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Jazz Vocalist's Tribute to Essential Workers Uses Photos of Our Members

Austrian-born jazz vocalist and bandleader Elizabeth Lohninger's song Alright is a tribute to essential workers during COVID19 -- and she uses images of transit workers along with health care workers to send a message of hope amid the pandemic. Thank you for recognizing the importance and value of transit workers as we move America.

TWU Local 100 Mourns Administrative Vice President Nelson Rivera, 53

TWU Local 100 is mourning the passing today (May 23, 2020) of Administrative Vice President Nelson Rivera after a long fight with lung cancer.  He was only 53 and died at his home in his beloved Brooklyn. 

He was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer shortly after Labor Day in 2018 and was given only months to live.  But he fought back hard going through a series of grueling and painful procedures in an effort to beat the disease.

During this entire time, he never missed a day of work at TWU, even to the end while working from home. 

Local 100 President Tony Utano said: “This is a sad day for our union.  Local 100 has never had a tougher, more aggressive advocate for this membership than Nelson Rivera. With management, he was direct, uncompromising, and totally unfiltered, and had a record of success in those battles second to none.  But with this membership, the people he loved and fought for every day, he had incredible empathy and compassion.  There are literally hundreds of Local 100 members who today have a job because of Nelson’s relentless advocacy.  Nelson’s passing is a tremendous loss for all of TWU, for all the the labor movement.”

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Voting Power is Political Power -- How to Vote During COVID19

Election Day is June 23, 2020 for State & Federal Primaries

, and the Early Voting Period runs from June 13, 2020 – June 21, 2020. You can vote even if you cannot get to the polling place on Election Day.

Under the Governor's Executive Orders: To help prevent the community spread of COVID-19, all registered, eligible voters may apply to vote by Absentee ballot for the June 23, 2020 elections. Voters affected by COVID-19 including the risk of contracting the virus, should check the box "Temporary Illness" as the reason for requesting an Absentee Ballot. The definition has been temporarily expanded to include those affected by COVID-19 and/or the potential of contracting the virus.

Find out how to vote from home at this link:

Call Center Operator George Manifold Passes from Coronavirus; First GCS Employee to Die from COVID-19

George Manifold, whose job it was to bring transportation services to the sick and disabled, died on April 23rd from the coronavirus. He worked at his operators’ desk at Global Contact Services until April 19th, when he became too ill to work.

Brother Manifold had three and half years with the company, a long tenure in a job environment where most operators last less than a year. GCS workers are not MTA employees, but they dispatch Access-A-Ride vans which are coordinated through the MTA. Local 100 organized the shop four years ago and won important job protections including the right to challenge disciplinary actions.

“He was a great worker,” said his union rep, Division Chair Sandra Lennon. “He never had any problems or write-ups until he got an infection in his leg and was hospitalized. Due to being hospitalized, he couldn’t report to work. He was terminated.”

Appealing the termination on December 18th of 2018, Sister Lennon fought the charges and the hearing officer ruled in the union’s favor. Brother Manifold returned to work in January of 2019.

Brother Manifold leaves five children, five grandchildren, and a wife to mourn.

Rodney Sparrow, Power Maintainer, 50, Lost to Coronavirus

Power Division is mourning the loss of another Brother to the Coronavirus.  Rodney Sparrow, a veteran of the job for nearly 23 years, died of the virus in April.  He was 50 years old.

A computer expert, he worked on the Track Geometry Train responsible for identifying and inputting track defects into the data base for quick repair.  He worked nights for many years, but had been working days at the time of his passing.

He was a graduate of the John Jay School of Criminal Justice, Class of 1993.  He was a lifelong resident of Brooklyn.

TUF Open for Virtual Classes; Webinar Offered

The TWU Local 100 - NYCT Training and Upgrading fund is open for business despite the pandemic.  Virtual meetings will be held on Zoom from 9AM to 4PM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays. You can email TUF at: to request an appointment. Read the TUF flyer about how to get into the webinar open house here.

Read the We're Open flyer here.

EEM Harvey Knight Dies of the Virus

Harvey K. Knight, Jr., a veteran Elevator and Escalator Maintainer for nearly 20 years with NYCT, died on the Coronavirus on April 23, 2020. He is described by those who knew him on the job as a dedicated father, husband, friend and co-worker.

“He was a hard-working, dedicated employee, who had great enthusiasm for his job and his union,” said a friend in an email to the union.

A funeral took place on May 15, 2020 at Unity Funeral Chapels, 2352 Frederick Douglas Blvd. in Manhattan.  The family said it will be holding a memorial at a later date for those unable to attend the funeral during this time of Coronavirus restrictions on gatherings. He is survived by his wife, Lorena, and three children, Jovanna, Jayvon and Justina.

Union Releases 10-Point Plan for a Re-Opened NYC

IB ImageTWU Local 100, in conjunction with our International, has developed a 10-point plan for a safe and secure mass transit system to accompany the re-opening of New York City. It focuses on hazard pay, protective equipment, testing and tracing, shields and temperature checks. The Plan also calls for a study to determine why so many of our members have died, sets guidelines for accommodations for at-risk workers, and addresses one factor not under the MTA's control: the problem of the homeless and mentally ill who occupy many of the seats on train cars and buses meant for essential workers. Read the 10 Point Plan here.

SMB Benny Diaz Losses Battle with Coronavirus

Structure Division is mourning the passing of another Brother to the Coronavirus.  Venancio “Benny” Diaz, a veteran SMB with 21 years on the job, passed away on April 30, 2020 at Staten Island University Hospital.  He was just shy of his 59th birthday.  He is the third Local 100 member from Structure Division to die of the virus.

Brother Diaz was born on May 18, 1961 in a small town called San Juan Nepopualco in the state of Tlaxcala, Mexico. He emigrated to New York in the mid 1980’s.  He worked multiple jobs including cook, painter, and construction worker.  He finally found his permanent career when he joined the MTA in 1999. According to his daughter, Teresa, he enjoyed listening to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, BeeGees, the Doors, and Vicente Fernandez in his spare time. He also enjoyed creating wooden crafts for his grandchildren and never hesitated in helping out anyone in need.

He is survived by his parents, Roberto Diaz Rocha and Teresa Herrera Barba, his wife of 38 years, Marina Diaz, along with their three daughters and one son, Heidi Sanchez, Nancy Rivera, Teresa Palafox and Angel Diaz; a daughter from an earlier union, Karla Jimenez, and 11 grandchildren.

Conductor Creates Tribute to Our Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Conductor Lizette Rodriguez created this beautiful video showcasing the heroism and determination of our members to keep New York Moving during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Music by Alicia Keys. Thank you, Sister.

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