N.Y. transit unions fined, warned

Transit worker unions were fined $1 million on contempt charges Tuesday for calling the bus and subway strike that has shut down the city's mass-transit system since April 1.

State Supreme Court Justice John A. Monteleone issued the ruling against the 31,000-member Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union and the Amalgamated Transit Union.

In imposing the fine, Judge Monteleone ordered union leaders to tell their members to go back to work and said if they refused, he might impose additional fines that could be "harsher." The unions said they would appeal the fines.

The judge specifically found the unions and seven of their leaders guilty of criminal contempt for ignoring an injunction against the walkout he issued on March 31, a day before the strike began.

The penalties included 30-day jail terms for union leaders, but Judge Monteleone said he was not imposing them, because management had argued this would be counterproductive, delaying negotiations.

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