News from TWU Local 100

Speaker Heastie Went to Bat for Rank and File Transit Workers
Speaker Heastie Went to Bat for Rank and File Transit Workers

NYS Assembly Extends Death Benefits for Pandemic's Front-Line Workers

BY NICK REISMAN, NY1 --

The Democratic-led state Assembly on Wednesday approved a measure meant to extend enhanced death benefits for the families of municipal workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The measure extends the benefits for families based on legislation approved last year, said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie. 

“Throughout the course of this pandemic, our brave frontline workers have gotten up and gone to work every day despite the tremendous risks to their health,” Heastie said. “Tragically, many of these heroic public servants lost their lives to COVID-19. This legislation will ensure that the line of duty death benefits we put in place last year will remain available as we continue to battle this pandemic.”

Accidental death benefits for municipal workers provide more coverage for families than ordinary benefits. The measure extends those benefit provisions from December 31 of last year to December 31, 2022. For Transit Workers, the measure means that the spouse of a member who fell to the virus can claim a 50% pension (based on what the worker would have qualified for) for the rest of his or her life.

“Although many workers have been fortunate enough to work from home during this global pandemic, our frontline workers are not afforded that luxury,” said Assemblyman Peter Abbate.

“Day after day, emergency medical personnel, firefighters, police officers, sanitation workers, transit workers, state and municipal employees, and many others continue to put their health at risk to ensure that we can stay home and stay safe. These public employees who lost their lives to COVID-19 deserve all of our gratitude, and their families deserve the critical benefits afforded in this legislation.”

 

TWU Local 100 WANTS YOU!

FEBRUARY 3,2021 -- Local 100 President Tony Utano convened a strategy meeting today with more than 20 MTA union presidents, vice presidents, and staffers, to make making spitting at transit workers, along with other types of physical contact, a crime. ­

The MTA labor coalition agreed to embark on a series of actions, including direct outreach by union presidents to influential members of the New York State Senate and Assembly; establishing an easy way for union members to contact legislators via email and telephone; securing free media coverage; and taking out ads in regional and local publications. We will be sending out information on how you can participate in the near future. The MTA’s Government Affairs office also participated in the Zoom call.

The Governor’s budget proposal includes a penal code amendment elevating spitting on a transit worker from a violation, which is equivalent to a mere parking ticket, to misdemeanor aggravated harassment, which is punishable by up to a year in jail. The amendment would also make other forms of physical contact, such as a slap, a shove, or a kick, aggravated harassment. Right now, police have to witness some types of assault, like spitting, to take any enforcement action. The law must be changed to establish real consequences and a deterrent effect. Finally, the bill would add more job titles and work descriptions to the existing law that makes it a felony to assault and cause physical injury to a transit worker. It would broaden the group of workers covered to include station customer assistants, anyone involved in fare media sales, maintenance, inspections and other tasks.

If you want to participate in this campaign, email us at: communications@twulocal100.org. Provide your name, title, cell phone, and let us know if you’ve been a victim of the abuse described above.

The following union presidents participated in the meeting with Local 100 President Tony Utano: Danny Cassella, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 726; Edward Valente, General Chairman, Association of Commuter Rail Employees (Metro-North); Mark Henry, ATU Local 1056; Vincent Modafferi, TWU Local 106; Michael Cordiello, ATU Local 1181; Mike Carrube, Subway Surface Supervisors Association; Jose DeJesus, ATU Local 1179; and Anthony Simon, General Chairman, Sheet Metal Air Rail Transportation Workers Association (SMART) (LIRR).

 

Now's the Time: Get Vaccinated and Tested to Safeguard Your Family, Co-Workers, and Riders

The latest info from the MTA on how to get the vaccine is here.

