Statement By Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Regarding The Mta Strike

My office was in court today seeking further sanctions against the transit unions and their leaders.

Last week, we obtained a court order enjoining the unions and their members from striking. As everyone knows, they violated that order.

Accordingly, my office asked the court to hold the TWU in contempt, and to impose fines of $ 1 million per day, doubling every day. The court yesterday agreed that the union was in contempt of its order, and imposed a $1 million per day fine.

We were back in court today, proceeding against two smaller ATU local unions that represent about 3,000 Queens and Staten Island bus line employees, and asked the judge to hold these smaller unions in contempt and to impose fines of $500,000 per day.

The judge found these two local unions in contempt, and imposed per-day fines of $50,000 and $75,000 per day.

Also today, we were requesting contempt sanctions against the leadership of the main TWU union that represents about the vast majority of the transit employees. The union leaders did not appear in court, and so the judge ordered them to appear at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow.

These sanctions are in addition to the statutory Taylor Law sanctions against the individual union members, who are losing two days of pay for every day that they are on strike.

Hopefully, these cumulative sanctions will result in a termination of the strike. If not, my office will be back in court seeking additional penalties until this strike is ended.

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