One good flyer deserves another.
One good flyer deserves another.

London Calling! TWU Local 100 Glad to Help Out

London’s Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union (the RMT) – our brothers in arms across the pond – found inspiration in our recent graphic campaign to slow trains and prevent subway fatalities. We sent them our graphics files and they went to work, repurposing our graphic image of a chalk outline on the roadbed and making it the centerpiece of their campaign to bring back laid off workers who ensure safety on the Bakerloo line. The line’s management cut staffing, forcing train operators to drive out of service trains into stations or “sidings” in yards without checking for passengers who didn’t get off in time. The RMT points to the case of a 12-year old boy who found himself alone in a yard walking the tracks. Now the public is getting the message that this unsafe practice should end and that they should let London Underground management know they need to bring back the laid-off staff. See the RMT’s flyer here.

It's a matter of fairness. Drivers and Monitors should have the right to an impartial hearing.
It's a matter of fairness. Drivers and Monitors should have the right to an impartial hearing.

School Bus Grievance Process Bill Gaining Support in Albany

Our Political Action Department is making gains on a crucial bill to improve the lives of school bus drivers in Westchester. PAC's Viviana Guzman, a Monitor from Mile Square on union release, is pounding the pavement in Albany, getting more and more legislators to sign on to A.2781 - S.3474, the School Bus Grievance Process Bill. Just this week, State Senators Gustavo Rivera and Jesse Hamilton signed on, as well as Assemblyman Marcos Crespo. That makes the total 16 in the Assembly, and 8 in the Senate. This bill costs the State nothing -- but would make a big difference in the right to due process that's guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution but is often in short supply in the workplace.

Here's the issue: School Bus Drivers and Monitors working for companies that have contracts with school districts -- like Mile Square, Supertrans, White Plains, and Royal Coach -- can be suspended or struck from a company roster by a school district without any recourse. In a recent case, one driver was ordered by a teacher to park his bus in the middle of a block next to a row of double-parked cars. He said that wasn't safe (in fact, prohibited by State regs), and drove his bus further down the block to get curbside so the kids would be safe. This resulted in the teacher's calling the school district for disobeying her order, and the school district then disqualifying him as a driver in that district. The company he worked for had no problem with his conduct, but were helpless to stop the school district from imposing a penalty. So was the union -- because our contract is with the company, not the district. The bill would mandate that school districts are a party to the union contract when it comes to the imposition of discipline. This means that any drivers or monitors who get penalized would have an opportunity to dispute the sanction and get a fair hearing, up to impartial arbitration. 

Please call your State legislators -- and ask them to sign on.

Eyewitness News: Subway Motorman Faces Suspension after Saving Trainee's Life

Veteran Train Operator Quincy Calhoun, 59, was suspended without pay by NYCT after acting quickly in a medical emergency to save a trainee's life. WABC-TV's Joe Torres had the story last night on Eyewitness News. TWU Local 100's Steve Downs, T/O Division Chair, spoke on camera about the case and the Union's vigorous defense of our member.

Union Pushes Back Against GCS Exploitation at Access-A-Ride

TWU came out to support our members at Global Contact Services, the MTA’s call center for Access-A-Ride in Long Island City. The issue: in spite of promising good jobs, the Salisbury, North Carolina company has slashed wages for its New York-based workforce from $16 when it took over in 2012 to between $9 and $12/hour now. It has also engaged in a pattern of vicious targeting of union organizers and union supporters. TWU Local 100, with an assist from local politicians, is telling the MTA board of directors to direct that GCS negotiate a contract with the union in good faith and keep their promises of creating jobs that allow local people to have a decent quality of life.

Whilby Attorney Wants to Examine Pena's Bus as Discovery Continues in Bus Operator Murder Case

May 13 -- TWU Local 100 officers and staff joined Nancy Rodriguez, widow of slain Bus Operator William Pena, their daughter Gabrielle, attorney Sanford Rubenstein, and friends in court to continue to press for justice. Domonic Whilby, charged with Murder in the Second Degree, Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, seven other criminal counts, was led into court in handcuffs looking fit and trim in a black t-shirt and denim jeans. He has been incarcerated since his arrest on February 12, the day of Pena's death at 7th Avenue and 14th Street in Manhattan. His attorney, Laura Miranda, said she wants to examine Pena's M-14 bus, and asked for another test to be done on her client's blood samples from the day of the accident. Judge Gregory Carro, ruling to continue discovery in the case, set the next court date for June 24. Outside the court house, Nancy, TWU Local 100 MaBSTOA Vice Chair Don Yates, and Attorney Rubenstein talked to the media.

