The deal allowed both sides to save face: Union leaders flexed their political muscle and vowed to win a fair contract; state negotiators won an end to the strike and gave up nothing at the bargaining table. - LA Times
That is the basic MSM take on the strike. My take on it is that the workers had approached the negotiations with a sense of resolve not to take concessions. After being told to expect an operating deficit, in 2005 the MTA ran a $1 billion surplus and they seem to have decided to spend the surplus by giving holiday riders discounts. Which is great because it supports the tourist industry and grows the economic pie, and I get all of those “macroeconomic” arguments.
But from a "microeconomic" level (from the workers point of view) in contract after contract they had given concessions, why should they continue to do so in an environment of surpluses? You have to see their point, right? I mean it is great to be customer friendly, but at some point you have to be worker friendly.
So this pension thing came in as an 11th hour consession, and became a kind of flashpoint. You don't get this "backstory" anaylisis from the MSM, but click here for a Democracy Now!
debate that gets into some of this. WARNING: If you click on "Democracy Now" you may have a file opened on you at the CIA and the NSA.