News from TWU Local 100

Zero Tolerance for diesel exposure receives national coverage

Workers Independent News estimates that 1.7 million listeners nationwide heard their recent coverage of Local 100’s Zero Tolerance fight against exposure of our members and the public to diesel fumes.

Click here for the audio of WIN’s June 27 Labor Report. (Our story begins at 0:50.)

Safety First as Select Bus Service Begins on Webster Ave in the Bronx

TWU Local 100 MABSTOA Division 2 Chair Frank Austin and his officers, including First Vice Chair Anthony Marshall (pictured) were out in force along Webster Avenue in the Bronx on July 1 as the MTA continued the roll-out of its Select Bus Service along the route of the BX 41. Management touts increased speed and ridership; TWU Local 100's main concern is the safety of passengers and our operators. "We hope SBS in the Bronx is a great success, but we're making sure the Bus Operators are safe in how they're doing it," said Frank Austin. "It's different in the Bronx, because the bus lane is not curbside, and buses must always come to the curb when boarding or discharging passengers. The Union is making sure they're doing that." At 9:30, Mayor Mike Bloomberg and MTA brass turned out for a congratulatory press conference which was hit by heavy rains. Bus service was unaffected.

Strong Support to Restore the B37 to Third Avenue

Brooklyn community and political leaders spoke out loudly and clearly on Saturday, June 15th, calling on the MTA to use some of the Authority's recently revealed surplus to bring back the B37 to Park Slope, Bay Ridge, and Sunset Park. Led by Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez, speakers ticked off a long list of reasons why the B37 -- cut in 2010 -- should be put back in service, pronto. Advocates for the disabled said that 20,000 disabled persons lived on or near the bus route -- and have no other way of accessing mass transit since elevators do not make the R and N trains accessible to Brooklynites in wheelchairs. One disabled advocate noted that the "dollar vans" aren't accessible, either. Bay Ridge State Senator Martin Golden, Sunset Park State Senator Felix Ortiz, Cobble Hill Assemblywoman Joan Millman, two Mayoral Candidates -- Bill Thompson and Sal Albanese -- and three sitting City Councilmembers -- Letitia James, Sara Gonzalez, and Vincent Gentile, were all up in arms about the lack of service, and the devastating effect the loss of the route has had on working people. Local 100 President John Samuelsen summed up the action when he said: "When the union, on its own, tried to restore service, we've failed. When community groups, on their own, tried to restore service, they've failed. But when we all come together, there's nothing that can stop us." The rally was co-coordinated with Local 100 by our community partner in Sunset Park, UPROSE, a member of the  Transit Forward Coalition.

TWU Adding to Municipal Workers Demand: Fair Contract Now

A contingent of TWU Local 100 members marched to City Hall on June 13th, adding our voices to ten thousand municipal workers rallying for a contract. With virtually all of the public sector workforce without a current contract, the display of unity on stage included law enforcement, sanitation, teachers, health care and clericals along with teamsters and highway construction titles. TWU Local 100 Recording Secretary LaTonya Crisp-Sauray received a warm welcome from the crowd of workers as she brought her message that the middle class needs respect and a decent contract to City Hall. Although TWU Local 100 negotiates with the Governor and not the Mayor, we stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the municipal labor coalition.

Hay with Sen. Jeff Klein
Hay with Sen. Jeff Klein

Train Operator Honored by State Senate Standing Ovation

At 4:58 on June 11, the New York State Senate interrupted its "fast roll call" legislative session to honor TWU Local 100's own Danny Hay, a Train Operator who took action to save lives when he stopped an F train about to barrel into the Delancey Street subway station where a man had fallen onto the tracks. Hay used his flashlight to alert the oncoming Train Operator and the train stopped in time, avoiding tragedy. Two good Samaritans had also descended to the road bed, and all three would likely have been killed if not for Hay's quick thinking and acting. Taking a trip up to Albany with TWU Local 100 Political Action Director Marvin Holland and PAC staffer Cheska Tolentino, Hay found time to chat with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who he knew from political campaigning, with Jim Brennan, Chair of the powerful Committee on Authorities, and with State Senator Adriano Espaillat, who he is lobbying to support platform conductors on subway stations where construction hazards exist as a public safety measure. He also met with Washington Heights Assemblywoman Gabriela Rosa, who has been taking part in our rallies to restore a token booth at 168th Street on the A, C and 1. Then Hay met with State Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx), who shares the top leadership post in the Senate with Republican Dean Skelos.

