The Amalgamated Transit Union’s bottomless pit of ingratitude is on display once again. A union that was granted a reprieve from massive layoffs in March through an ill-advised approval by the SPC to become a conduit for Federal money intended for other purposes is now complaining that PAT should spend all the $45 million immediately to avoid any layoffs rather than spread it out over a year so as to minimize necessary cuts later. Predictably, the union spokesman says spend it all now and thereby force the Legislature to come up with a plan to provide more money for the Port Authority next year and the years following.
This is the same union that has garnered for itself (through threat of strikes) some of the best pay and benefit packages in the nation and yet refuses to make any concessions to help the Authority become more cost effective and operationally efficient.
And it now has the audacity to expect the state government to bend to its demands and come up with more money for the Authority. Why would anyone be surprised at this audacious behavior? The union’s intransigence has always been rewarded with more funding from one source or another. They hold the public and transit users hostage because they can and Harrisburg or Washington has always capitulated. Why would they believe the present situation is any different?
But, this time it might very well be different. The state has no money to give the Port Authority to solve its endless financial mess and, given the recent election results, there is a strong likelihood that some many members of the Legislature will be looking for solutions to the Port Authority’s high cost, inefficient service that do not require ever increasing expenditure of taxpayer dollars.
By its latest complaint about how the gift of $45 million will be spent the union leadership has made it perfectly clear that it is incapable of gratitude and is hopelessly selfish and greedy with no concern for anyone but themselves. That will definitely not play well in a financially strapped Harrisburg. Perhaps it’s just as well. Even previously sympathetic legislators must be taken aback and concerned over this blatant display of union narcissism.