Dozens of call center workers at Global Contact Services -- the MTA's Access-A-Ride Call Center in Queens -- came to speak truth to power to the MTA Board of Directors at their September meeting in Manhattan. Speaking to a room of executives who make salaries in the high six figures, these TWU Local 100 workers, who make from $9 to $11 an hour, pleaded for a review of the MTA's contract with GCS. In his remarks, TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen called the call center's Northern Boulevard operation a brutal place to work where employees are routinely denied basic rights. He called the workers poster children for why New York's mininum wage needs to be immediately raised to $15/hour. Here are the call center operators, expressing their concerns about the workplace -- their willingness to work hard and grow the company -- and their need for fair treatment.
SEPTEMBER 25 -- Five Hundred Chinese-American transit workers and their families gathered at the New Spring Garden Restaurant in Brooklyn to celebrate the traditional Autumn Moon Festival, highlighted by an exciting lion dance and a musical program. This was a first for TWU Local 100, recognizing our Chinese-American members in a festive event on the eve of the "super moon" and total lunar eclipse which was visible all over North America. TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen keynoted the event along with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and the first-ever elected Chinese-American Councilwoman, Margaret Chin, who also sang at the event. Enjoy the slideshow!
SEPTEMBER 25: TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen called on the MTA Board of Directors to audit the performance of Global Contact Services, the operator of the MTA’s Access-A-Ride call center. In a presentation to the Board, he detailed the harsh treatment suffered by call center workers represented by the Union, including arbitrary firings, low pay, and a ruthless approach to employee relations from a North Carolina based company that is running a southern-style plantation in Queens. After his presentation, MTA CEO Tom Prendergast said he would prioritize a review of the company’s performance and contract.
In a copyrighted story, Daily News columnist and Democracy Now! host Juan Gonzalez slams Global Contact Services -- which runs the call center that dispatches Access-A-Ride -- as a vindictive and heartless employer that pays poverty wages even though their contract with the MTA is worth $152 million. Gonzalez reveals that GCS, which took over the MTA Access-A-Ride contract from First Transit three years ago, cut employee wages across the board. Now they are refusing to bargain in good faith with TWU Local 100 and raise wages in spite of the statewide push for $15 an hour. In the article, President Samuelsen spells out the consequences of continued intransigence on GCS's part - a strike. Read the complete article here.