2006_04_rogerint.jpgMTA Chairman Peter Kalikow called the Transport Workers Union December 2005 transit strike a "criminal act committed against riders" and refused to revote on the post-strike offer that the TWU rejected then accepted. He also told the MTA board that he begged Transport Workers Union head Roger Toussaint to continue negotiatingduring pre-strike negotiations last December.

"I pleaded with Roger Toussaint not to leave. I begged him. I can't remember the last time I begged somebody to do something, but I did that night. I said, 'Roger, don't leave,' and Roger got up and walked out and sent his union out on an illegal strike."

Toussaint, for his part, is on the cover of the Daily News, as he grants them an exclusive interview from The Tombs. He says that his fellow inmates and the correction officers think he's a hero. Toussaint also thinks the union will prevail in getting the contract agreed to, saying that Kalikow is trying to back out of the deal because Governor Pataki didn't like it. Kalikow tells the Daily News that accepting the originally rejected offer "violates the principles of the collective bargaining process if you allow union or management to turn something down, hope for a better deal and, when they don't get it, insist on getting the old deal back." [Speaking of deals, have you see Kalikow's sick collection of classic cars?]

The Straphangers' Gene Russianoff thinks the MTA is making a mistake and believes Kalikow "still harbors a very personal grudge from the December negotiations." Russianoff also told the board, in hopes of convincing them to take the dela, "Right now, you have the unenviable record of having the worst labor relations in the near 40-year existence of the MTA." Sadly, it sounds like this is all about arbitration.