For what it's worth, this angry op-ed from The Observer expresses my feelings about the strike exactly.
DOES IT MATTER TO MR. TOUSSAINT that the people he is hurting most are less-affluent workers who don't have the luxury of working at home in front of a computer, who can't simply blow off a few days around the holidays? These workers--health and hospital staff, clerks, salespeople, cashiers and others--simply have to get to work somehow. And they are finding a way to do so, but no thanks to Mr. Toussaint. He is costing them time and, if for some reason they can't get to work or show up late, he's costing them money. Many of these lower middle-class and middle-class workers don't receive 8 percent annual raises and have very little in the way of public health benefits and a pension. These are the people Mr. Toussaint is victimizing. This is a brutal attack on the working poor and low-income New Yorkers who depend on mass transit.
I think the strike will prove to be a massive miscalculation on the part of the TWU. The only question is how long it will take them to figure it out.
On the other hand, I was on the Upper East Side for a few hours yesterday, and seeing Madison and Fifth Avenue entirely free of cars for as far as the eye could see was truly magical. They should have special car-free holidays on celebrated Manhattan streets throughout the year -- that is, without filling them up with street fairs and parades. Soho without cars would be absolutely brilliant.