Transit union appeals to the U.N. to help overturn ban on strikes
Transit workers are taking their gripes all the way to the U.N.
The Transport Workers Union Local 100 filed a challenge in Switzerland to the Taylor Law, the state rule barring transit strikes. The union is gunning for the International Labor Organization — the world’s top dog for workplace legal questions — to recommend overturning the law.
In the 17-page complaint filed Wednesday, the union states that the law enactedin 1967 is a “severe violation” of international labor standards. The Taylor Law also posses heavy fines and jail time for transit unions that strike.
The U.N. group is likely to side with the union, as it has in other cases involving collective bargaining, said Lance Compa, an international labor law expert at Cornell University.
“I think it’s a very solid complaint,” Compa said.
The organization takes at least a year to make its decisions, and while they are not legally binding, but they can influence decisions by local lawmakers, Compa said.
In 2005, the union was socked with a $2.5 million fine after it paralyzed the city with the illegal strike.
The union is currently at odds with the MTA about its contract, and a judge is considering whether to overturn it. The complaint is unrelated to the contract dispute and union leaders are not considering a strike, a spokesman said.
The MTA did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.