President John Samuelsen, Secy-Treasurer Earl Phillips, VP Tony Utano and LES Chair John Chiarello with members of the Local 100 ‘Transporters’ ice hockey team.
President John Samuelsen, Secy-Treasurer Earl Phillips, VP Tony Utano and LES Chair John Chiarello with members of the Local 100 ‘Transporters’ ice hockey team.

TWU Ice Hockey Team In Championship Game Tonight

The Local 100 Ice Hockey team won its last playoff game last night 6-3 and takes to the ice in the league championship tonight, Monday, May 18.

Come out and support the ‘TRANSPORTERS’. The puck drops at 8:45pm at Twin Rinks Ice Center, 200 Merrick Avenue, East Meadow, N.Y. 11554 (Ph. 516-441-0070).

Follow our team on its Facebook page:

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Sen. Espaillat flanked by union officers and rank and file at the LCLAA dinner on April 8
Sen. Espaillat flanked by union officers and rank and file at the LCLAA dinner on April 8

Espaillat Sees Merit in Vision Zero Exemption

State Senator Adriano Espaillat (D-Washington Heights/Upper West Side) indicated his support of a bill sponsored in the State Assembly by Walter Mosley and in the Senate by Martin Malave Dilan that would exempt Bus Operators from being arrested for violation of the "right of way" in an intersection. The remarks came at a dinner honoring Latin American achievement. TWU Local 100 has made passage of an amendment to the Vision Zero bill championed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio a priority after Bus Operator, acting with due care within intersections, were involved in serious accidents and faced summary arrest. Local 100 President John Samuelsen has called the law unfair for "criminalizing" Bus Operators who did nothing wrong and followed rules to the letter. The law does not address pedestrian behavior, traffic signals at dangerous intersections, and other warning devices which also have a necessary role in preventing accidents.

Attention Local 100 Bus Operators

The union has been informed that the NYPD is planning traffic checkpoints in Manhattan the entire week of May 11-15, 2015 to insure that drivers are adhering to the Vision Zero “right of way” law. Two precincts involved are: the 19th Precinct, 153 E 67th Street and the 23rd Precinct, 164 E. 102nd Street.

These are East Side precincts, so the focus of the checkpoints will most likely be from 5th Avenue to the East River Drive, and from 59th to 116th Streets.  However, Bus Operators anywhere in Manhattan should be on alert.  Please remember to operate your bus strictly according to all DOT traffic rules and MTA driving standards.  The Police will be looking to issue summonses for violating any traffic regulation, big or small. OA Division 1 officers including Terrance Harmon (L/S coordinator) and the line stewards will be on the road and in the depots to assist with any issues or questions.

Please operate safely and be careful.

Pete Donohue Joins TWU Family

TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen today announced that Pete Donohue, the Pulitzer nominated transit reporter and columnist for the NY Daily News, is joining the TWU staff at Transport Hall, 195 Montague Street in Brooklyn.

President Samuelsen said: “I am thrilled to announce that one of New York’s finest reporters has accepted our offer to join us here at TWU.  For 22 years, Pete covered the courts, politics, general news and the transit beat with a blue-collar style and flair that was quintessential New York.  He reported on every event, big and small, involving our transit system for more than 15 years with the highest level of journalistic professionalism.  He always gave the workers a fair shake, and never failed to reach out to the union to allow our voice to be heard.  Pete had other opportunities available to him, but he chose us, and we’re happy to have him aboard.”

Samuelsen added that Donohue will work with TWU Local 100, representing nearly 40,000 members at the MTA, private bus and school bus companies, and New York Bikeshare, and TWU Local 101, representing workers at National Grid. During his career with the News, Donohue was considered one of the best reporters in the highly competitive New York City market.  Since 1993, he built a reputation as a tough but fair journalist who not only got big stories first, but got them right.

