Amid negotiations, the city's transportation union rallied Tuesday for a new contract.
The gathering had music, chants and staunch promises never to yield.
TWU Local 100, which represents the city's subway and bus workers, says that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is demanding pay freezes unless they chip in hefty employee benefit contributions.
"There's no way that the transit workers, in light of the work we've done historically and the work we do day in and day out, are taking three zeroes, or any of those other psychotic concessions that they're demanding of us," said John Samuelsen, president of TWU Local 100.
The union's contract expired in January 2012.
Workers say they deserve a good faith contract for what they describe as a heroic effort to keep trains and buses moving during Hurricane Sandy.
The MTA says it won't budge from its plan or negotiate in public.
In 2005, TWU's negotiations with the MTA included a strike that crippled the city.