Muni workers deserve a good wage. It's a hard job under the best of circumstances. And as Muni tries to keep service on the streets without enough money for equipment and maintenance, workers on the front lines will bear the brunt of the bigger problems. But a lot of people resent the things the union has chosen to ask for in addition to a good wage.
Muni's troubles are multifaceted. They involve bad management, bad street design, bad land use planning, and certainly insufficient funding. But work rules are undeniably part of the issue as well. It cannot be progressive for the TWU, in the middle of the worst financial crisis to hit our country since the Great Depression, to cling to the same work rules it has had in the past. Muni needs TWU to help it be successful.
Gabriel Metcalf is executive director of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR).