FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2005
STATEMENT FROM MAYOR BLOOMBERG ON ILLEGAL WORK STOPPAGE BY THE TWU
"Tonight, Roger Toussaint and the TWU have taken the illegal and morally reprehensible action of ordering a citywide strike of our mass transit system.
"The contingency plan that we outlined last week will go into effect and be implemented for Tuesday morning's rush hour. Among other measures, HOV lanes have been designated; Police checkpoints are being established and a new fare structure for taxis is in effect. The entire contingency plan can be viewed on www.nyc.gov.
"At this hour, City Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo is joining the MTA in requesting an emergency hearing in front of Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Theodore Jones. We will seek to show that the TWU is in contempt of the court's earlier injunction and ask the court to impose severe fines on the union and its members.
"I hope Judge Jones will grant this motion as quickly as possible. The union must understand there are real and significant consequences to their actions.
"For their own selfish reasons, the TWU has decided that their demands are more important than the law, the City and the people they serve. This is not only an affront to the concept of public service; it is a cowardly attempt by Roger Toussaint and the TWU to bring the City to its knees to create leverage for their own bargaining position. We cannot give the TWU the satisfaction of causing the havoc they desperately seek to create.
"Going forward, we will need to be patient, considerate and resilient. We can't let inconveniences, as massive as they are, stop our economy, shut down our schools, or jeopardize public safety.
"It will no doubt be a difficult time for people of this City and the region as a whole. But New Yorkers have made a habit of pulling through tough times and showing doubters what we're made of. These traits will be put to the test as long as this strike lasts.
"Rush hour will begin in few hours. I will join fellow New Yorkers going to work by walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to lower Manhattan. Let's show our determination by walking, cycling or carpooling, to get to work and school.
"We will show that New York City works even when our buses and subways don't. I have no doubt that, by working together, we can and will get through this.
"Thank you and have a good night."
Edward Skyler (212) 788-2958
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