All news

Union, Family Wait for Verdict as Pena Case Goes to the Jury

It’s all up to 12 New Yorkers, men and women who have mostly likely taken countless rides on MTA buses and subways. It’s their task now to decide the guilt or innocence of Domonic Whilby, whose actions while driving an 18-ton truck caused the death of Bus Operator William Pena three years ago.

Was Whilby so drunk on alcohol and high on marijuana that he lacked the ability to know what he was doing when he stole the truck and slammed it into the M14 bus, as the defense contends? Or was he a man with a high tolerance for alcohol, who made dozens of conscious, rational decisions as he piloted the stolen truck, injuring four men and killing one -- revealing him to be utterly unconcerned for anyone’s life but his own?

Jurors are now considering Whilby’s guilt or innocence on 17 counts ranging from depraved indifference murder to grand larceny. Listening to the closing statements in the courtroom were 50 union members and friends of William Pena’s family, including TWU Local 100 VP for MABSTOA Richard Davis, Division Chair Donald Yates, and American Airlines workers represented by TWU Local 501. Family attorney Sanford Rubenstein joined Davis and Pena’s widow, Nancy, in a press conference outside the courthouse as deliberations began.

Quill Connolly Day Comes to Queens

TWU Local 100 members packed the IBEW Apprentice Hall in Queens on March 15th for the inaugural event of the James Connolly Irish American Labor Coalition. The rousing event featured an address by President Samuelsen, and a speech about the current positive outlook in Ireland for unification of the country by Martin Kenny, Sinn Fein TD for Sligo, Leitrim,West Cavan & South Donegal. IBEW Local 3 Business Manager Chris Erikson and William Lynn, IUOE Local 30 Business Manager and Executive Director of the newly minted group, also spoke to the crowded room.

The James Connolly Irish American Labor Coalition is a new organization of American labor organizations who are pledged to carry on the spirit of Connolly, who was martyred in 1916 as an organizer who died for the cause of Irish freedom. President Samuelsen is a member of the Coalition's Board of Directors. We foresee an exciting partnership between Local 100 and other unions under this banner.

Scribe Pete Donohue (left foreground) with LES Chair John V. Chiarello, MOW VP Tony Utano and, seated, the three who made the difference for a supervisor.
Scribe Pete Donohue (left foreground) with LES Chair John V. Chiarello, MOW VP Tony Utano and, seated, the three who made the difference for a supervisor.

Lighting Maintainers Save the Day

A trio of quick-thinking Lighting Maintainers is being credited with saving the life of a NYC Transit foreman who suffered a heart attack on the road. Anthony Jacondino, Michael Anderson, Mampatteth George and foreman Richard Michel had just left the 14th St. crew quarters in their NYC Transit truck on Saturday when Jacondino sensed something was wrong with the supervisor.

“I heard a wheezing sound, like someone having an asthma attack,” Jacondino said. “I looked over at Richie and asked if he was ok. He wasn’t moving at all. I tapped him on the shoulder but he didn’t respond. He was motionless.” Without hesitation, Jacondino directed his co-workers to stop the vehicle and look for a police officer to flag down. Jacondino, meanwhile, called 911 for an ambulance. Amazingly, a NYPD patrol car was in traffic directly behind the signalmen’s truck.  Two officers performed CPR. Paramedics jolted Michel with a defibrillator, essentially jump-starting his heart to keep him alive.

Paramedics took Michel, a married father with two daughters, to Beth Israel Hospital. As of Thursday, Michel was in a medically induced coma. MOW Vice President Tony Utano and Line Equipment/Signals Division Chairman John Chiarello went to the crew quarters Thursday morning to congratulate Jacondino, Anderson and George for keeping their cool and making the right moves in such an emergency.

“They acted quickly and correctly, and saved a life,” Utano said. “They deserve a lot of thanks and praise.” Chiarello vowed to nominate the Lighting Maintainers from 14th St. for a Hometown Heroes in Transit Award next year. The Daily News will soon be announcing the 2016 winners and will hold a joint award ceremony with Local 100 in April.

Snowfighting March 14, 2017

Snowfighting on March 14, 2017

On March 14, the snowmageddon that was supposed to immobilize New York sparked a mobilization throughout the transit system, as CTA’s geared up for a long night to ensure that platforms and stairs were clear for straphangers, Bus Operators wintered in quarters waiting for the word on which lines would be running, and work train operators and signal maintainers toiled in the yards to clear switches and de-ice tracks. All went smoothly, as our members came through with flying colors – as usual.

Syndicate content