Brooklyn Supreme Court's Justice Theodore Jones nailed the transit union with a huge $2.5 million fine yesterday, plus ordered the union to stop collecting dues, and the Transport Workers Union vowed to appeal the decision. The loss for the TWU could be over $7 million all told, since the TWU takes in $1.6 million in dues each month and the union cannot appeal the dues payment stoppage for three months. The TWU will now have to collect fines on the individual basis, and who knows how successul that will be. Naturally, the MTA appreciated the ruling, saying, "In light of the decision by the TWU leadership last December to willfully violate the Taylor Law and disrupt the lives of millions of New Yorkers, we respect the ruling of the court." The Reverend Jesse Jackson, along with the Reverend Al Sharpton, was present for the fines hearing, and complained that the ruling means unions cannot fight back. You can read TWU president Roger Toussaint's court statement, proclaiming that transit workers were engaging in civil disobedience. With the appeal, Gothamist wonders if the fine will be reduced further, as Justice Jones already knocked off half a million - it seems that since the Taylor Law is in place, the TWU has to be punished in some way, like it or not.

The Daily News puts the blame on Toussaint. And the TWU's revote of the transit contract should conclude today.

The NY Times front page on December 21, 2005