A rambunctious and heated protest hung in the air as “hundreds of flag-waving members of the Transit Workers Union (TWU) Local 101 held a raucous protest rally…in front of National Grid’s MetroTech headquarters on Jay Street,” reports the Brooklyn Eagle (1).
The Transit Workers Union is upset over contract sticking points. “TWU Local 101 and National Grid are in the middle of contract negotiations, and Local 101 says that the electricity and gas company – headquartered in the U.K. – wants to deny protection against layoffs to union members hired after August, 2006, among other disagreements.”
When taken in context, the outlook is pretty bleak. If the numbers looks just like noise consider the numbers one-in-five. That is the approximate number of jobs which could be lost if this contract isn’t ironed out.
“‘We have a New York utility owned by a foreign country,'” Marsha Spinowitz, president of Local 101, told the Brooklyn Eagle. “‘The way they’re negotiating, they show no respect. They’ve threatened to take 300 jobs away from New York City.'” There are only 1,600 TWU workers here.
While the noise and aggression from this one protest has dimmed and the symphony of sympathetic horns has died down, the tension remains.