Thank You Mayor Bloomberg for Beating the Bus Union

One may think the cheers heard from New York City are from school kids happy that all school buses are now running again but indeed all New Yorkers should be celebrating the victory of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg against Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181.  9,000 New York City school unionized drivers have been on strike, inconveniencing 113,000 school kids and their families, and now the strike is over with the city’s largest school bus drivers union agreeing to return to work.

New York City isn’t an easy place to challenge unions – especially in the dead of winter and when kids are involved.  But Bloomberg did it and thankfully he won. The strike was sparked by Bloomberg’s decision to allow open and competitive bidding on NYC school bus contracts for the first time in 33 years to reduce costs and adapt to changed needs. As a New York City tax-payer I say thank you Mr. Bloomberg.  These absurdly high costs are covered by hard-working tax-payers.

As even the liberal New York Times reported, NYC school buses kids cost almost $7,000 a year for each bus passenger.  Comparatively, Los Angeles spends $3,200, Chicago $5,000, and Miami $1,000. The union’s strike offended many New Yorkers, reeking of entitlement.  In what sane world is pricing not competitive – and why would anyone think they have the right to be guaranteed work?

Taxes in New York City are already absurdly out of control.  As Mayor Bloomberg explained when refusing to meet the drivers “The terms of the bid are clearly only price, and we’ve got to get the best price for the city. We have an obligation to save the taxpayers’ money.” How could any sane person possibly object to that statement? In the greatest capitalist city in America how can anyone believe free-market economics to be wrong?

NYC school bus drivers are paid for eight hours of work each day, while few drive more than five or six hours, and many of the senior drivers with the highest wages work the fewest number of hours. Bloomberg rightfully refused to force winning bidders to hire union workers, and sent the very clear message that the best man will be employed for the job, not a system of entitlement.

As Bloomberg said “…the end of this strike reflects the fact that when we say we put children first, we mean it.” He is absolutely right as business is about being competitive.  New York State is already ranked by The Tax Foundation as the worst state in the nation to start a business.  New Yorkers who earn six-figures can expect to pay more than 50% in taxes between federal, state and local taxes. Business is about being competitive every single day, and those of us who pay taxes have no guaranteed income – why should bus drivers?

In a recent issue of the New York Post, the President of the Local 1181 union is quoted as telling his members, “This war is not over.” It is the one point on which I will agree with the union. As a lifelong New York resident, and entrepreneur of a PR firm I agree this war is not over.  We will not sit down and allow someone to be paid a full day’s wage if they don’t work a full day.

Decent, hard working Americans will insist and demand that prices are competitive and fair, and ensure that everyone is made aware that job protection is a non-capitalist concept. This union wants to take advantage of New Yorkers and we won’t stand it.

Thank you Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

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  • UCSPanther

    Bloomberg did one thing right for a change, but that still doesn't excuse his asinine crusade against gun rights.

  • Nate Whilk

    Absolutely. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. And now he’s funneling money to influence the election of Jesse Jackson Jr.’s replacement. Mess up your own state, Bloomberg!

  • Anthony

    Union thugs looked like homeless hordes during their protests, these are the “professionals” that fat, big mouthed union chief praised when he boldly announced the start of the strike?

    These union paracites are big democratics, big liberals and typical low education folks who can be replaced by trained chimps to be quite honest.

    Bloomberg needs to disarm his publically paid security detail. In addition, he should be forced to walk and ride the city subways and streets rather than be chauffeured around like all politicians. Maybe that way, Bloomberg will see the epidemic of social disorder, spitting, thugs intimidating taxpayers, drug addicts from the Occupy movement in possession of dangerous Pit Bull Mastifs, etc. it is not important that this whining putz chooses to focus on styrofoam and sugar drinks.

    So the union crybabies got just what they deserved, and Bloomberg still ignores real issues to satisfy his need to control thing the government has no right interfering with.

  • EchoVector

    So. He managed to do the right thing., One can only speculate as to why, but altruism damned sure isn't the reason, bank that.

    He's still a cretin that needs to be tarred, feathered and run out on a rail.

    Hitler built great roads. That hardly absolves him of his atrocities, does it?

    Same thing with this anti-American asshat.

  • Tammy

    It was such a nice article. I should have stopped reading when it was over, but no, I kept reading. I found sputters of words full of opinion too overgrown with mouth bacteria like bad-tasting words. Be nice. People read what you say and would like to care about what you think.

  • Alex Kovnat

    On the matter of that school bus strike, I support Mayor Bloomberg as though there were no gun issue.

    At the same time., I shall oppose Bloomberg on the matter of firearms, as though there were no school bus issue.

  • Questions

    This is a good piece. I know all about the "broken clock" argument, but I'm not buying it. Michael Bloomberg, first and foremost, like the recently departed Ed Koch, loves his city. He tries to do right by New Yorkers as a whole. Yes, he's further to the left than we'd like, but he still sticks up for the city when the situation calls for it.

    ATU Local 1181, by the way, has a long history of corruption. For years, until about 2006, it operated as a virtual subsidiary of the Genovese crime family. This was not a "nice" labor union.

  • Kathleen3

    This is just one more power play by a tiny wantabe despot. He could care less about the taxpayers and is driven only by his insatiable desire for power. Getting the best of a corrupt union is viewed as today's meal. Tomorrow he will be on to something else, such as deciding who will fill Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s seat in IL.

    • Questions

      Exactly how does a New York City mayor decide how to fill a vacant congressional seat in Illinois? This must be an unusual provision of the Constitution.

  • @quark1912

    If NYC school bus drivers are not satisfied with the wages they are offered they are free to find work elsewhere. I highly recommend it as some years ago I got a 20% rise in pay by changing employers.

  • John

    Well done Mayor Bloomberg!