To Strike or Not to Strike?
That Was the Question
It just so happened that three of our lovely Speaker candidates piped up back in 2002, the last time a threat of a transit strike rolled around. Here's what Speaker candidates de Blasio, Rivera and Weprin had to say:
On the steps of City Hall yesterday, City Councilman Hiram Monserrate, a Queens Democrat, and eight Democratic Council colleagues called on Gov. George E. Pataki to intervene.
"The reality is a strike would be absolutely devastating," said Councilman Bill de Blasio, of Brooklyn.
But some council members, including Joel Rivera of the Bronx, voiced support for raises. "What they are asking for is a fair pay increase, which is long overdue," he said.
Councilman David I. Weprin, chairman of the Finance Committee, noted that the city was still recovering from last year's terrorist attacks and now facing property tax increases of 18.5 percent. "With a post-Sept. 11 mentality and increased property taxes, there are already people leaving New York," he said. "A strike would be a major disincentive. We could see people leaving the city in large numbers."
- The New York Times, December 9, 2002