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Jay Gould Haunts Bus Drivers

Michael Bloomberg is channeling Jay Gould, the robber baron of the 20th Century. Gould once said, roughly, that he could get one half of the working class to kill the other half. Bloomberg is on that agenda, setting workers and parents against each other, with the bottom line being yet another chink likely to be taken out of a middle class-paying job.

The bus drivers in New York City may be close to calling off their strike:

Leaders of the largest union for New York City school bus drivers are considering whether to end their monthlong strike, potentially handing a victory to the Bloomberg administration, which had refused to give in to the union’s demands for job protections.

Lawrence J. Hanley, the international president of the union, the Amalgamated Transit Union, said the executive board members were meeting on Friday afternoon and would vote on whether to continue the strike, which began Jan. 16. He said those union leaders planned to inform their members of the outcome of the vote in a conference call Friday evening.

Mr. Hanley said leaders of Local 1181, the union chapter that called the strike, were trying “to achieve consensus about which way to go forward,” but he was unsure what positions were being staked out by which officials.

With a demand that would cut their pay potentially in half, the union’s leader has it right:

“As Local 1181 further contemplates the direction this strike will take, a few things are decidedly clear: that Mayor Bloomberg has shown an alarming lack of leadership throughout this entire process, instead opting to divide our city,” Mr. Cordiello said. “He has put the children, especially those who need the safety and experience that our membership provides the most, at risk.”

But, the strategy the billionaire mayor used might just work, ugly as it is: pit the bus drivers, who are trying to hang on to a decent living, versus working parents who have had a hell of a time trying to get their kids to school during the strike. Classic Jay Gould. Ugly, despicable and, yet, predictable from the mayor who has not understanding of what it means to try to get by every day.

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