Are there more chilling words than "subway workers on strike"? The Transit Workers Union is not above considering a strike for its bus and subway workers, because its negotiations with the MTA over a new contract have been moving slowly. The contract talks have been happening since October 14, with a number of issues to discuss (single-person operated trains, token both closings), but the latest thing to upset the MTA is how the MTA has essentially spent its $1 billion surplus before meeting with them. The discounted holiday fares and holiday unlimited Metrocards, for instance, cost the agency $50-100 million; the union calls this effort a way for the MTA to buy public good will, and Gothamist can hardly argue with that. Mayor Bloomberg is warning against a strike, reminding New Yorkers that a strike is against the law, no matter how much you might agree with the union. Mayor Mike: Stop talking and make the MTA and union settle this. This could be your holiday gift to us - and we've technically been good in your book since you were reelected!

And one MTA board member (a non-voting one, though) wants to offer free December 31 rides once again to encourage people not to use their cars on New Year's Eve.