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TWU Executive VP MatthewGuinan confers with MLK on the march from Selma to Montgomery
TWU Executive VP MatthewGuinan confers with MLK on the march from Selma to Montgomery

The TWU Honors Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

JANUARY 17 -- On this national holiday, TWU Local 100 honors the legacy of Dr. King and our supporting for him and his cause.

The TWU's commitment to equality for all people is embedded in our Consitution, which says in part: The object of this organization shall be to unite in this industrial union, regardless of race, creed, color or nationality all workers eligible for membership employed in, on or about all passenger and other transportation facilities, public utilities and allied industries in the United States, Canada, and possessions and territories of the United States.

IIn the late 1950’s Mike Quill began to take notice of a young black Baptist minister named Martin Luther King, Jr. who was eloquently speaking out for civil rights for black people in America. Quill had been an advocate for blacks in the transit industry since the founding of his union, and he saw a strong link between what he himself had been advocating and what this young minister was preaching in regard to civil rights for all people. The TWU began supporting King and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference by sending union member delegations to events sponsored by King. And Quill himself signed on as a vice-chairman of King’s Youth March for Integrated Schools in 1959.

In early 1961, twenty-five TWU members, airline workers from Tennessee wrote to Quill objecting to the union’s support of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Freedom Riders. The Freedom Riders were mixed racial groups who traveled on buses from the North into the South. These rides had as their purpose to challenge the status quo which obligated black people to sit in the rear on buses in the South. The Tennessee unionists told Quill that he ought not to be interested in these social issues and dedicate himself more fully to just union matters. Quill responded to his Tennessee members’ letter in a fiery manner:

You have a lot to learn…. Wherever there are ignorant racist Klu Kluxers --- trying to destroy our country, it is the business of TWU. Wherever Americans do not have the right to vote, it comes under the heading of “things of the union” … When America is sick and endangered by the cancer of segregation, it is cause for concern by all organized labor --- and by each and every member of TWU.

A month after his letter of response to the Tennessee TWU contingent, Quill decided to invite Martin Luther King,  Jr. to address the upcoming TWU convention scheduled for April that year to dramatize the union’s commitment to civil rights.

You can read more about the TWU’s history with Dr. King here.

 

TWU/NYCT Childcare Vouchers Available Starting Feb. 7

Childcare for union members (NYCT/OA/MTABus) now for Summer and Fall sessions Available starting Feb. 7 -- Click on the image for the download.

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Mayor and Governor Announce Subway Safety Plans

In a welcome sign of cooperation and focus, Mayor Adams and Gov. Hochul announced Thursday new subway initiatives to increase safety and reduce the homeless population dwelling underground.

Adams, who was endorsed by TWU Local 100, said street-level police officers not responding to emergencies will be directed to park their cars and enter subway stations for security checks – and to increase the uniformed presence in the system. Subway-dedicated officers in the Transit Bureau will be directed to ride and walk through trains instead of congregating on mezzanines, he said. And officers sitting behind desks who can be of better service on patrol will be placed into transit patrol, he said, appearing with Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell.

“Omnipresence is the key,” Adams said at a press conference at the Fulton Transit Center in Manhattan. Hochul said the state will fund new homeless outreach teams consisting of mental health professionals and build more affordable housing with support services.

“We’re happy the new governor and new mayor are working together to improve safety for both riders and workers,” TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano said. “Riders come in and out of the system, but this is our office. This is where we spend 8, 10, or even more hours a day.  The mayor and governor are giving the issue of public safety in the transit system the focus and attention that’s required.”

Officials said the goal was not to hound the homeless with enforcement for low-level infractions but to get them the help they need to move on with their lives, and out of the transit system. Adams indicated that he believes laws need to be enforced or adapted to deal with the thorny issue of handling subway dwellers who refuse services, including alternative shelter.

Watch the coverage from WPIX-TV above.

Enroll Online for Our Spring 2022 Courses

IB ImageOur Training and Upgrading Fund (TUF) offers courses to Union members on site and online. Offerings include computers and electronics, learning software productivity tools like MS Word and MS Excel, Math, Spanish, and sign language. Also, a course for women on exploring non-traditional careers. Get all the details by clicking on image at left for a full copy of the two-page flyer.

Animal Welfare Comes First for our Horse Carriage Drivers

Our new radio spot beginning today highlights the animal welfare provisions that govern the carriage horse industry, which we are proud to represent.

Utano, Phillips, Crisp, Whichard Re-Elected to Top Four Union Positions

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DECEMBER 8 -- Local 100 members have re-elected President Tony Utano to a new three-year term, as well as incumbent running mates on the Stand United Slate, Earl Phillips as Secretary Treasurer, LaTonya Crisp as Recording Secretary and Lynwood Whichard as Administrative Vice President.

 

Six of the seven Vice Presidents on Utano’s slate, including John Chiarello (Maintenance of Way); Richard Davis (MaBSTOA); Shirley Martin (Car Equipment); Robert Kelley (Stations); Peter Rosconi (MTA Bus/School Bus/Private Operations), and JP Patafio (TAS) were all victorious.  RTO members elected Canella Gomez as their Departmental Vice President from the Progressive Change slate.

 

President Utano said of the results: “I want to thank the membership for placing its faith in me to lead our union for the next three years.  We all kept the faith throughout the pandemic, and together battled to keep our workplaces safe and to move the union forward on all fronts.  We secured billions in federal aid for the MTA which will guarantee our jobs, our benefits and sanctity of our collective bargaining agreements for the foreseeable future.  Better days are coming, and I am thrilled to be able to continue as President of this great organization, TWU.”

 

Unofficial results on all elections have been posted on the Elections Committee page. These results will be subject to certification.

Latest COVID Memo on Testing

Management has issued a memo on COVID-19 testing which explains testing procedures for members who choose not to get vaccinated. It also explains how to provide proof of vaccination. You can read it here.

We Celebrate Indian-American Heritage -- Photos from the Event

Indian Day 2021

Five hundred transit workers hailing from India and Southeast Asia celebrated with Union leadership at a festive evening November 20th in Elmont. Officiating at the celebration were longtime CED officer Jolly Eapen and the younger members of the Committee. A great time was had by all -- the food was first rate, and Bollywood dancers and singers entertained the crowd. Enjoy the pix!

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