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Please Join us to Say Farwell to our Brother, Delroy Durant, 35, Next Saturday 10/3

IB ImagePlease join us to say farewell to Light Maintainer Delroy Durant, 35, killed in tragic accident. 9AM Oct 3 at the Harmony Funeral Home, 2200 Clarendon Road, in Brooklyn, RIP Brother -- Rosario Parlanti, Division Vice Chair, LES

MTA Moving on Union Testing Demands

TWU Local 100 has been urging the MTA to adopt a COVID-19 testing and screening program to identify members who might have the virus - but are not yet experiencing symptoms. This goal appears in the TWU 10-Point Transit Plan For a Re-Opened NYC, which the union released in May.

Since then, Local 100 President Tony Utano and other union officers have stressed the importance of this issue to elected officials, the media and MTA management. Now, it appears the MTA is moving in that direction.

MTA’s Chief Safety Officer Patrick Warren briefed MTA board members Wednesday on what he described as efforts to protect workers and riders from a “second wave” of the virus hitting the region. In hi comments, Warren said “we are pursuing cutting edge rapid diagnostic testing protocols to provide more effective, early screening of employees and contractors that live outside the NYC metropolitan area before they encounter our workforce and customers.  We are also seeking new, inexpensive rapid testing protocols that could further help identify individuals that have contracted the virus but are asymptomatic in order to limit their ability to expose others to the virus.”

This echoes the language in item No. 3 in TWU’s 10-Point Transit Plan. That calls for the “testing of TWU Local 100 members in large numbers (testing size to be determined by an expert) with the objective of curtailing the spread of the virus by workers who are asymptomatic.”

TWU Local 100 will be meeting with Warren and other authority executives to obtain more details and provide input on any new testing and screening tactics. “We will withhold final judgement until we receive more details, but this is a good sign,” Local 100 President Tony Utano said. “It appears that Local 100’s advocacy on this very important issue is getting results.

Warren also said the authority will increase Call Center staffing in the coming months if necessary, to stay on top of contact tracing and employee communications, which Local 100 also covered in its 10-point plan. You can read Warren's complete report to the MTA Board here.

Arrangements for TEMM Robert "Bobby" Sarutto, Died from COVID-19

Now that the COVID-19 restrictions are easing, some families who held off on services are beginning to have visitations for their loved ones who died from COVID-19. Brother Robert "Bobby" Sarutto, 59, a Transit Electro-Mechanical Maintainer, was the tenth TWU Local 100 member to die of the virus. We remembered him on our Lost to COVID-19 Page, and you can read more about him here.

Here are the arrangements:

There will be a cremation visitation for Brother Sarutto on Saturday, September 26, and on Sunday, September 27, from 2pm to 5pm and from 7pm to 9pm on both days. It will take place at the Peter LaBella Funeral Home, 2625 Harway Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11214. there will be a Funeral Mass for him on Monday, September 28, at 10:30 am at the St. Mary Mother of Jesus Church at 2326 84th Street in Brooklyn.

Union Releases Final List of Scholarship Winners

Our TWU Local 100 scholarship winners were awarded earlier this year, but some winners were later found to be not qualified for various reasons. We are now releasing the final list, and you can see it here. Red strike throughs represent grants that were withdrawn. Questions can be directed to Trustee Shannon Poland at spoland@twulocal100.org

 

Transit Workers -- Essential All the Time

Transit workers are essential all the time.

The MTA would be making a grave mistake if it moved to reduce transit worker jobs, TWU Local 100 stressed again after Sunday’s sabotage and derailment.

Local 100 President Tony Utano was quoted in the NY Daily News and other media outlets  following the incident.

“This was an all-hands on deck emergency with transit workers from multiple divisions responding to assist riders and then begin repairing the extensive damage” Utano said. “It’s a stark reminder that the MTA can’t cut its front-line workers even if the federal government fails to provide funding in a COVID relief package.”

The Operator and Conductor on board the A train that derailed stepped up in the crisis as transit workers always do, Utano said. They helped evacuate riders, and the Train Operator tended to a wounded passenger. Another train was stuck in the area of ‪34th St.‬ Transit workers again assisted in their safe passage out of the system.

