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Local 100 Mourns Curtis Johnson, Telephone Maintainer

MAY 16 -- TWU Local 100 is mourning the shocking murder of Telephone Maintainer and singer-songwriter Curtis “CeeJay” Johnson early Sunday morning from gunshot wounds. News reports said that Brother Johnson was leaving a club in New Jersey, when it is speculated that he may have been the target of a robbery gone bad.  No arrests have been made.

Brother Johnson emigrated to the U.S. in 2002 as a teenager from Georgetown, Guyana.  He had been with New York City Transit for 8 years, and recently passed the supervisor’s test for MS1.  His last pick was 130 Livingston St. MOW Vice President John Chiarello said: “Brother Johnson’s death is a terrible tragedy and a tremendous loss for his family and his friends on the job. He will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him.”

His death left his friends and co-workers in Line Equipment/Signals stunned and saddened. “Curt was well liked; an easy-going guy with an upbeat attitude and a very caring disposition for his co-workers,” said Pernell Valdivieso, LE/S Section Chair for Telephone Maintainers.  “He was ‘this close’ to breaking out in the music business,” Pernell said as he held his thumb and forefinger an inch apart.  “Curt had the same passion for his music as he had for his job.  He knew what he was doing,” added Pernell.  “No one can understand how this could happen to such a wonderful person.”

Another friend, LE/S Division Recording Secretary Sherlock Bender sadly recalled first meeting Brother Johnson at his orientation in 2014.  “I met him again at West 53rd Street and discovered we shared Georgetown, Guyana as our hometown. I also found out that he had a budding music career and a collection of YouTube music videos. When I received word of his death, I was in total disbelief,” added Bender.  “I reached out to some of his close friends and supervisors, who all expressed their shock not only of his death but how he died. One of his supervisors said that he had just worked with him on a circuit last Friday and expressed his sadness that he would never be able to work with him again.  Our Brother was dedicated to his family and a very hard worker.  The Telephone Department and the NYCTA have suffered a tragic loss.”

A talented singer and writer, Brother Johnson established his own label, Roll Out Records or ROR.  The Guyana Chronicle published a profile of Brother Johnson in March 2021, where it reported what he said about his music: “I remember the great Bob Marley talking in an interview about the feelings you get when you make music and I’ve experienced that feeling from writing, so I do write my own songs and I also write for other artists as well.” That news profile said that one of his dreams was to build a studio back home in Georgetown.  Johnson said he wanted to help discover other local young artists “so that Guyana’s music can have a quality that’s accepted and loved internationally.”

He is survived by his wife, Shenelle and their 5-year-old daughter.  Arrangements are pending and will be published as soon as they become available.

Discounted Pet Insurance for Local 100 Members

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UnitedHealthcare and Figo have teamed up to offer an exclusive discount for TWU Local 100.

Members can customize a plan that works for them and their pets.

Learn More

Latest Healthfair Highlights Wellness at Kingsbridge Depot

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MAY 12 -- Operating a Bus is very stressful -- and so Local 100 hosted a health and wellness fair along with NYCT at Kingsbridge Depot, featuring an array of healthcare providers, healthy eats, and lifestyle enhancements such as yoga. The event is part of an ongoing series bringing wellness to transit locations systemwide. On hand from the union was MABSTOA VP Richard Davis, officers and chairs. Look for the next health fair near you -- and check out website for more information on how to stay healthy as we continue to move New York.

Memorial Mass for Connail Friel

The family of our Brother, Connail “Connie” Friel, former Chair of MaBSTOA Division 2, is inviting Connie’s friends and co-workers to a Memorial Mass in his honor on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at the Holy Name of Jesus, 2 Broadway, Valhalla, NY 10595, at 10:00am.

Brother Friel passed away during Holy Week when mass was not being celebrated.  A service was held in the Funeral Home instead.

 

Union Honors Those Killed on the Job on Workers' Memorial Day

TWU Local 100 honored those who have died on the job while serving in the line of duty -- 17 transit workers over the last 20 years. They were memorialized in a video presentation from President Tony Utano which also paid tribute to the 125 Union members who died of COVID-19, also in the line of duty while serving the public.