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Family Day Rocks with Record Crowd of 6,000

TWU Local 100 Family Day brought thousands of transit workers and their families out to MCU Park on June 1, which turned out to be a perfect day. Three buses arrived from Philadelphia, bearing brothers and sisters from Local 234 (SEPTA), ready to play ball. And how! Both the PA men's and women's team prevailed over the home team, and we're looking for a re-match next year! Local 100 did take the contest with New Jersey's TWU Local 229. Besides playing hard, transit workers partied hard, with plenty of food, drink, and thrilling rides. Watch our Facebook page and our slideshow for lots of pix!

Stand Back! TWU Local 100 Shoots Rap Video to Warn Riders

Coming off a particularly devastating weekend for transit riders, where four were hit by trains and killed in 36 hours, TWU Local 100 is releasing our "Stand Back" video, highlighting our common-sense solutions for stopping the carnage on the rails -- in a way that we hope will capture public attention and support. Watch -- and stand back!

A Train Stars as Rockaway Stations Come Back On Line

Train Operator Derrick Sherry drove the first A train out to Beach 116th Street in the Rockaways. Fittingly, it was a very special train: cars from the 40's, 50's, and 60's showed the continuity of transit's historic record of service to New Yorkers. In remarks at a ribbon cutting also attended by Interim Executive Director Tom Prendergast, Acting MTA Chairman Freddie Ferrer said that New York "is one city," and that the fast work in rebuilding the damaged tracks after Hurricane Sandy showed the MTA's commitment to the entire community. Much of the work was done by contractors, but incoming NYCT President Carmen Bianco took pains to thank the members of TWU Local 100 for our contribution in repairing "miles of signal, power and communications wires," and restoring track infrastructure. Transit even baked cookies for the occasion, such as the one Brother Sherry is holding up in the photo. Stay tuned for complete coverage in the next TWU Bulletin.

Trip Down Memory Lane

Commuters taking the A Train on May 30th were treated to a nostalgic trip through the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s when they boarded historic subway cars running from 116th Street in the Rockaways up to Washington Heights in Manhattan. The train was put in service for the day to celebrate our on-time, on-budget restoration of the A train tracks through the Rockaway peninsula in time for beach weather.

CO-OP City Says: We Want Our Buses Back!

400 Co-Op City residents, most of them seniors, packed the community hall at 177 Dreiser Loop to hear their own elected representatives, public officials, and TWU Local 100 demand full-scale restorations of bus lines cut by the MTA in 2010. Residents like Dorothy Cates (at right, in green suit and cap) want the Bx 26 and Bx 28 lines back in service. Cates says she has a hard time getting to her church, Community Protestant on Gun Hill Road, without those buses. Helen Atkins, President of the Board of Directors of Riverbay Corp, that runs the 50,000-person development, spoke for the crowd when she said that Co-Op City wasn't built with cars in mind -- that mass transit is essential to its functioning. TWU Local 100 Administrative Vice President Angel Giboyeaux, speaking as a Bus Operator with decades of experience, drew applause when he spoke of the consequences of overcrowding on buses. He detailed the scope of the cuts, breaking out each line that was reduced or eliminated. Political Action Director Marvin Holland said that the Union, along with political leaders and residents, are targeting the MTA's July Board of Directors meeting for a resolution of the issue. Most audience members signed Local 100 petitions to restore the bus service, and many wrote down their personal stories of hardships because of the bus cuts. Also lending their strong support were Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and City Councilmembers Jimmy Vacca and Andy King. Sign the petition here.

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