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N.Y. Union's $2.5-Million Fine Upheld

October 06, 2006|From Newsday

NEW YORK — The transit workers union must pay the $2.5 million it was fined for an illegal bus and subway strike in 2005, a state appeals court has ruled.

The court affirmed a ruling by state Supreme Court Justice Theodore Jones Jr., who fined Transport Workers Union Local 100 $2.5 million -- $1 million for each day of the 2 1/2 -day walkout.

The strike cost the city about $1 billion, according to city officials.

The court disagreed with the union's defense that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's pension demands constituted an "extreme provocation" that justified its violation of the state's Taylor Law, which forbids public employees from striking.

The court also rejected the union's argument that it was entitled to have a jury decide if it violated the Taylor Law when it called the strike in December.

"We are very pleased that the court reaffirmed that no defense existed for public employees going on strike," Michael Cardozo, the city's corporation counsel, said in a statement. "This is a very important precedent for the future.... We hope that the MTA and unions can now focus on resolving their ongoing contract issues."

A transit union spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

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