“At the time I wrote the opinion, it had no application to anybody,” Carnevale said.
At the news conference, Villaraigosa chided reporters for depicting the nine other members of the MTA board as being unanimous in their opposition to arbitration as a way out of the logjam. The implication was that he and the other three previously locked-out members could form a new majority to counter the hardliners.
He mentioned no names, but blasted both sides for “vitriol,” “finger-pointing” and “chest-pounding.”
Ludlow noted that “to get an agreement, everybody’s got to hurt a little bit.” So far, though, the only hurt has been felt by the nearly half-million bus riders who have spent a month hitching, carpooling, walking or skipping work altogether.
Meanwhile, there was some hope, however slim, of a breakthrough in the grocery strike as representatives of the three major chains sat down with union leaders for the first time in weeks. But that strike is no longer a regional phenomenon. Grocery pickets have sprung up across the country as members of the United Food and Commercial Workers attempt to block their employers’ attempts to get them to share a chunk of rising health insurance premiums. The hope on both sides was to get a settlement by Thanksgiving — to get customers into the stores to buy and cart home turkeys, and to get paychecks to striking families so they can bring home turkeys and fixings of their own. If the strike is still on, both sides say it may well go on into next year.