Victory! That’s what occurred for working people everywhere last night as the NYC Transit Workers Union’s negotiation with the MTA resulted in a new labor agreement. This following a week of demonizing of the union by every major media outlet and even mayor Bloomberg taking shots at the union with his posing as a cyclist and saying that a strike would be a “disaster”. Despite the threat of enormous fines and jail if they should go on strike. Despite all these union breaking tactics… the Union stayed strong and an agreement was reached. The agreement includes a 6 percent pay-raise over 3 years, an overhaul of the desciplinary system and 280 million from the MTA going towards the workers’ insurance plan.

“illegal strike” is how the NYTimes and virtually every NYC newspaper describes the potential strike that would have been carried out because management would not negotiate. Throughout the past weeks the MTA, with all of its money and influence has been able to completely frame the conflict with the Union depicted as “greedy” and “breaking the law”, making no mention of the horrendous disciplinary system that existed and the racism that underlined those policies. But their smear campaign was not strong enough to break the union and they achieved their goals, a new labor agreement that will improve the conditions of their work and therefore their lives. No, they didn’t have to strike. But one day in the future, they may have to, and that is their right as workers, regardless of what the media or the politicians say.