Boy did Roger Toussaint get his butt kicked. Now only did the head of the NYC Transit Workers Union come this close to getting thrown in jail, but he wound up capitulating to the powers that be without having a new contract in hand for his 35,000 union members. Sure, I’m happy that the buses and subways are going back on line. But from a PR perspective, Mr. Toussaint fared (forgive me) abysmally. Even his own VP publicly castigated him.
“This was a disgrace,” said TWU vice president John Mooney. “No details were provided to the executive board. [Toussaint] wants us to discuss the details after Christmas.”
The coup de grace was this item in the Post’s “Page Six,” which had Mr. Toussaint and buddies holed up partying in an upscale Harlem eatery while the public trudged around in bone-chilling 20-degree weather. Even Ken Sunshine, the TWU’s press rep, who has handled Barbra Streisand and others of that ilk, failed to credibly cover for his client.
“They’d just been on the picket line for two hours, and the reason the dinner took so long was that they were working. No one was making light of the strike,” Sunshine claimed.
All the while, Mr. Bloomberg’s stock continues to rise! For two consecutive mornings during the strike, he walked (with an entourage of media in tow) across the Brooklyn Bridge…in spite of living in Manhattan. I guess he took his limo to Brooklyn at the crack of dawn, and then walked back.