U.S. District Judge Lawrence Kahn has just ruled that Patterson and the Albany lawmakers who went along with his plan to punish what Pierre Bourdieu calls “the left hand of the state” – municipal employees like teachers who maintain the social democratic wing of the state – cannot carry their plan forward until he rules on union lawsuits that challenge this move.
According to Kahn, unions have successfully demonstrated that a permanent 20 percent loss in wages or salaries would constitute irreparable harm. This is an incredibly important decision since it prevents New York from establishing a precedent similar to the horrendous one in California.
But the news isn’t all bread and roses. Thousands of employees of the Metropolitan Transit Authority are still going to lose their jobs, for example. This isn’t just pain for MTA employees, It will also mean that more of the booths at subway stations become vacant, making the subway system more dangerous and dysfunctional. But then the rich in NYC probably don’t use the subway anyway.
In other local news, according to an article in the New York Times, someone paid nearly $29 million dollars for a painting of the U.S. flag by Jasper Johns. Wonder why this individual didn’t manifest her or his patriotism by using that money to support the working people who keep this country going? Wonder why the governor won’t raise taxes on people who have $29 million dollars at their disposal for a painting.
My union, the Professional Staff Congress, was one of four public-employee unions that brought the suit to stop Patterson and the legislature from putting us on furlough. What a great victory for solidarity and collective resistance!
Here’s a copy of the judge’s restraining order.
And here’s to stopping the ravenous zombies who are destroying the country and the planet from eating all our brains!