Allegheny Conference— Spreading Misinformation about Transit???
|September 11, 2008||Posted by TransitGeek1 under Community Development, Government, Issues, Jobs, Labor, Transportation, Uncategorized, Urban Planning, Western PA|
In the Post-Gazette today, attorney Joseph Pass responds directly to Ken Zapinski of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development’s management-slanted editorial from labor day weekend.
Don’t punish transit workers
Perhaps local corporations should make ‘concessions’
I read with interest the rantings of Ken Zapinski of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development titled, “A Time for Concessions” (Forum, Aug. 31). For four decades, I have proudly served as the attorney for Local 85 of the Amalgamated Transit Union and I negotiated and arbitrated the two most recent contracts between the Chicago Transit Authority and the unions to which Mr. Zapinski alluded in his article. Let’s get the facts straight….. (read entire article)
I’m so happy to finally hear some analysis of the situation from the workers’ side. The messages that have dominated the public discourse around the Port Authority budget so far have been so obviously engineered by the Port Authority board and executives (and the corporate and political leaders who put them there.) I just can’t believe that it’s either the full story or that their positions are in the best interest of my community and my family.
As a city resident who supports a strong, better!, public transit system, I’m deeply suspicious of any proposal to save transit that will end up hurting the families of all of the unionized Port Authority workers. I’ve been suspicious that there’s been a whole other side to the story than what we’re getting on PAT’s websites: pghtransitinfo.com and portauthority.org (PR which we, taxpayers, are footing the bill for). Messages pernicously mimicked in and around all things Allegheny Conference for Comm. Development. http://www.alleghenyconference.org and nocommuterleftbehind.wordpress.com/
More commentary later from me, for now I’ll just agree with Mr. Pass when he writes:
In the meantime, if the Allegheny Conference is interested in the development of this community, it ought to seek ways to fund transit other than on the backs of workers. Since public transit is vital to the economic growth of this community, as recognized most recently by the fact finder appointed to analyze Port Authority contract issues, perhaps the conference should urge local corporations to buy bus passes for their employees. Better yet, when corporate America and/or its CEOs make exorbitant profits or wages, perhaps we could tax them to subsidize transit. Their backs are bigger and better able to sustain “concessions” than those of the working men and women who provide transit service to our community.