Today, 8,000 bus workers and aides went on strike in New York City at 6a.m. this morning to protest the city’s attempts to cut costs by putting their contracts up for bid to private bus companies. The last time school bus drivers went on strike in New York City was in 1979, when the strike lasted 14 days.

The current contracts expire in June, and Mayor Bloomberg has said that they must seek competitive bids for cost-cutting measures (the Amalgamated Transit Union had asked for job protections for current drivers) and that the New York Court of Appeals prevented such agreements because of competitive bidding laws.

Just as the Chicago teachers did before them when they claimed they were striking “for the children,” the Amalgamated Transit Union has released an ad that not only implies children will suffer horrific accidents if their contracts are not improved, but that the strike truly is about the children, not their contracts:

The majority of students in New York City do not use the state-provided buses but rather use public transportation or walk, excepting special-needs students who rely on the buses for their transport.

If the Bloomberg v. Union showdown proceeds as the Rahm v. Union did this summer, next will come t-shirts, floats in parades, partying with violent and radical neo-fascists, and eventual capitulation by the mayor.

For the children.