‘‘I don’t see the city backing down,’’ said John Hancock, a lawyer with the firm Butzel Long who has represented Michigan school districts in teacher strikes. ‘‘It’s not so much a labor dispute. It’s blackmail.’’
But Ed Ott, the former head of the New York City Labor Council who is now a distinguished lecturer in labor studies at the Murphy Institute at the City University of New York, said, ‘‘From the workers’ point of view, the bidding process leaves them no option but to fight for their jobs ... They kind of have their backs to the wall.’’
The city’s last school bus strike, in 1979, lasted 14 weeks. Bloomberg said at his news conference, ‘‘I hope this is not going to last a long time but it’s not going to last past June.’’
Associated Press writers Eileen AJ Connelly and Verena Dobnik contributed to this report.