of cold weather.

“People are dressing like they work in outdoor booths at the flea market,” the designer Cynthia Rowley said.

Seriously, who are these unfashionable fucks? They obviously don’t deserve to live, let alone live in New York.

A Sense of Fashion Is Lost in Transit [Eric Wilson, NYT]

Dec 22, 2005 · Link · Respond

Most self-obsessed New Yorkers are able to admit that this whole transit strike deal is somewhat of a source of entertainment for us. A way to laugh at ourselves while taking pride in our city’s resilience.

But when Katie Couric sits above us like a god, sipping hot coffee and cackling at our frozen faces, it sort of ruins the spirit of comradery. (And by ‘us’, we mean all of you guys. No one’s laughing at us, because we’re not there). Still, if we were there, we would also be scurrying through the cold like a couple of crazy Parisians, trying to get to work. If we had jobs that required leaving the house. Oh, geeze — well, we consider ourselves one of you guys and not one of Katie’s kids, so her hoity toity antics are totally pissing us off.

For television, this transit strike is a G-rated disaster: full crisis coverage without death or destruction, just inconvenience.

How ’bout these newscasters shut their faces, and just be glad they aren’t covering a public transportation strike in a city like Detroit.

Media Ode to the City That Walks [Alessandra Stanley, NYT]

Dec 22, 2005 · Link · Respond

Just when you thought your walk over the Brooklyn Bridge was bad, the New York Post gives us all something to consider:

While its not surprising that this guy doesn’t want to hobble to work on crutches everyday, we think the Post could have gone with a different headline. Like: “Some People are Even More Screwed than You, so Stop Your Bitching”. Or, “Mayor Bloomberg’s Walk from Brooklyn: Totally Showed Up”.

ONE-LEGGED MAN: ‘IT’S NOT THE WAY I WANT TO GET TO WORK’ [C.J. Sullivan, John Doyle, and Marsha Kranes, NYP]

Dec 22, 2005 · Link · Respond

Because we never leave the apartment, except to perform very in-depth transit strike/cab ride reporting, we never really thought about how the subway closing would effect our fellow dejected media outlets. At one point, though, we did ride the 6 train to work every morning, with only our amNewYork to comfort us. And, after all those months of loyalty, when the possibility of spending a cab or scooter ride to work without them was presented, did amNY think of us? Not so much.

“We moved all our hawkers all over the place,??????? Mr. Weintraub said. “We fulfilled our mission to the advertisers. We expect to do so again tomorrow.”

The advertisers? Granted this story should not offend us at all, because we don’t go anywhere. But in theory, we would be extremely hurt by the paper’s lack of concern for us, if we still read it.


Dec 21, 2005 · Link · Respond

Well, since everyone is guaranteed to go into a panic tomorrow and get all their shopping done before they become stranded in their apartments (without Mister Softee or wine, mind you) may we suggest printing out Slate’s very handy shopping round-up immediately. (We’d be doing this ourselves, but we bargain shop online. Plus, the thought of you running around midtown after work brings a smile to our faces).

In the extensive round-up, you will find gifts for your husband, mother-in-law, baby, and what few friends you might have left. Slate even answered the question “What will Cookie staffers be giving their advertisers this year?”: “a rather lavish outlay for a set of six Moss table knives”

Obviously! Why didn’t we guess murder weapons?

The Gift of Mags [Slate]
Related SELF is sending cookies?

Dec 14, 2005 · Link · Respond

Since nobody will be able to get in and out of the city for the next two weeks, the drunks want to make sure that they are totally stocked up on booze.

For New York consumers attempting to buy from out-of-state wineries, there have been…complications. Direct shipments to New York residents from wineries in California, for instance, were stalled until just last Friday, when UPS reached an agreement with the State Liquor Authority to comply with the state’s requirements.

Like the transit strike, this issue doesn’t really affect us. We only leave our apartments to pick up forties from the corner deli, anyways. But, in light of recent MTA developments, this piece did bring some new concerns regarding delivery service to our attention.

The law permitting direct interstate shipping has proven costly to NY wineries, so now they’re … Wine-ing for changes [Mark Harrington, Newsday]

Dec 14, 2005 · Link · Respond