Ok, ok thats a bit of an exageration.
But according to Michael Goodwin’s New York Daily News column How the TWU blew it , housing played a role in the Union’s misunderstanding of the MTA surplus.
The MTA showed a $1B surplus when it entered into contract talks with the union. The union claimed that they were entitled to get 8% pay raises because they created the surplus.
The housing boom created the surplus
shelled out hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to subsidize the MTA. Portions of two fairly obscure state taxes – the mortgage recording tax and the property transfer tax – are dedicated to the MTA, and both turned in far higher than expected collections because of the real estate boom.
Goodwin makes several other points in this article but this was the first time I had seen housing tied to the TWU strike. A good read.