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.