When the embattled Transit Workers Union hired former Gavin Newsom political svengali Eric Jaye, many martial analogies ensued. One city politico we talked to predicted labor war. The term “going to the mattresses” was evoked. One fellow political consultant likened the Muni drivers' union's move to “bringing an atomic bomb to a gunfight.”
Jaye sidesteps any such language (though he appreciates the “atomic bomb” comment). Like Rodney King, he wonders why everyone can't just get along. But make no mistake: The Transit Workers Union was tired of getting pushed around — and it hired one of the most effective political operators in the realm to push back. And while Jaye makes his money running campaigns, it seems he's been brought in here to prevent a campaign — specifically, Supervisor Sean Elsbernd's nascent charter amendment which would assail Muni drivers' pay.
“There's a ballot measure pending and we run campaigns. Unless folks come to their senses, it looks like there's going to be a campaign,” Jaye told SF Weekly. “We would like the transit workers to not be the scapegoats for the mismanagement of the municipal railway system.”