As the Giants fought the Packers in the divisional playoffs Sunday evening, another battle was unfolding at the Sheraton Hotel in Midtown, where the Metropolitan Transportation Authority held an all-night session of contract negotiations with the Transport Workers Union Local 100, which represents the people who operate the city’s subways and buses.
Outside the hotel, the union held a raucous rally, where hundreds of members gathered in the freezing cold to hear their president, John Samuelsen, give a defiant speech about the contract talks. A pair of big-screen TVs broadcast the football game to the crowd. In addition to the winter chill and periodic cheers for the Giants, the threat of a crippling transit strike hung heavy in the air.
As the MTA’s contract with the Transport Workers Union Local 100 was set to expire at midnight last night, hundreds of workers gathered in the bitter cold outside the negotiations at the Sheraton Hotel in midtown for a raucous rally where they were joined by several local politicians.
“I’ve been bargaining for the better part of the last 48 hours,” TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen said. “I’m going to go back into that hotel and I’m going to tell the chairman of the MTA, I’m going to tell the governor to take their petty demands and shove it.”
Mayor Bloomberg partied with the press and joked about Occupy Wall Street at his annual holiday fête.
Apple swore city government officials to secrecy about its new store in Grand Central Station.
The new tax deal may mean higher fares on public transportation.
Governor Cuomo said he might make New York State lawmakers cut their winter vacations short to deal with the projected budget shortfall.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver lost a battle with a pothole.
Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg teamed up to support same sex marriage.
Should Kirsten Gillibrand’s low approval rating make her sweat?
New Gingrich watched “Bridesmaids” to prep for tonight’s Republican debate.
Mayor Bloomberg said something sort of nice about Occupy Wall Street.
Former Congressman Guy Molinari said something not-so-nice about Chuck Schumer.
State Senator Ruben Diaz is still mad about same sex marriage.
Prospective 2013 Mayoral candidates Chris Quinn and Bill de Blasio would really like you to know that they’ve been arrested multiple times–for civil disobedience.
New MTA boss, Joe Lhota, had a rough time at a board meeting yesterday where he was confronted with angry employees and crazed subway riders.
Governor Cuomo made up a new curfew law to bust Occupy Albany protesters.
Cigarette smuggling is running rampant in New York.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said he thinks the students of the State University of New York system need to deal with tuition hikes and learn about “financial reality.”
Don Draper is dead.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill today that would prohibit smoking at all Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North outdoor stations.
“It is important that commuters are not unwillingly subject to the dangers of second-hand smoke while waiting on train platforms,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Exposure to second-hand smoke can lead to serious health problems for non-smokers and this law will make outdoor MTA train platforms, ticketing and boarding areas a cleaner, healthier place for all commuters.
Matt Chaban notes that no matter who Governor Cuomo picks to replace Jay Walder as head of the M.T.A., there will invariably be a downside for the new governor.
Basically, he’ll own the M.T.A.