Days after the end of a strike by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) workers that caused massive headaches for the region, California Governor Jerry Brown put a stop to a strike by Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192 that was scheduled for Thursday.
The move Tuesday came less than two days before 1,600 drivers and mechanics were to walk off their jobs in protest over rising health care costs, wages and other issues. The strike would have affected about 181,000 riders in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
Two points to make about this. First, Jerry Brown will be long gone by the time riders can take the Edmund G Brown Memorial High Speed Rail from Palmdale to Tehachapi, so he’ll never have to deal with what happens when the rail workers decide to walk off the job. If California’s rosy predictions for the future of this project are even remotely realistic, what will happen when all of those people who the Rail Authority project will commute from Fresno to Bakersfield are suddenly stranded and have no way to get to work? Even if the High Speed Rail works as it was sold to us, it still has a built-in failure thanks to Jerry Brown unionizing state workers all those years ago.
Second, columnist Mike Royko coined the name Governor Moonbeam in the 1970s, and it wasn’t a term of endearment. In 1979, the Dead Kennedys released the song “California Über Alles,” which imagined a scenario in which Jerry Brown sent the people of California to hippie death camps. The Overton Window has shifted so far on Democratic Party policies that Jerry Brown is now a moderate Democrat.