Read more

Richardson Wins Handily in 43rd AD Race

Diana Richardson, who enjoyed the strong support of TWU Local 100 and ran on the Working Families Line, resoundingly defeated three other candidates to take the top spot in the contest for the 43rd Assembly District, recently vacated by Karim Camara. Richardson won with 51% of the vote, with her nearest challenger, Shirley Patterson, at 25%. Her win was the top priority of the TWU Local 100 PAC Team over the last month, with the Union attending fundraisers and going door to door to get out the vote, raise the candidate's profile, and get out the vote among transit workers in the district. Congratulations, Assemblywoman Richardson! We look forward to working closely with you on mass transit issues before the legislature.

Rec. Sec. Crisp-Sauray, Surviving Family Commemorate William Peña on Workers Memorial Day

On April 28, TWU Local 100 joined with local labor leaders and workers safety advocates to mark Workers Memorial Day. On the occasion, Recording Secretary LaTonya Crisp-Sauray and MaBSTOA I Chairman Richie Davis joined surviving members of the Peña family to commemorate his tragic death in the line of duty.

President Samuelsen Takes on Vision Zero on WABC Radio

Local 100 President Samuelsen delivered another blow to Vision Zero during an interview with UCOMM Radio's Kris LaGrange, which is broadcast on WABC 770 on Sunday evenings. Click to hear President Samuelsen's explanation of why the law is unjust, and why we're pushing an amendment to change it.

Disgraced cop Mirjan Lolja, right, confers with his attorney, Michael Martinez, after court hearing on April 24th
Disgraced cop Mirjan Lolja, right, confers with his attorney, Michael Martinez, after court hearing on April 24th

Set Trial Date for Rogue Cop in Conductor Beat-Down

A Bronx judge set  June 5th as the trial date for NYPD officer Mirjan Lolja, who jumped on and throttled NYCT Conductor Fatima Futa, a member of Local 100, last December 23rd. Lolja -- who was not in uniform and didn't identify himself -- apparently grew irate at the train schedule and decided to take his frustration out on the nearest MTA employee. He pushed her down and choked her at about 2AM, then bolted from the station wearing a big grin on his face. Read the Daily News story here. Lolja only turned himself in a week later when the video image was released by the NYPD, who apparently didn't know that the perpetrator was one of their own. On his way into court today at the Bronx Hall of Justice, Lolja and his attorney had to walk past TWU Local 100 Vice President for RTO, Kevin Harrington, Chair Joe Costales, Exec Board Member Steve Downs, and rank and file members who then sat in court for nearly three hours waiting for the case to be called. When it was, it took just minutes for the prosecutors and Lolja's attorney to agree on June 5th as the date the trial will start. Lolja is charged with misdemeanor assault, which TWU Local 100 believes is too lenient, since state law makes assaulting a transit worker a felony. Let's show  up in force on June 5th to support our assaulted Conductor.

WABC-TV Report: Bus Operators Give Their Take on Design Flaws

TWU's Media Campaign Driving Vision Zero Amendment Push

NYC's Vision Law unfairly and illogically targets Bus Operators. TWU Local 100 has geared up and fought this injustice – the criminalizing of transit professionals for doing exactly what NYC and the MTA require them to as a condition of employment. Accidents in which there no negligence or recklessness by the operator, are now crime scenes because of this poorly drafted law. We have also mounted an increasingly powerful media campaign – the ads are below for you to click and download.

City Council members are coming on board  to amend the law – we have 25 supporters and counting. Our emphasis is to protect our Bus Operators from being arrested for non negligent accidents. The solution is to fix the systemic causes of right-of-way accidents involving MTA buses, including street design, MTA bus routing, pedestrian and cyclist behavior, and lines of sight on buses. Again, we urge everyone to get behind City Council amendment Int. 663 to eliminate the unintended consequences of  Vision Zero. Fix the system. Stop arresting Bus Operators.

Click here to view/download our first ad.

Click here to download/view our second ad.

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