Take a hike
Looks likely that we’ll see a transit strike here in Boston. The MBTA (the “T”) provides free health care benefits to its retirees. One-third of its employees are eligible to retire in the next five years (many several years short of Medicare eligibility), of course health care costs are rising fast, and the T already has a large deficit and has made cuts everywhere except in staff and benefits.
On the other side, unions quite rightly see health care benefits as a major accomplishment that they are loathe to relinquish.
The T can’t keep providing free health care benefits to retirees. The union can’t easily back down. Expect a fight and maybe a strike.
Will a strike help riders improve their health by walking instead of riding? Probably not. Most will end up driving and not even walking to their bus or train stop.
See MBTA talks with unions may target healthcare in the Boston Globe.March 6, 2006