SEPTA union picks a convenient time to threaten to strike

Perhaps you've heard that transit workers voted yesterday to authorize a strike, and one could be called by the end of the week -- just in time for the World Series to come to town. The Transport Workers Union's contract expired in March. This is not the first sign that it's willing to play hard ball in negotiations.

I think it's the union's right to use what leverage it has. But this quote, from President Willie Brown, is just insulting to our intelligence:

Brown's message to World Series fans was this: "We're going to do everything we can not to have a strike."

I assume he means "in the context of picking the most problematic possible time for this." Because it's not a coincidence that this is the week he's decided is "the last week we are going to work without a contract."

I know this is an exercise in obviousness, and probably it's not realistic to expect a union chief to turn around and say, "Sorry baseball fans, it's nothing personal, but we're going to be taking advantage of this situation and possibly making getting around this city even more of an unfunny circus than it was last year at this time." But quotes like this shouldn't go unchallenged. I mean come on.

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