News from TWU Local 100

Conductor Badly Slashed in Queens; Aunt Pleads for More Police

MAY 6 -- After the near-fatal slashing of her nephew, Conductor Gerard Sykes, his Aunt, Cassandra, begged Mayor de Blasio for more police to combat the crime wave currently engulfing the subway system. TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano responded to Jamaica Hospital along with RTO VP Eric Loegel. Brother Sykes had two emergency surgeries and is now declared in stable condition.

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Queens Memorial Honors Our Transit Workers Who Died of COVID-19

2.5% Contractual Raise on May 16, 2021

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MAY 5 -- Local 100 President Tony Utano today announced that the third of four contractual raises resulting from the current TWU agreement with the MTA will show up in our checks on the following dates:

• For OA and TA, May 26th - 27th, respectively.
• For MTA Bus, June 3rd

This is the third of the four contractual raises negotiated in late 2019 and ratified by the membership in January 2020. The final increase of 2.75 percent will be effective on May 16, 2022.

“Our members deserve this raise.  Our contract has kept us well ahead of inflation, and it has provided strong financial security for our members during the pandemic, and I believe will continue to do so for the next two years,” said Utano.



Sen. Charles Schumer (kneeling, center) is surrounded by TWU Local 100 officers, including Secretary Treasurer Earl Phillips, Vice President Richard Davis and OA Division 1 Chair Donald Yates.
Sen. Charles Schumer (kneeling, center) is surrounded by TWU Local 100 officers, including Secretary Treasurer Earl Phillips, Vice President Richard Davis and OA Division 1 Chair Donald Yates.

Sen. Schumer Says All Electric Bus Fleet is Coming to MTA, Part of Biden Climate Plan

MAY 4, 2021 - Manhattan -- Sen. Charles Schumer announced today that the federal government will be providing funding to the MTA to convert its entire bus fleet to electric vehicles in the years ahead.  Schumer spoke on the subject at a press event at the Tuskegee Airmen’s Depot on 100th Street.

Secretary Treasurer Earl Phillips, Vice President Richard Davis, Division 1 Chair Donald Yates and other MaBSTOA transportation and maintenance officers met with Schumer to insist that job protection for maintainers be a top priority in the transition to electric.

“We support Sen. Schumer’s initiative for the MTA’s bus fleet,” said Phillips.  “We have been fighting to rid the workplace and the neighborhoods surrounding our depots of diesel fumes for the past decade.”

But, added Phillips, “a switch to electric buses must not be a job killer.  We will not allow that to happen, and we have Senator Schumer’s word that job protection will be a key part of the equation.”

Felony assaults in the subway up 42% compared to three years ago; Union demands more mental health and police resources

APRIL 30 -- A subway rider spat in a subway worker’s face, brandished a razor blade, and threatened, “I’ll stab you” this morning in Queens. The violent outburst occurred at the end of the F line in Queens when a Train Operator roused the man from his sleep at approximately 10:30 at the 179th St station.

"The subway system desperately needs more resources - mental health services, homeless outreach workers and police officers to protect my members and riders,” TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano said. “This has to stop. Every single day there's an incident like this." Felony assaults from January through late April are up about 17% compared to the same period last year, up 24% compared to the same time period two years ago – and up 42% compared to the same time period three years ago, according to the latest police statistics.

Ridership, meanwhile, is a fraction of what it was pre-pandemic. More than 5 million people rode the subway in 2018 and 2019. The weekday average now is about 1.8 million riders. Far fewer riders, more serious crime.

Trains are regularly cleared of passengers at the end of subway lines so they can be cleaned or sent to the rail yard to be temporarily parked without riders on board. Overall crime is down in the subway system because the largest category is grand larceny committed by pickpockets. That’s driving down the statistics and masking the very real problem with mentally ill homeless in the system.

