Over the weekend, President Obama signed an executive order to end a transit strike in Philadelphia less than 24 hours after it began. The strike “threaten[ed] to snarl the Monday commute for thousands in the Philadelphia region”, as the WSJ reports:
President Barack Obama created a presidential emergency board Saturday under a provision of the Railway Labor Act and appointed three arbitrators to help resolve the dispute. Train service was restored Sunday. […]
The unions are seeking a 3% pay enhancement they say is equivalent to a pension improvement that 6,000 other unionized workers received in 2009. Septa has balked, saying the other workers contributed more out of their pay for the improved pension benefits.
The President chose to intervene on behalf of the consumers of government services, rather than those reliable Democratic supporters, the unions. This is just another battle in the blue civil war, as we call it: many of the Democrats’ constituencies have contradictory interests, and the party’s coalition is beginning to look shaky. As Rahm Emmanuel discovered in Chicago, when public-sector unions fight the taxpayers, it’s the Democratic Party that bleeds.