The former head of the transit union at the Port Authority argues in a letter to a local paper that the union should have a seat on the Board of the Authority. Claiming no group has a bigger stake in the success of the Authority, the union therefore deserves board membership. The former leader is apparently in deep denial about the damage the union has done to the Port Authority’s finances and lack of efficiency.
Here is a reasonable proposal. If the union wants a seat on the board, the Legislature should offer to amend the bill now working its way through the Senate that changes the board appointment powers to include a union member-on one condition. In exchange the union will agree to support a bill to eliminate the power of transit workers to strike.
It is unlikely the union will ever agree voluntarily to give up the right to strike since they view the right to strike as a virtual sacrament of the labor movement. Unions struck armament plants during World War II on the grounds that the right to strike was not to be denied for any reason. Almost all states have figured out that strikes by public employees who deliver key, monopoly provided services cannot be allowed. Pennsylvania just cannot seem to grasp that truth.