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Quill Connolly Day an Irish Celebration of our Founder, Mike Quill

Quill Connolly Day 2018

MARCH 15 -- Quill Connolly Day celebrates our founders: TWU Local 100 honored the memory of Irish martyr James Connolly, a hero of the 1916 Easter Rising, and the man he inspired, Mike Quill, the Founder of the TWU. A festive evening with traditional Irish fare was enlivened by speeches from TWU International President John Samuelsen, who spoke of the cause of a united Ireland, and from RMT Assistant General Secretary Steve Hedley, representing the transit workers of Britain. Hedley gave an impassioned defense of Irish Republican socialism and industrial unionism. RMT President Sean Hoyle also spoke, recalling the words of the great Bob Crow, who helped cement the longstanding friendship between the RMT and the TWU and who was sorely missed at this event.

Performing at the event was the Irish string band, the Murphy Beds, and the Niall O’Leary Irish Dance Studio. Local 100 Director of Communications Jim Gannon acted as MC for the evening, introducing President Tony Utano, who in turn introduced John Samuelsen. Enjoy the photos and the music.

AM New York: Elevator Escalator Maintainers Making a Difference

MARCH 8, 2018 -- In a copyrighted story, AM New York showcased the need for more Elevator Escalator Maintainers, noting that competition with the private sector has been putting pressure on the MTA to do more hiring, and that there is still a gap in hiring that needs to be filled. TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano notes that retaining elevator staffing and hiring new workers has been a long term problem, but that Local 100 is making progress in solving the issue. Read the article here.

2.5% Contractual Raise Effective Feb. 16, 2018; Also 5% Increase in the Night-Weekend Differential

Transit workers saw a nice bump in their net earnings in their most recent paycheck (and it wasn’t from the Trump tax cut). It was from an across the board 2.5 percent wage increase, thanks to the collective bargaining agreement between TWU Local 100 and the MTA-New York City Transit, MTA-MABSTOA and MTA Bus.

The increases became effective Feb. 16, 2018.  It is the second wage hike in the 28-month agreement with the MTA, negotiated and ratified in early 2017.

In addition to the wage boost, anyone working shifts covered by night and weekend differential will see a 5% increase in that rate as well.  It’s the first time in more than a decade that the union secured a boost in the differential rate. To see the wage tables with your new rates, click here.

Post Article on Bus Accidents was a Hatchet Job

IB ImageA group of striking Bus Operators and Maintainers were on the picket line outside a Brooklyn bus depot early one morning in December 2005 when a New York Post delivery truck dropped some bundles of the newspaper outside a still-shuttered store a couple of blocks away. The strikers saw an opportunity.

They didn’t want to read the Post for free. They wanted to torch it for a particularly anti-union series of headlines and editorials the right-wing paper had been publishing.

“We had ourselves a bonfire,” one of the strikers said afterwards. “I wouldn’t read that rag.”

Bus Operators could be forgiven for wanting to put a match to the Post last Sunday (March 4) when it ran an unfair, irresponsible and strikingly shameful example of sensational journalism. “MTA buses were in more than 21k collisions in just 3 years,” the headline stated.

The reporters then described a series of serious accidents and quoted two ambulance-chasing lawyers about the hazards posed by buses – and by extension, by Bus Operators. Their false narrative was that MTA buses are careening down city streets on a wholesale basis, wreaking havoc and causing property damage, serious injuries and death. It’s simply not true. But they downplayed or ignored information that indicated anything different.

TWU Local 100 gave the reporters a statement pointing out that NYC Transit Bus Operators have an excellent safety record, according to federal data. In fact, they have the second-best safety rate among the largest bus operations in the country. Only Seattle did better, according to federal data. The Post reporters chose not to include the union statement. Why? Because it would disprove the entire premise of their story.

“The New York Post should apologize to our dedicated Bus Operators for the stunningly unbalanced article on bus collisions,” Local 100 President Tony Utano said in a Letter to the Editor. “This article was itself a total wreck.” To be honest, The Daily News had some editors that pushed through some unfavorable headlines and coverage during the strike, which I wrote about as the News’ transit reporter. Other staffers at the News like Juan Gonzalez and myself pushed back. We did the best we could to tilt the scales back towards the workers. This isn’t an indictment of an entire industry or even everyone at the Post. But if you are ever tempted to by their Sunday edition, remember this hatchet job and save yourself the $1.50.

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