MOW workers, meanwhile, pulled off another miracle, working around the clock to restore subway service for the ‪Monday morning‬ rush.

photos by Marc Hermann, MTA Photographer and Union Member

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CIOH Workers Mourn Passing of Frank Gurrera, 95, an Inspiration to Generations of Transit Workers

Local 100 Members at the Coney Island Overhaul Shop are in mourning today with the news that Frank Gurrera had passed away at the age of 95. Frank had worked at the shop for 50 years and was an “inspiration” to his co-workers both union and management, according to Shop Chair Eugene Leybovich.

Local 100 President Tony Utano said of Frank’s passing: “This is a very sad day for everyone in Local 100 and New York City Transit, especially our Brothers and Sisters at the Coney Island Overhaul shop.  He was a wonderful, kind man who brought joy to his workplace every day.  He was not only a skilled machinist, but a teacher and mentor to generations of transit workers at Coney Island. We  all owe Frank a huge debt of gratitude for his skill as a worker, his dedication to his union, his love of his coworkers, and his lifetime of contributions to NYCT, our great City and our country.  He is a shining example of the very best of the human spirit. May he Rest in Peace.”

Shirley Martin, Vice President of Car Equipment, said this about Brother Gurrera: "Frank was an amazing individual. At the young age of 95, his brain was very sharp and he could still fabricate the most intricate precision work. I’m going to miss his smile when used to see me and say "Here comes my favorite Union rep!"

Sister Martin continued: "Each time I asked him when he was going to retire he’d say, 'After you. Why retire? I have no one home.' I used to joke with him that he’s Pension Tier Zero."

Frank was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Navy Seabees, and saw heavy action in the Mediterranean and the invasion of southern France in 1944. He joined New York City Transit in 1970 after having worked for 20 years as a machinist in several shops, including for 15 years at a research and development company that built gyroscopes for the U.S. space program.  “I worked on parts for the Titan II Missile system and for the first moon shot,” he recalled in an interview on his 90th birthday.

Once when asked about retirement, Frank said: “I’ve never thought about retiring. What would I do? I enjoy the work. I enjoy making things. I enjoy helping my co-workers. It keeps my mind occupied, my hands skillful. It keeps me going.”

On his beloved place of work at Coney Island, he said: “I’m glad I work there; glad I spend my time there. I’m part of a family.

MTA Announces Free Flu Shot (Seasonal Influenza) Locations

MTA/NYCT will be administering free flu shots to all active employees at locations across the five boroughs. Click here for locations.

Cleaner Fayah Gbollie with Pres Utano and MOW VP John V. Chiarello
Cleaner Fayah Gbollie with Pres Utano and MOW VP John V. Chiarello

At Union Hall, Pres. Utano Honors Four with 9/11 Medal

SEPTEMBER 10 -- TWU Local 100 honors our 9/11 responders with recognition pins and medals. The pins are for all who responded, some ordered to do so by the MTA (they could have refused, citing safety, but no one did), and many who volunteered, working long hours on their own time. Over 3,000 were there from the first hours of the attack, clearing debris with heavy rigs to that FDNY and NYPD could access the scene, putting up lighting for responders, ferrying police, firefighters, and health care personnel to and from Ground Zero, accessing communications infrastructure, cutting iron and steel, and pumping out and draining the subway tunnels.

We honor our 9/11 responders who have fallen victim to health issues from their 9/11 service with the 9/11 medal. These are given to those members who have illnesses and injuries verified by the federal Victims Compensation Fund. Yesterday, we honored Hydraulic Maintainer (Ventilation and Drainage) Clairmont Arthur, CTA Fayah Gbollie, BusOperator Tommy McNally, and Bus eOperator Anthony Tousius. Track Maintainer Rafael Hernandez, now retired in Florida and unable to attend, was also honored.

In the photos: Bus Operators Tousius and McNally with Pres Utano, VP Chiarello, and former Ulmer Park Depot Chair James Manzella.

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Ventilation and Drainage Maintainer Clairmont Arthur, with his wife and Pres Utano.

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