While fares continue to escalate (increases in 2008, 2009, 2010, with the next in 2012) as service diminishes (for one, construction of the Second Avenue line is already a year behind schedule) amid a budget shortfall of $400 million, the union's 33,000 members have the audacity to ask for 8% annual raises over three years, while paying nothing for health insurance, garnering millions in overtime pay and resting easy with a pension plan straight from the 1950s.
MTA is being ridiculously generous in the midst of the Second Great Depression by offering any raises, much less an absurd proposed 6% raise spread over 27 months. Union workers are also bitching that their jobs—which they're damn lucky to have—have grown more hazardous following post 9/11 events. Uh, like what?
Mind you, more than 8,000 MTA workers make more than $100,000 a year, including conductors, police officers and engineers, many of whom pulled in six figures in overtime and retirement benefits alone.
MTA last went on strike in 2005, bringing the city to a grinding halt for three days.