More labor supporters of Christine Quinn’s defeated mayoral campaign are jumping over to Bill de Blasio’s bid for City Hall.
The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union and United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 have joined SEIU 32BJ in endorsing Mr. de Blasio, sending a not-so-subtle hint to his Democratic rival Bill Thompson, who is waiting to see if he can eke into a runoff election.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg sharply defended the city’s emergency response system today, one day after an outraged City Council Speaker Christine Quinn was compelled to personally call Police Commissioner Ray Kelly for help after an intern fainted in the heat.
“Make no mistake about it: Every call for medical assistance we treat as important. But ambulance dispatching is about prioritizing, so life-threatening emergencies are responded to first,” Mr. Bloomberg told reporters during a press conference today at The New School discussing new measures to encourage people to use the stairs instead of elevators.
New York’s unions are sending their best and brightest to Wisconsin to assist in the effort to recall the state’s Republican governor, Scott Walker. That’s good news for New York taxpayers and developers. If the unions’ key players are fighting somebody else’s battle in Wisconsin, they will be even more out of touch with reality in New York.
The union representing school bus drivers may, or may not, be preparing to go on strike. City Hall is taking no chances. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott unveiled a well-thought-out contingency plan last week to accommodate the needs of more than 150,000 public school students who rely on buses to get to and from class.
Leaders of Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union won’t say whether or not—or when—they will walk off the jobs. The local’s president, Michael Cordiello, won’t rule out the possibility, but insisted that the union has no plans for such an action. City Hall has made it clear that it cannot offer the job guarantees that the union is seeking.
Members of Albany’s second-largest public employees union, the Public Employees Federation, clearly had second thoughts about challenging Governor Cuomo over wage and benefit concessions. Mr. Cuomo said that if P.E.F. didn’t accept $450 million in concessions, he’d have no choice but to lay off 3,500 P.E.F. members.
At first, P.E.F. basically told the governor to do his worst. Perhaps members thought Mr. Cuomo was bluffing, which, if nothing else, shows that the union is not necessarily blessed with keen political insight. Mr. Cuomo was not bluffing. When that became clear, the P.E.F. basically ordered up a do-over. Members have now voted overwhelmingly in favor of the deal they rejected just over a month ago.
That’s good news for many people, but most of all for the 3,500 P.E.F. members whose jobs have been saved by the second thoughts of their brothers and sisters. Apparently there is something to be said about “solidarity forever,” after all.
The Art Market
“How much for Jimmy Juggs’ job?” bellowed a bald man in sunglasses. Next to him stood a younger man in a hard hat, looking sheepish as his fist was held aloft by the elder man. On the far side of the pseudonymous Mr. Juggs stood an inflatable rat, all three reflected in the glass front Read More
The leaders of another public employee union in New York have chosen sanity over mindless confrontation. Negotiators for the Public Employees Federation, the state’s second-largest union, recently agreed to a new five-year deal that will save taxpayers $400 million in wage and benefit reforms over the life of the contract. The deal comes on the Read More
The closing weeks of June brought no shortage of welcome news from Albany and City Hall. We would be remiss if we did not take note of the actions—and, yes, the courage—of some of New York’s top political players, union leaders and policy advocates.
Passage of gay marriage returned the state to its historic (but Read More
At a time when the economy continues to sputter and many middle-class New Yorkers are worried about the cost of everyday goods, you’d think that members of the City Council would welcome the nation’s largest discount retailer with open arms.
But Walmart remains a pariah in the City Council. Its efforts to find a location Read More