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Union Commemorates 20 Years Since 9/11; President Utano Gives Remarks

AUGUST 31 -- It's been 20 years since the Attack on America. More than three thousand transit workers responded to the rescue and recovery effort, the bulk of them assigned there by NYCT, others who volunteered. On August 31, TWU Local 100 held our seventh commemoration of the event, as we continue to press the media and the larger community to recognize the sacrifices of transit workers on that fateful day. As is our regular practice, we awarded 9/11 Medals to our members who have become seriously ill due to toxic exposures on 9/11 and who have received compensation from the federal government under the Zadroga Act. 14 of those Medals were awarded in this ceremony. Also, Recognition Pins were given out to members who served at Ground Zero. TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano spoke at the event.

Update: MTA Vaccination/Testing Program

A Message from TWU Local 100:
What You Should Know About the MTA’s Vaccine/Testing Program

What You Should Know

The MTA, as every other City and State Agency, is currently developing a program to deal with State and City regulations on vaccinations and testing. The MTA Says that 70 percent of its overall workforce is already vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, all you need to do is make sure the MTA knows.

Go to the MTA’s online Employee Resource Center:

When the MTA implements the program, here is what will happen:  If you are not vaccinated, you may be subject to testing as often as once a week. The MTA told the union that testing will be at work locations and on company time.

MANAGEMENT HAS NOT FINALIZED ITS TESTING PLAN.  In other words, if you are not vaccinated, you don’t have to do anything except wait, and stay informed.

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given full and final approval to the Pfizer Vaccine, and is expected to approve the other major vaccine providers products (Moderna, J&J) in the near future. Local 100 believes that you should not be forced to get the vaccine if you don’t want it.  If the State forces the MTA to reverse its current position on choice of vaccine or testing, we are prepared to go to court. Obviously, Covid must be taken seriously.  630,000 Americans have died of Covid, including more than 100 TWU Local 100 members.

We will keep you informed of all updates as we get them from the MTA.

Russian Day Festivities Set for Oct. 10th in Brighton Beach

TWU Local 100's annual Russian Day event will take place this year on October 10th at Tatiana's Restaurant in Brighton Beach. Reservations are required and must be made by September 15th. Click on the image below for the downloadable flyer. Because of the Mayor's Executive Order 225, all attendees must present proof of vaccination to be allowed inside. See the second page of the flyer for directions on how to reserve your place.

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Police Ask for Help in Menacing Incident on Station Agent

IB ImageThe New York City Police Department is asking the public's assistance identifying the individual depicted in the attached photograph regarding a public lewdness incident that occurred within the confines of the 77th Precinct. Details are as follows:

It was reported to the police that on Friday, August 13, 2021 at approximately 0445 hours, inside the Botanic Gardens Subway Station located at the intersection of Franklin Avenue and Eastern Parkway. An unknown individual approached an MTA toll booth with a 51-year-old female MTA employee inside, the individual exposed himself before fleeing to parts unknown. The victim, off-duty left the toll both and began walking on the southbound platform when she observed the unknown individual following her. The individual brandished a knife and stated "I'm going to kill you" the victim in fear for her life ran into a near by toll both, called the police and took a cell phone photo of the individual. The unidentified individual fled on a southbound train to parts unknown. There were no injuries reported.

The individual is described as a: Male, approximately 25-years-old, with a dark complexion, 5'8" tall, 170 Lbs, brown eyes, mustache, blotchy skin and a long dark Afro. He was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, black jeans and a multi-colored bandana.

A cellphone photograph of the individual taken by the reporter is attached and available at DCPI.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at, on Twitter @NYPDTips.

All calls are strictly confidential

Union Wins Tier 6 Refunds

Local 100 has reached an agreement with the MTA that will result in refunds of thousands of dollars to Local 100 members. Local 100 President Tony Utano uncovered a serious error in how the MTA is calculating paycheck deductions for some Tier 6-covered transit workers who exceed the overtime cap (currently approximately $17,000 for 2021) under the Tier 6 plan.

