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Update: Trial Date Set in Pena Case

JUNE 21 -- Manhattan Criminal Court Justice Gregory Carro, in a noontime conference with Assistant District Attorney Randolph Clarke and the attorney for the accused killer of Bus Operator William Pena, set August 11th as the date for evidentiary hearings in the case and September 15th as a trial date. Dominic Whilby, whose stolen truck crashed into Pena's M14 bus early in the morning of February 12, 2014, had refused the people's offer of 14 to 24 years in prison. TWU members and officers including VP of Private Lines Pete Rosconi and RTO Conductor Chair Crystal Young, were in court today to support Willie's widow, Nancy Rodriguez, and their daughter Gabrielle. Mr. Whilby was brought into court from jail for the brief appearance before Judge Carro. We're asking for all TWU members to plan on attending these two upcoming dates to provide support for Willie's family and send a message to the criminal justice system about the importance of this case to all transit workers. The evidentiary hearings scheduled for August 11 will be about the admissability of evidence and witnesses to the crime.

Stations VP Derrick Echevarria (at left) stands with bill supporters including State Sen. Kevin Parker (center), rank and file union members, and City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras
Stations VP Derrick Echevarria (at left) stands with bill supporters including State Sen. Kevin Parker (center), rank and file union members, and City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras

Cleaner Assault Bill Achieved Victory Due to a Determined Effort

 

Rank and File Transit Workers, Key Legislators, and Union's PAC Department All Gave Maximum Effort

TWU Local 100 Cleaners can now go about their jobs with the assurance that they have significant new protection under law from assaults on the job. It's a long-awaited victory for the CTA's, who now join other transit titles who were covered earlier under these provisions. From now on, anyone assaulting a Cleaner can be charged with a D Felony, that carries a penalty of up to seven years in jail.

When the New York State Assembly passed A.10048B, a companion bill to S. 4550A on the Senate side, it was due to a powerful effort by key legislators, who championed TWU Local 100's cause. Prominent among them were Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, and Assemblywoman Diana Richardson, who joined her colleague in the Senate, Kevin Parker, as prime movers of the legislation.

TWU Local 100 Stations Department Vice President Derrick Echevarria and Political Action Director Marvin Holland lobbied tirelessly to coordinate the winning effort. A rank and file lobbying effort, coordinated by the TWU PAC, in which Local 100 Cleaners directly lobbied New York State legislators in Albany, was pivotal in bringing the Union victory home.

The passage of the legislation was announced by TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen, who made this measure a priority beginning in 2011.
"Our subway cleaners are on the front lines of the busiest subway system in the country," Samuelsen said. "Now they have the same protection under state law as police, firefighters, train operators, train conductors and bus operators. Anyone who assaults a cleaner can be prosecuted for a felony - and sent to state prison. Judges and prosecutors should not hesitate in using this newly granted authority."

Samuelsen singled out State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who is currently running for Congress with the Union's endorsement, as an early supporter and strong champion of the Cleaner assault bill. He asks all TWU members to join him and Sen. Espaillat on June 22nd at 1818 Cedar Avenue, Bronx NY 10453, from 3 to 5 PM. The event is called both to celebrate the passage of the bill and support Sen. Espaillat in his campaign for the Democratic nomination for Congress in the 13th CD in Manhattan.  

Computer Specialists Prepare for Bargaining

TWU Local 100’s newest members – MTA Computer Specialists and Associates – met with union organizers on June 7th at the union hall to prepare for bargaining with New York City Transit. The 400-member unit was recently certified as an official unit of Local 100, after a year-long organizing campaign.

At the meeting, Director of Organizing Frank McCann presented the results of an online survey of members that called for night differential, commuter passes, and other improvements in pay and working conditions. Now that the Specialists and Associates are under the TWU umbrella, McCann said, complaints such as poor air quality in the workplace will be vigorously addressed. Negotiations with the MTA are expected on June 28th. The unit’s core committee, all Specialists and Associates, addressed about 100 members who came to the meeting and promised an all-out effort to bring home the workers’ demands.

TWU Local 100 continues its rapid fire growth. We are organizing at a pace which is unprecedented since the earliest days of our union.

TWU Local 100 at the Puerto Rican Day Parade

Content from 2016 Puerto Rican Day Parade

 

Gorgeous weather and a sea of red, white and blue greeted hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers to the Puerto Rican Day Parade, the city’s largest, on Sunday June 12. Backed by a large union float with a DJ, TWU Local 100 marched up Fifth Avenue in unity.

The union’s theme this year was a demand that Congress act appropriately to allow Puerto Rico to address its current debt crisis. TWU Local 100 has publicly insisted that Congress restore Puerto Rico’s legal authority to declare Chapter 9 to restructure its debt to save its economy, jobs, schools and all vital public services.

In a statement released to the press on behalf of TWU Local 100, Administrative Vice President Angel Giboyeaux said: “The Puerto Rican crisis is not simply numbers on a balance sheet. It is people suffering. Children. The elderly. The sick. It’s a humanitarian crisis. Congress needs to pass legislation allowing Puerto Rico to file for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy just like Detroit and other municipalities have done when faced with insurmountable and crushing debts.”

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