The New York Post has some excellent coverage of the strike including some history of past strikes and apparently, my observations from yesterday could have used a little more research.
The Transit Workers Union was formed way back in 1934 and even went on strike in 1966. Back then, the public sector employees were subject to the “Condon-Wadlin Act” which also prohibited city workers from striking, but imposed such harsh penalties that it wasn’t enforced.
Although then Mayor Lindsay acquiesced to the union, Governor Rockefeller commissioned a new panel to reevaluate and redefine the labor arrangement for employees of the public sector. This panel was chaired by George W. Taylor and its recommendations ultimately became The Taylor Law. Striking was still prohibited, but the penalties, while harsh, were more reasonable and thus would have a better chance of being enforced by the courts.
That said, I still share the views of the many angry New Yorkers who are fed up with the union.