TWU Local 100 strongly recommends that every member take advantage of this opportunity to get the vaccine now. The vaccine has proven to be 95% effective, and adverse reactions are minimal. Thousands of transit workers have received it with no serious side effects. The disease, on the other hand, is deadly, especially if you are over 50, and have pre-existing health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, or high blood pressure. This is especially true with new, more contagious variants entering the US. Click on this link to go to the portal.

Div Chair Carlos Bernabel receives the vaccine
Div Chair Carlos Bernabel receives the vaccine

County Arranges Vaccine for Liberty Lines Workers

Carlos Bernabel, Chair of the Local 100 Private Operations Division, and Liberty Lines Bus Operator,  was one of the workers to receive the Covid vaccine thanks to the efforts of Westchester County and Liberty Lines.  The County arranged for vaccines for Liberty workers over a three-day period. Monday, Feb. 1, 20201 is the last day of the program.  Liberty Lines workers still interested in getting the vaccine can call the company's Human Resources department to register.  Vaccines are available from 3-6pm Monday afternoon.  Carlos is urging his fellow workers to get the shot.

President Utano Praises Transit Workers in Annual Report to Membership

President's Report to Members presents recap of accomplishments and a preview of our ongoing objectives.

Eladio Diaz, Retired LE/S Chair, is Mourned

Local 100 is mourning the passing in late September of retired Executive Board Member and LE/S Division Chair Eladio Diaz.  He was 64.

 

Brother Diaz was born on Christmas Day in Cataño, Puerto Rico in 1955. and was raised in Brooklyn.  He attended Brooklyn Tech and graduated from John Jay HS in 1974.

After high school, he joined the U.S. Airforce and served until 1976. He studied electrical engineering at SUNY, Brooklyn.

 

Eladio worked as an electronics engineer at the Standard Microsystems Corp., Loral Corp., and Thompson Signal Devices before being hired by New York City Transit as an Electronics Equipment Maintainer in 1987.  He retired from service in 2010.

 

In addition to Division office, Brother Diaz was a member of the Local 100 Executive Board.  He used his professional experience in electronics to help modernize the union’s information technology capabilities as well. Brother Diaz was interred at Bushnell National Cemetery in Tampa, FL.  He was a resident of Spring Hill, FL at the time of his death.

Union Members who Fell to COVID-19 Honored Starting Today Throughout the System

JANUARY 25 -- Photographs of our fallen pandemic heroes will be on display in subway stations across the system in a moving and beautiful tribute that begins today.

The MTA-commissioned memorial is an eight-minute slide show with portraits provided by family members, a new poem by a former U.S. Poet Laureate, and an original score for the piano. The tribute will be playing daily on digital screens in subway stations through February 7th at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. After each airing, the presentation immediately will be shown a second time.

In the MTA press release announcing the project to the public and the media, TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano said:
 
“Transport Workers Union Local 100 will never forget our union brothers and sisters who perished in service to the city. It’s our fervent hope that with this memorial the riding public also keeps them in their hearts and minds. Stop for a moment during your daily travels and reflect on these departed heroes, the lives lost, and the heartbreak being carried by their families and co-workers. May they rest in peace.”
 
The memorial can be seen on this website: https://new.mta.info/covid-memorial
 
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 136 MTA employees at NYC Transit, the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro-North Railroad, were infected and died due to the coronavirus, including more than 90 members of TWU Local 100. The tribute features 111 portraits collected by the authority. TWU Local 100 is working with a Brooklyn artist and design team on a permanent memorial at the Union Hall on Montague St.

Read the MTA's press release here.

Dr. Fauci's Message to the Transit Workforce

Training and Upgrading Fund Announces Tax Prep, Courses for 2021

Our Training and Uprading Fund has announced a free tax prep seminar and our Spring course schedule for 2021. Download the course schedule here.

New COVID-19 Testing Schedule -- Get Tested Frequently; Keep Yourself & Riders Safe

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 20 -- The MTA's latest schedule for COVID-19 testing is here. It's fast and free. Make sure you get tested regularly.

 

 

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