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NYC Transit Authority Says No to Union's Yes

April 19, 2006|From Newsday

NEW YORK — The transit workers union Tuesday ratified the same contract it rejected by a razor-thin margin three months earlier, but the Metropolitan Transportation Authority immediately dismissed the vote as it sought to impose binding arbitration on the union.

Transport Workers Union Local 100 President Roger Toussaint said 71% of members had voted to accept the contract.

"It is now up to [MTA] Chairman [Peter] Kalikow to honor this agreement that was reached in December and submit the same to the MTA board for ratification next week," Toussaint said.

Kalikow and other MTA officials have said the offer is now off the table.

In a statement Tuesday, authority spokesman Tom Kelly dismissed the revote as an "empty gesture." The MTA board meets today.

Toussaint said the contract won approval the second time because union members were better informed about it.

The revote came a day after a Brooklyn judge fined the union $2.5 million and indefinitely suspended its ability to automatically collect dues for staging an illegal 60-hour strike in December.

State Supreme Court Justice Theodore Jones also sentenced Toussaint to 10 days in jail for calling the strike. The labor leader plans to turn himself in Monday.

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