Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Technology Circumvents NYC Transit Strike

The shutdown of New York City’s public transit system hasn’t affected some local businesses thanks to wireless and mobile technologies.
December 22, 2005

Strikes are the last, most powerful resort for unions hoping to gain some leverage in contract battles with management. But if New York City is a testing ground, unions may be facing a troubling future.

The NYC transit workers went on strike this week, hoping that a shutdown of city transportation would bring City Hall to its knees, and force the government to acquiesce to wage and benefit hikes. According to this Associate Press report, however, despite the shutdown, it’s basically business as usual for many local companies, who have simply allowed their employees to work remotely.

Clearly, there are a lot of jobs in New York City for which working from home is not an option, such as in retail and the service industry. But for segments like the financial industry, technology makes a big difference, said Frank Lichtenberg, professor of economics at Columbia Business School.

The strike “does still represent a significant disruption,” he said, but “clearly this information technology has reduced the cost of this kind of disruption and made it somewhat easier to bear.”

As someone who grew up in a union town – and who has seen what can happen to workers that don’t have some protection from management – the phrase “easier to bear” sends chills through my bones. Strikes are meant to force action, not become simply a minor inconvenience.

However, it’s also somewhat comforting to realize that technology has permeated our cities to the point that what used to be major disruptions have become minor speed bumps.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

conceptual illustration of a heart with an arrow going in on one side and a cursor coming out on the other
conceptual illustration of a heart with an arrow going in on one side and a cursor coming out on the other

Forget dating apps: Here’s how the net’s newest matchmakers help you find love

Fed up with apps, people looking for romance are finding inspiration on Twitter, TikTok—and even email newsletters.

computation concept
computation concept

How AI is reinventing what computers are

Three key ways artificial intelligence is changing what it means to compute.

still from Embodied Intelligence video
still from Embodied Intelligence video

These weird virtual creatures evolve their bodies to solve problems

They show how intelligence and body plans are closely linked—and could unlock AI for robots.

We reviewed three at-home covid tests. The results were mixed.

Over-the-counter coronavirus tests are finally available in the US. Some are more accurate and easier to use than others.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.