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TWU Secures Legislature Approval of Station Agent Pension Buy-Back Bill

The New York State Legislature has passed one of TWU’s top legislative targets for the 2017 session in Albany, the Station Agent Buy Back bill.  The long sought-after measure enables Station Agents who were laid off during MTA Chairman Jay Walder’s malicious job and service cutbacks in 2010 to buy back pension credits lost during their furloughs.

“We have been fighting to right the injustice perpetrated on our members and the riding public by Jay Walder for a number of years,” said TWU Local 100 and International President John Samuelsen.  “I am confident the Governor will sign this bill so that our members who were so negatively affected by the 2010 layoffs can finally become whole, at least as it relates to their service time.”

State Sen. Martin Malave Dilan carried the bill for the union on the Senate side, and Assemblywoman Latrice Walker performed heroically on the House side.

The union’s Political Action team has been pressing hard for the bill the entire legislative session.  Rank-and-file members underscored the union’s resolve to win the measure this year at its union wide Lobby Day event on May 16, 2017 and then during a mini-Lobby Day event on June 13, 2017.

Nearly 500 Station Agents were laid off in the 2010 cutbacks.  Many were out as long as two years before being recalled to their jobs.

Former MTA Chairman Walder is long gone, but his actions against transit workers and riders have lingered.  “This bill allows us to close the book on Walder and his attacks on the workforce and passengers,” said Local 100 Vice President Derrick Echevarria.

TWU Local 100 Celebrates at the Puerto Rican Day Parade

Puerto Rican Day 2017

We had a great time at the 60th Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade! Enjoy the show!

Ribbon Cutting Opens TWU Housing Counseling Center in the Bronx

JUNE 8 – The Bronx – TWU Local 100 Secretary-Treasurer Earl Phillips cut the ribbon to open the union’s newest facility – a homeowner and homebuying Counseling Center at 2475 Westchester Avenue. Local 100 members and community residents can access the Center’s services, including obtaining grants for first-time home-owners, financial counseling to help union members qualify to purchase homes, improve credit ratings or refinance high interest mortgages, and foreclosure prevention counseling.

Under the direction of Raiza Martinez, a veteran homeownership specialist with Neighborhood Housing Services, the Center aims to help TWU members and other Bronx working families to achieve the American dream.

Standing with Secretary Treasurer Phillips at the ceremony were other top Local 100 leaders, including Administrative Vice President Nelson Rivera, Tony Utano, VP of Maintenance of Way, and RTO Vice President Kia Phua. The counseling center was thronged with community residents, who talked to lenders from major banks and attended a class led by NHS board member Deborah Johnson educating them about paths to home ownership.IB Image

One interested walk-in to the event was Lamont Murray, a Bridge Painter whose mother, Stephanie Wilson, is a Bus Operator out of the West Farms Depot. He lives just two blocks from the counseling center and visited with his wife, Tibet, and his daughter, Monet. IB Image

NHS offers grants of up to $25,000 for first-time home buyers who purchase a home for up to $424,000. For more information, call the counseling center at 718-502-3300.

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TWU Local 100 Says YES to BQX

JUNE 12, Red Hook Houses – TWU International President John Samuelsen, along with Ya-Ting Liu Executive Director of the Friends of the BQX and community residents, announced TWU Local 100's support for the Brooklyn Queens Connector, a street car line that will unite waterfront neighborhoods from Sunset Park to Astoria, opening them up to mass transit and economic revitalization.

Samuelsen told the press that “the line will provide connectivity between the Brooklyn waterfront and the Queens waterfront, good transit for transit-starved neighborhoods. It will create union construction jobs to build out the project and then good solid union jobs to operate and maintain the system.”

Backed by community residents, he said: “These are not going to be low wage jobs. They’ll be good wage jobs, union jobs. Investment in rail transit projects is the great economic stimulator across this country. When you invest in mass transit, it employs many more workers. The businesses that develop along the new transit line also employ people. There’s a massive synergy that will supply economic benefit for working families up and down this line.

“New Yorkers are now going to have another viable transit alternative, that is sorely needed. There will be local hiring of kids across these neighborhoods that are served by these projects.” He also noted that the possibility exists to spark the creation of manufacturing jobs to supply parts and equipment for the new street car line.

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