News from TWU Local 100

Station Agent Robert Simon, 39, Dies of the Virus

Beloved Station Agent Robert Simon, a cherished member of his Washington Heights neighborhood, died of the Coronavirus on April 16, 2020.  He was only 39 years old and had been on the job with Transit since 2014. 

He worked at the 175th Street Station near his home in upper Manhattan.  Robert was known to greet riders with a smile and music playing from his booth. He and his wife, Charlene, had just married in November 2019, completing a 7-year relationship of blending their two families.  They had known each other since they were 14.

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Alexander Gigueredo, Waterway Bus Op, Is Taken by Virus

Alexander Gigueredo, a Bus Operator for New York Waterway since 2018, died of the Coronavirus in April.  According to Division Chair Carlos Bernabel, Brother Gigueredo had worked until March 25, 2020, the day Waterway ceased all bus operations due to the virus regulations.  “This is really sad.  He was so young,” said Bernabel.

Many friends posted condolences on Facebook, including this one: “This is so, so sad. R.I.P. to the most genuine and humble guy that I had the pleasure to meet. Fly high sweet angel. My condolences to his family.” 

RTO Mourns Train Operator Michael Thompson, 60, Falls to Coronavirus

Train Operator Michael Thompson, 60, of Lindenhurst, NY passed away from the coronavirus on April 17, 2020. He was hired by New York City Transit in 2013.

His wife Loretta recalled that this was his dream job, and how much he loved it. Michael was known for his wonderful sense of humor and for his favorite pastime, fishing. He was born and raised in Harlem, and in addition to his wife, is survived by four children and nine grandchildren. He will be deeply missed by friends and colleagues both on and off the job.

Kenneth Wright, Caretaker at Gun Hill and Former Operator, Dies from COVID-19

Kenneth Wright, who worked as a Cleaner/Caretaker at the Gun Hill Depot in the Bronx and was a former Bus Operator out of Quill, died after contracting COVID-19.

Wright, 56, joined NYC Transit in 2011, after working two decades as a Corrections Officer. He was a Bus Operator out of Quill for several years before being reclassified due to a heart condition, Sukhy Singh, the Quill Chair, said.

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RTO Mourns Train Operator Reginald Holmes, 47, from Non COVID-19 Illness

Train Operator Reginald Holmes passed away at home on April 6 from heart-related ailments not related to COVID-19. He had been a Train Operator in the IRT Division for two years. His friend Train Operator Vice Chair Curtis Lemon recalls how they took a “Chicago stepping” dance class together and bonded.

“His smiles and chuckles will remain in the hearts of many of his family and friends,” Mr. Lemon said. “He will be missed.”

President Utano's Statement on Plans to Close the Subway From 1AM to 5AM for Intense Cleaning

Gov. Cuomo today announced plans to close the subway from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. for intense cleaning and disinfecting of the system.

If the MTA and the police handle this correctly, this will ensure that our members on the overnight shift can clean the stations and trains without having to contend with the homeless or mentally disturbed. This is exactly the type of aggressive and dramatic action we wanted to better protect our members from contracting the virus from people camped out in the system.

The cleaning and disinfecting of buses also is being ramped up. These efforts will be good for the essential workers and our members. We will be closely monitoring this program.

-- Tony Utano, President, TWU Local 100

Stations Mourns CTA Denise Colbert, Lost to the Coronavirus

Denise Colbert, who had 20 years of service with MTA/NYCT, passed away at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx on April 10th. Her daughter Tawana said her mother had worked RDO's and “was generally at a different booth every day.” She said her mother was “always helpful, always willing to lend a hand.”

Tawana said her mother felt sick on March 26th and called it in. She was given a test for COVID-19 and tested positive. She was hospitalized soon after.

Apart from her daughter, Sister Colbert leaves two grandchildren, Ryan and Christopher. Daughter Tawana is a Teamster.

Union Mourns Tower Operator Phyllis Robinson-Ward, 68, Dies from Coronavirus

Phyllis Robinson, 68, of Brooklyn, NY, passed away April 8, 2020 in the ICU unit of Kings County Hospital. She had 30 years of service with MTA/NYCT, and most recently worked midnights at Rockaway Park. Services have not yet been held for her due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her only daughter, Francine, gave us this remembrance:

Phyllis was born the first of three children, to Fred Melvin Robinson and Clara Edmonia Robinson in Harlem, New York, on July 25, 1951. Phyllis graduated from Julia Richmond High School in 1969 and went on to receive a B.A. degree in Mathematics from Fordham University in 1977.

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Transit Workers Eligible for State's COVID-19 Antibody Test

Starting immediately, transit workers are eligible for the State's new Covid 19 antibody testing campaign for essential workers.  Testing is free of charge, voluntary and by appointment only, made on line.
Many workers have been exposed to the virus but don't even know it because they never displayed symptoms.  This test will reveal whether that could be the case for you, and whether you may be immune in the future.
Testing for transit workers begins this week at MAC 1, located at 180 Livingston Street, Brooklyn, NY and will expand to additional sites over the following two weeks.  Details on expanded sites will be forthcoming.
Please review this document closely.  It outlines how to make an appointment, and how the testing will be conducted.
Again, the testing is voluntary, and is not for someone who is displaying symptoms. If you have symptoms, for immediate testing, you should go a Northwell Health Urgent Care Center.

Ramon Gutierrez, Kingsbridge Bus Operator, Loses Battle with Virus

Kingsbridge Bus Depot members and officers are mourning the passing to the Coronavirus of beloved Bus Operator Ramon Gutierrez, 62.

Brother Gutierrez was planning on retiring next year, according to friend and Kingsbridge Chief Line Steward 1 Felix “Flex” Olivo.  “With his transit time and military time, Ramon would have been able to go out next year.  He was looking forward to it.”

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