Dedra Brinson Sworn in as Vice Chair, Train Operators, B Division, RTO

IB ImageAPRIL 29 -- Dedra Brinson, a career Train Operator with 19 years of service at NYCT, was sworn in by President Tony Utano to complete the term of T/O Brussard Alston, who retired. She was appointed by the Executive Board to occupy the position of Vice Chair of Train Operators for the B Division. For most of her career she has worked the F Line. She has previously served as a Shop Steward

RTO Vice President Eric Loegel (also pictured) said Sister Brinson "has worked closely with the union for the last couple of years and has done an excellent job serving our membership and moving RTO forward. I'm thrilled to have her working in an official capacity as a Vice Chair for the B Division. I know she will continue her great work for the Department."

Brother Alston, who retired in December, had 32 years with NYCT and has previously held the position of Division Chair.

NBC Report: Union Says Mayor Should Direct More Police to Subways; Also Ride Buses

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TWU Local 100 is continuing its efforts to increase worker safety by demanding a greater police presence in the mass transit system. The NYPD added hundreds of officers to the subway earlier this year – but that’s not enough. More officers in the subway would deter more crime and speed police response to emergencies – and Mayor de Blasio also should direct police to ride buses to help protect Bus Operators.
We’ve been making noise and here’s an example with one of our Station Agents and Stations Vice President Robert Kelley.
President Utano also told reporters that Mayor de Blasio “has to stop sticking his head in the sand.”


Union Negotiates Extension of COVID Death Benefit

APRIL 21 -- TWU Local 100 has negotiated a significant extension of our precedent-setting Covid-19 death benefit.
The original agreement with the MTA, providing $500,000 payments to the families of members who contracted the virus and died, expired April 13.
Payments will continue under the negotiated extension through August 31. Starting June 1, proof of vaccination or “a valid, documented exemption” will be required for eligibility.


Set Street Naming for Former TAS Maintenance Chair Lee Eikeseth for May 15th on Staten Island

Leif "Lee" Eikeseth, who had a 36 year career in Transit and was a former Maintenance Chairman of TA Surface, will be honored by having a street co-named in his honor on Staten Island on May 15th. Brother Eikeseth passed away in March of 2019 but the re-naming ceremony was put on hold due to the pandemic, his wife Mary said. The unveiling of the sign will take place at 9:30 at the intersection of Woodrow Road and Deserre Avenue, near the family home.

TA Surface Vice President JP Patatio and Maintenance Division Chair Danny Ascona remember Lee as a well-liked advocate for the membership and an excellent Maintainer. His widow Mary said Lee was "always very proud of his job with New York City Transit." Before being elected as Division Chair, he was the Maintenance Shop Steward at Ulmer Park.

Before beginning his career with NYCT, Lee served with the Army Special Forces from 1974 to 1980 and wore the green beret. He held the rank of Sergeant, and the sign will commemorate Sergeant Leif Eikeseth. He leaves three daughters, Krystina, Eryka, and Dayna, as well as two grandchildren, with another one on the way.

Within months of his retirement from transit, Lee came down with an aggressive metastatic cancer that quickly took his life. He wa 63. Doctors linked his illness to his service on the pile at the World Trade Center site where he volunteered after 9/11. His wife Mary, who is a Registered Nurse, and his daughters were with him at his hospital bed during his last hours. "I loved him with all my heart," she said.

All members are invited to the street naming.

20% Discounts Offered on Central Park Carriage Horse Rides

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In solidarity with the carriage horse drivers we represent in Central Park, Local 100 Rewards is offering discounted rides to our union members. Spring is here and this is the best time to enjoy this classic New York experience.
Just login to Local 100 Rewards on our website or using this link: You can print a coupon that entitles you to the discount -- just bring it to the Park and enjoy your ride!
If you aren't yet a member of Local 100 Rewards, you can sign up there as well.
A 20-minute ride is just $45. That’s 20% off the regular rate of $57.47 for such a trip. Another option: A 45-minute ride for $100. That’s 20% off the regular rate of $126 for such a trip. 
The drivers in the historic NYC horse-carriage industry are now dues-paying members of TWU Local 100. By booking a ride, you will not only get a unique experience but help union brothers and sisters get through the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.
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