Early this morning, a report in the New York Daily News broke the story that the powerful law firm of Proskauer Rose abruptly quit the MTA. Pete Donohue has more in this report:
A powerhouse law firm that has represented the MTA in labor negotiations for two decades abruptly quit after becoming concerned agency honchos were getting too friendly with labor, sources said.
Proskauer Rose was concerned transit officials weren’t being candid about their dealings with the union, and the law firm feared it couldn’t adequately represent the Metropolitan Transportation Authority if it was shut out of secret agreements between the two sides, sources said.
The firm walked away in February days after NYC Transit President Howard Roberts held the first meeting with an arbitration panel – without inviting Proskauer lawyers or the MTA’s director of labor relations, sources said.
The agency turned to another firm, Littler Mendelson, to represent its interest in front of the arbitration panel.
Just last week, the panel granted the union a generous pact with annual pay hikes totaling more than 11% by the end of the three-year deal.
It also%A0lowered workers’ health care contributions.
The binding contract will cost the MTA another $350 million a year – at a time when it’s gone begging to Albany for more aid and raised fares to keep from going broke.
Proskauer has a reputation for aggressively fighting labor and has gone head-to-head with Transport Workers Union Local 100 for years, including court fights related to the union’s illegal 2005 strike.
Click here for the complete report.
The allegation from the Proskauer Rose camp caught my attention considering it is known of the war between the MTA & its blue-collar workforce. I wish they would provide some specific details that led them to take this stance. As of this moment, my gut tells me there is more to this story. I will keep an eye on anything that comes from it in the near future.