In a luncheon at the Hall to mark the occasion, top officers were joined by City Councilwoman Lynn Schulman (D-Queens) and OSA President Bob Croghan.

Union Payment Platform Set up for Donations to Help Ukraine

TWU Local 100 is pleased to announce that we have set up an account to help members donate to the people of Ukraine most in need. Many TWU members have indicated that they would like to help, but want to make sure that their donations are used for the intended purpose.

In response, the union has set up the account, called the “TWU Local 100 Ukraine Account,” where members’ donations will be held safely, and ultimately forwarded to one or more reputable organizations delivering international relief to displaced Ukrainians. 

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Upon approval by the Local 100 Executive Committee, the Union will make an appropriate donation to the fund.

 

CTA’s Get Their Due from Gov. Hochul: Honored for Sunset Park Incident Actions

IB ImageAPRIL 27 – CTA Charlene Gardner, who was at 36th Street in Sunset Park when shots were fired aboard a Manhattan-bound N train, and CTA Angel Oquendo, who was at 25th Street on the R line, were honored by NYS Governor Kathy Hochul and MTA brass as part of a group of NYCT employees who responded to the April 12 incident.

Stations VP Robert Kelley was also on hand as the CTA’s had their names read out and were handed proclamations by Governor Hochul and MTA CEO Janno Lieber. They gave accounts of what happened to the Union.

In addition, N and R train crews were also honored at the event, along with Staff Analysts represented by TWU Local 100 and working in the MTA's digital communications unit.

Charlene Gardner said, “I was working overtime, doing my job, scrapping and pulling [a broom]. I was in the middle of the southbound platform. I heard a commotion. I turned and saw customers taking pictures of smoke coming out of the front end of a train. I proceeded to make my way in, with my scrap pan and broom.

“As I made it to the staircase, cops, and MTA officials with vests came running down both staircases. They were saying, we want to evacuate immediately. A cop said, “Do you work here?” I told her I did. She said, “Whatever you need to do, get out of here now, this is an emergency.” I did what she said.

“I secured my equipment, ran up the stairs, and saw the clerk leaving the booth. The mezzanine had a few blood spots on it. People had scattered. For those who didn’t have directions, who were in panic mode, I told them, “You guys need to leave the station.”

“There were guys coming into the station. I said, Guys, you need to get out of here.” I got to the top of the staircase. Police hadn’t barricaded it off yet. Guys were saying I’m missing my train, I said, “no, the station’s closed,” and that was it until they barricaded it.  It was a long day.

Angel Oquendo arrived at the 25th Street station just after the incident occurred. He recalls that “There was a big crowd coming up the stairs. Cops were pushing people out of the way. They asked me if I could get some of that caution tape, and I did. I got it and I started directing customers to alternate transportation, to go 5th Avenue and take the bus. “

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Staff Analysts Praised by Governor for Professionalism During Sunset Park Shooting Incident

IB ImageAPRIL 27 – NYS Governor Kathy Hochul praised the work of TWU Local 100 represented Staff Analysts – communications professionals who are usually behind the scenes and not seen by the public, for their roles after the shooting aboard an N Train in Sunset Park.

Our members – pictured here with their Union Rep, Executive Board Member Denise Wellington – were part of a group of 18 MTA employees who were recognized with official proclamations presented by Hochul alongside MTA CEO Janno Lieber at MTA Headquarters.

They were honored alongside the N and R train crews who have already been the subject of much media attention. Also honored were our CTA's, who have also not seen much media attention to date.

Staff Analysts Tanyia Brand-Jones and Annie Morrison, both part of the digital communications team at NYC Transit, worked quickly to give transit riders vital information in the wake of the shooting aboard the N Train in Sunset Park, Brooklyn on April 12th.

Departmental Manager Tyler Schow gave this account of what transpired at the Rail Control Center, where they work:

“Immediately it was obvious something more severe than a usual incident was coming over. Staff rushed over to the area to start getting everyone to safety, determining what was going on, and then me and Tanyia and Annie were working together to determine what was the impact to train service. Obviously there was going to be some sort of disruption.

“How can we make sure what kind alternative routes do people have available, how can we get that out to as many as possible? So the RCC is just a lot of collaboration -- everyone working together to make sure that everyone was safe, and that everyone could get to where they needed to go.”

 

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