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Nine Years Later, We Remember Marvin Franklin

Track worker Marvin Franklin, who was fatally struck by a train in Brooklyn nine years ago, was remembered at a memorial held Friday in the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station on the A and C lines.

Franklin, 55, was a selfless veteran track worker who put the needs of his co-workers before his own. He was talented artist who sketched subway riders and subway scenes. And he was a caring, giving man, said Mike Cordero, who worked with Franklin for years. “Mike wasn’t just a fantastic artist,” Cordero, who is now a coordinator of Local 100’s campaign to bring pension parity to new hires, said. “Mike brought food to work every night for the homeless.”

A floral wreath was placed on the station mezzanine for the memorial. The attendees included the Maintenance of Way divisional chairmen: Paul Navarro, Track; John Chiarello, Line Equipment/Signals; Steve Higgins, Power, and Richard Rocco, Structure.

Franklin and co-worker were carrying a dolly across the four parallel tracks inside the station when they hit by a G train on April 29, 2007. Two of the tracks were shut down to train traffic for a construction clean-up project but two of them remained active. Franklin’s co-worker, Jeff Hill, was seriously injured but survived.

Connolly's Legacy Prominent in First NYC Irish Cultural Festival

James Connolly – the Irish rebel and revolutionary labor leader who inspired the founders of TWU Local 100 – will be a significant focus of New York City’s first annual Irish cultural festival.

Cuala NYC is an ambitious and sweeping endeavor with more than two dozen events, ranging from a William Butler Yeats play being performed on a beach in Coney Island, to live music at an Irish pub in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, to poetry readings on an East River ferry boat. Many activities will explore the important role that New York City played in Ireland’s historic 1916 Rising, now in its centennial anniversary.  At the same time, the festival will celebrate the indelible mark the Irish left on NYC, festival organizer Susan McKeown said.

"The 1916 Rising would not have happened without New York,” McKeown, a Grammy Award winning Irish Folk singer, said. “CualaNYC is inspired by the historic and cultural connections between the two places and I felt it was especially important to remember James Connolly in our events."

Connolly came to New York City in 1902 and lived in the United States for approximately 8 years, spreading his doctrine of industrial unionism through his writing and speeches at places like the Great Hall of Cooper Union. Workers are strongest when organized by industry and not fragmented into many smaller groups by trade and job title, Connolly stressed. The message resonated with Mike Quill decades later as he organized transit workers and founded the Transport Workers Union in 1934.

Cuala NYC will include “James Connolly’s New York” on May 12th at Cooper Union, a tribute with performances by New York Irish musicians, writers and storytellers. Bagpiper bands from various unions will perform in Union Square to honor Connolly on May 19, and both celebrities and members of the public will be invited to address the crowd from a soapbox as Connolly so famously did himself.

Connolly – and TWU founder Mike Quill - also will be featured in a historical comic book being produced by The Nerve Centre in Derry, Ireland, for distribution here. Local 100 is contributing towards the production costs.

Secretary-Treasurer Phillips Honored for Contributions to Transit Diversity

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No one is more concerned about bringing young people who represent the diversity of New York City into the MTA than TWU Local 100 Secretary-Treasurer Earl Phillips.

No one is more concerned about bringing young people who represent the diversity of New York City into the MTA than TWU Local 100 Secretary-Treasurer Earl Phillips. This was shown once again on April 22, when at the conclusion of a one-day seminar at the Union Hall by the TDC-MIT Transportation and Infrastructure Summit, Brother Phillips was presented with an award by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. The ceremony at Boro Hall, which also honored NYCT President Ronnie Hakim and Port Authority Exec Director Patrick Foye, featured remarks by Earl Phillips. The day's seminar showcased both high school students from the Bronx and college graduates from MIT, all of whom are pursuing careers in transit. Mr. Phillips was introduced by Dwayne C. Sampson, Founder and CEO of the Transportation Diversity Council.

Danny's youngest daughter, Valerie, receives a wreath honoring her late father from Track Division Chairman Paul Navarro
Danny's youngest daughter, Valerie, receives a wreath honoring her late father from Track Division Chairman Paul Navarro

We Remember Danny Boggs; Track Worker Died in the Line of Duty

A memorial service for Track Worker Danny Boggs, who was killed by a train nine years ago, was held at the 59th St. Columbus Circle station on Monday. “Danny was a veteran,” Paul Navarro, Chairman of TWU Local 100 Track Division said, standing next to a wreath of flowers brought to the hub by the union. “He knew the job inside out. But on that day nine years ago it didn’t matter.”

Boggs, 41, the married father of three children, was hit by a train April 27, 2007 as he set up perimeter lighting for an overnight construction job on an express track at the station. The track was scheduled to be closed to train traffic at 11 p.m. for the construction project but implementation of the General Order was delayed – a development not conveyed to Boggs. He was struck at 11:20 p.m. by a No. 3 train sent through the area.

“The passage of time doesn’t make these memorials any easier,” Navarro said at the memorial service. “They certainly are not easier for Bernadette and her children."

"Some might ask, ‘Why do we keep coming back here every year?” asked Navarro. We do so because the day we stop is the day we all start taking our safety for granted. It will be the day we begin to be indifferent about the safety of our co-workers. We cannot let that happen. We can not let down our guard.” After Rabbi Harry Berkowitz said a prayer, Bernadette Boggs thanked those who came out to remember her husband. “He was a wonderful man,” she said. Bernadette was flanked by the couple’s children: Kristen, 22; Danny Jr., 18; and Valerie, 14.

Local 100 will hold another memorial 11 a.m. Friday at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station in Brooklyn where trackworker Marvin Franklin was fatally struck by a train on April 29, 2007, just five days after Boggs’ tragic death. Franklin was 55 years old.

In photo: MTA Chaplain Rabbi Harry Berkowitz talks to family members about the events of Danny's death and his legacy. IB Image

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