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COVID-19 Testing Program for Transit Workers Getting Results

COVID-19 testing at MTA bus depots, rail yards, and other transit properties, identified 20 workers who had the contagious virus – but didn’t know it. As a result, those 20 workers managed to get medical attention, and quarantine themselves, more quickly. Testing continues to take place at bus and subway locations across the system to impede the spread.

]“This is exactly why we asked for this testing and screening program - to identify transit workers with the virus before they show symptoms like fever and fatigue,” TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano said. “This enables our members to get medical attention more quickly, and isolate themselves at home, so they don’t inadvertently pass the virus to others on the job or in their community.”

TWU Local 100 strongly advocated for this workforce screening initiative, starting with the release of our 10-Point Plan for a Re-Opened NYC in the spring. It is an ongoing program, and the schedule of locations is updated weekly on the MTA portal. Since late October, 3,027 workers have been tested on Transit property with 20 positive results. Another 278 visited a Northwell Urgent Care center for testing, 18 tested positive.

Transit workers are testing positive for COVID-19 at a lower rate than the citywide average, which has been at approximately 3%. The rate for workers who were tested at work is .66 percent. The positivity rate for transit workers, including the Northwell testing, is approximately 1%.

“We are working hard to fight this virus,” Utano said. “The vice presidents and officers are constantly monitoring the situation and pushing the MTA to do more. We have to remain vigilant and work together, and that includes wearing your masks, especially when indoors.”

MaBSTOA Mounts White Line Safety Campaign

Don’t move your bus if riders are not maintaining a safe distance of at least six feet during a pandemic.
 
That’s the message TWU Local 100 officers and shop stewards delivered to Bus Operators at two big hubs in the Bronx last week as they launched the division’s “White Line Campaign.”
 
The officers and stewards, led by MaBSTOA Vice President Richard Davis, spoke to Bus Operators at two major hubs: White Plains Road/Pelham Parkway and White Plains Road/Gun Hill Road.
 
“All passengers have to be standing behind the white line at all times,” Chief Shop Steward Monique Rondon, explained. “If for some reason your bus is too crowded, stop and call control. Let control take command of the bus. Do not move the bus with people in front of your white line.”
 
Davis said he decided to launch the campaign after Bus Operators at recent shop-gate meetings reported white line infractions. The union delegation also urged Bus Operators to wear their masks properly and keep the partitions extended when riders are boarding or exiting. The outreach will continue at other bus stops in the Bronx and Manhattan, Davis said.

 

Liberty Lines Operator Honored for Saving a Baby's Life

Liberty Lines Bus Operator Anthony McPhail was walking out of a Yonkers deli after a coffee break when he heard a woman scream that her 4-month-old son was not breathing, CBS News reported. He cleared the child’s airway, performed CPR and saved the boy’s life. You can see the story here.

Brother McPhail (in uniform wearing black mask) was honored by Westchester elected officials, including State Senator Shelley Mayer (D-Yonkers). On hand from the TWU were Private Lines VP Pete Rosconi and Division Chair Carlos Bernabel.

Brother McPhail credits his CPR training with the save and urges everyone to learn CPR.

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We Choose to Fight: Union Not Agreeing to Concessions

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Stations Dept Mourns S/A Luis Gilberto Torres, Jr., 59

Stations Department mourns Station Agent Luis Gilberto Torres, Jr., 59. A US Marine Corps veteran, Brother Torres had 14 years of service with NYCT when he was found deceased at his home last Tuesday. The cause of death has not been determined. Brother Torres most recently worked at the 116th Street Station in Harlem.

Stations VP Robert Kelley said: “The Stations family has lost a dedicated public servant who moved New York every day. He will be missed.” Station Agent Garrett Windley, who worked with Brother Torres, said, "He was always in good spirits, and he didn't allow the job or life to stress him. He was always smiling and very kind."

Among other siblings, Brother Torres leaves his brother Carlos, a Bus Operator at TA Surface.

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Union Mourns Mae Richardson, Aunt of Assemblywoman Latrice Walker and Union Member

IB ImageLocal 100 is sad to report the passing of Mae Richardson, a member of TWU Local 100 for over 30 years, and the aunt of Assemblywoman Latrice Walker (D-Brownsville). Sister Richardson worked both at the East New York and at the Harlem Depots during her career with NYCT. There will be a viewing on Saturday, November 21 from 4pm to 6pm at the Bright Light Baptist Church at 1676 Park Place in Brooklyn. A Home Going Service will be held at the same location immediately following the viewing.

Utano, Samuelsen to MTA: We Choose to Fight

Today the TWU blasted the MTA for a doomsday 2021 budget that has extreme service and job cuts. Local 100 President Tony Utano said:


“The MTA's budget proposal is an outrageous and cowardly surrender to the Coronavirus, and a slap in the face of every transit worker. TWU Local 100, and the 40,000 transit workers who have risked life and limb to defeat the virus, reject this budget and demand the MTA withdraw it. Go back to the drawing board and come up with real solutions. Tossing thousands of workers onto the street and leaving entire neighborhoods without service are not answers.”


“Real solutions could include ending the stock transfer tax rebate, increasing the gasoline tax, getting rid of high-priced consultants and contractors, replacing cleaning contractors with in-house forces and offering retirement incentives.”

TWU International President John Samuelsen said: “The cuts disproportionately target New York City and in doing so they’re definitely going to disproportionately impact communities of color and essentially the working poor. The MTA has sat around waiting for a federal bailout instead of looking for additional sources of revenue. The TWU will not open up our contracts, we will not bankroll the MTA out of the deficit caused by COVID-19. We choose fightback, not surrender."

Applications for M3 Tech Union Scholarships Available Now

NOVEMBER 17 -- Applications are now available for the M3 Technology/TWU Local 100 Scholarships. Over $100,000 in scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $1,000 will be awarded in 2021. You can download the application here. This program, sponsored by M3 Technology, provides scholarships to TWU Local 100 members and retirees in good standing, and their spouses, children, or grand-children enrolled at accredited colleges. The application deadline is May 31, 2021. Scholarship winners from previous years are welcome to apply again. Winners will be drawn in a public lottery drawing.

The application is fillable, so please complete it on your computer. Then save it and send it along to the indicated address by mail. Questions? You can reach our scholarship administrator, Shannon Poland, at spoland@twulocal100.org

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