Before turning to litigation, President Tony Utano addressed the issue in a letter to the MTA last month.  The MTA subsequently admitted their error after meeting with Utano and union counsel Denis Engel. As a result, the MTA has committed to correcting the situation as soon as possible, probably as soon as September, and to provide refunds to those who have been overcharged. They could not commit to a timeframe for refunds – but Utano made clear that any and all such refunds must be paid as soon as possible. Until the MTA completes a comprehensive review, the authority can’t state how many members will be receiving refunds.

According to the Tier 6 plan covering transit workers (Transit Operating Force 25-Year/Age 55 Retirement Plan), an employee should only be paying pension deductions based on his/her 40-hour pay rate, plus earned overtime up to the cap set by the plan in a given year.

A worker whose base rate, for example is $70,000, will pay pension deductions on that amount plus overtime up to approximately $17,000 in 2021.  Therefore, deductions should stop at $87,000 in this example for the rest of the year.  However, the MTA has been deducting contributions from certain members not yet identified on all monies earned over and above the cap, according to them, since 2015.  The MTA believes that a computer programming error is the cause of the problem.

“We will closely monitor how the MTA rectifies this situation,” said Utano.  “It will take time for them to correct it and get the overpayments back to our members caught up in this situation.  But we are determined to ensure that management complies with the statute quickly.”  

Local 100 will be providing periodic updates on this developing victory for pension justice.

Union Message on the Tragic Loss of Life in Haiti

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TWU Local 100 is heartbroken over the loss of life and devastation in Haiti caused by the earthquake that struck Saturday. We extend our deepest condolences to any members who have family and friends in the country. You are in our hearts and prayers.
-- Tony Utano, President, TWU Local 100


50 Years Plus for Brooklyn Bus Operator

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In the Photo: President Utano and Recording Secretary LaTonya Crisp with Bus Operator Cristo, Cristo’s son and daughter, and the Honor Guard.

AUGUST 11 -- It was a packed house at the Flatbush depot Wednesday as Bus Operators, managers, and union leaders all came together to honor Bus Operator Silverio Cristo for an amazing feat: 50 years on the job. And he’s not done yet.

Cristo, 81, said he has no plans of retiring. He’s going to keep doing what he’s done – quietly, humbly, and reliably – since 1971: safely get Brooklyn riders to their destinations.

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WPIX Report: Why the MTA Must Bring Back the Cash

Bring Back the Cash!

AUGUST 10 — TWU Local 100’s campaign to resume cash transactions at subway booths received a big public boost Tuesday from an impressive contingent of elected officials and advocates.

State Senator Julia Salazar, Assemblymember Catalina Cruz – and eight other members of the State Legislature – demonstrated their support by holding a well-attended press conference Tuesday with Local 100 President Tony Utano, Stations Vice President Robert Kelley, and other union leaders. Advocates from the Straphangers Campaign and the Brooklyn Center for the Independence of the Disabled also came and voiced their support at the event outside the Broadway Junction subway-bus hub in Brooklyn.

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Workers Worldwide Mourn the Passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

The labor movement across America and the world is mourning the unexpected death of Richard Trumka, President of the national AFL-CIO since 2009, and a major force on the labor scene for more than 40 years.

Local 100 President Tony Utano said: “Brother Trumka’s passing is a shocking and devastating loss to our great labor movement. He was a devoted and passionate fighter for the rights of workers on the job, and for social justice and equality for all people here and abroad. We in TWU are all deeply saddened by his death, and we send our most heartfelt condolences to his family, and to our brothers and sisters at the AFL-CIO in Washington.”

The son of a coal miner in western Pennsylvania, Trumka went to work in the mines as a teenager. But he also went to college at Penn State and Villanova and became a staff attorney with the United Mine Workers of America union's Washington office soon after graduating law school in 1974.

He became the youngest man elected president of the UMWA in 1982 at the age of 33 and led the union on a series of strikes over the next 13 years, including the nationally famous Pittston Coal Strike.

He became the secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO in 1995 and President in 2009.

Upon hearing the news, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer interrupted Senate proceedings on August 5, 2021 to say: "I rise today with some sad, some horrible, news about the passing of a great friend, Rich Trumka, who left us this morning. The working people of America have lost a fierce warrior at a time when we needed him most."

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