Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of the 2005 transit strike, something many New Yorkers aren't likely to remember with much fondness. But as NY1's Jose Martinez reports, the two-and-half-day strike has had long-lasting effects on the union behind the walkout.
"The Local 100 executive board has voted overwhelmingly to extend strike action to all MTA properties immediately," then-union chief Roger Touissant said.
That was a decade ago, as Touissant and more than 30,000 transit workers walked off the job, leaving millions of New Yorkers out in the cold during the first transit strike since 1980.
"I'm walking to 135th Street and I hate cold!" said one frustrated commuter.
City and MTA officials dueled bitterly in public with union leaders.
"The leadership of the TWU has thuggishly turned their backs on New York City," said then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
"Make no mistake, these are bullying tactics," said Peter Kalikow, then-Chairman of the MTA.
"We are not thugs, we are not selfish, we are not greedy!" countered Toussaint.
But they reached a tentative labor deal days before Christmas, as trains and buses rolled again following a two-and-a-half-day strike.
It clobbered businesses and residents, cost the union more than $2 million in fines for violating the state's anti-strike Taylor law and landed Toussaint in jail for three days.
He says he has no regrets.
"In the case of transit workers, we left behind a legacy of standing up and fighting for respect," Toussaint said.
Toussaint, now retired and living in Georgia, returned to the city Saturday for a ten year commemoration.
"Because the strike was successful with respect to what we struck over, it is worth commemorating," Toussaint said Saturday.
While the strike staggered a historically militant union, Local 100's current leader maintains it's still a political force.
"That militant spirit is there," said current transit union president John Samuelsen. "It's 10 years later, we're building the organization back. And certainly the idea that Local 100 will never strike again is simply not true."
Experts say a new labor contract in 2014 shows the union can still get things done.
"Last year, they actually got more health benefits," said Steve Malanga of Manhattan Institute. "Nobody's winning more health benefits these days."
The 2005 transit strike was the third in the city's history — and also it's shortest, following walkouts that last 12 days in 1966 and 11 in 1980.