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NY1 Report Captures Dignity, Gravity of Memorial to Transit Workers who Died of COVID19

This report, filed by NY1 Reporter Dan Rivoli, features an interview with Veronica Fletcher, whose husband, Joseph, was a Bus Maintainer who died of COVID-19 early in the pandemic. On September 30th, families of those who passed from this disease joined union leadership and Mayoral Candidate Eric Adams and NY State Attorney General Tish James for the unveiling of our permanent memorial.

Union Unveils Permanent Memorial to Members Lost to COVID-19

SEPTEMBER 30 -- TWU Local 100 unveiled today our permanent memorial to the members we lost to Covid-19 in a moving ceremony at the Union Hall. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and New York State Attorney General Letitia James joined Local 100 President Tony Utano, the other top officers of the union, and more than 50 family members who lost a loved one to the virus for the event. The Union will be posting additional photos and video in the coming days. Here’s some information about Memorial Plaque and Memorial Painting now on display on the third floor at 195 Montague St.

The Memorial Plaque -- The Memorial Plaque features the engraved names and titles of Local 100 members who died after contracting a confirmed case of Covid-19. The only exception is Train Operator Garrett Goble. TO Goble was killed when an arsonist lit a fire on his train in Harlem during the pandemic. Garrett helped passengers evacuate before he was overwhelmed by smoke from the blaze. The LED lights embedded in the plaque mark the work and reporting locations of our fallen heroes, creating a constellation that highlights their heroism, our loss, and their permanent residency in our hearts.

In his historic and final speech in Memphis on April 3, 1968, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about perseverance and hope, struggle and faith, and Civil Rights marchers being beacons of light in times of seemingly endless darkness. “The world is all messed up,” Dr. King said. “The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land; confusion all around… But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.” In the Great Pandemic that befell our planet, our country, our city and neighborhoods, the men and women of Transport Workers Union Local 100 kept our city moving, and fighting for survival. Transit workers were beacons of light, stars shining against an otherwise black sky. The concept for the plaque was conceived and developed by Local 100 staff and leadership. It was engineered and constructed by The Factory NYC, an art design-and fabrication company, under the direction of General Manager Jonathan Epstein.

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Enrollment Period to Opt-in/Opt-out & Change Medical Plans Starts Oct 15

All active members in TA/OA and MTA Bus should shortly be receiving these cards in the mail. They are reminders that Oct. 15 - Nov 15 are the dates to change your medical plan or make other changes in your coverage. Questions? Call the BSC at 646-376-0123.

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TWU Convention Approves 9/11 Resolution Sponsored by Local 100

Watch the TWU's video recognizing the dedication of transit workers at 9/11 above.

SEPTEMBER 22 -- A full house of nearly 500 Transport Workers Union of America delegates and alternates unanimously approved a Resolution sponsored by TWU Local 100 and read out to the body by Executive Board Member Mario Galvet at the just-ended union convention in Las Vegas. The Resolution commends Local 100's 9/11 Recognition Project for our efforts in setting the record straight on the prominent role played by transit workers in the aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. It also commends the Veterans Committee for their efforts on behalf of veterans and commits the Union to continue to advocate for sufficient funds in the WTC Victim's Compensation Fund to provide for all future claims. The full text is below:

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TWU Mourns Gleason Bus Operator Maqueda Lewis

IB ImageThe Gleason Depot, and the entire TWU Local 100 family, is mourning the death of Bus Operator Maqueda Lewis from Covid-19.

Lewis, 51, was a quiet but positive force in the depot from which she operated the B35.

“She was always very pleasant,” Gleason Vice Chair Ebony Walton said. “She was very nice, easy to get along with. Everyone you speak to here will say the same thing. She had a good spirit.”

Lewis worked out of Gleason since she was hired by NYC Transit in 2013. A mother of three children, Lewis also loved being a grandmother, Gleason Shop Steward Nicholas Stanford said. She was thrilled with the birth of the newest member of her family earlier this year, Stanford said. 

“She was very excited,” he said.

A Track Worker Remembers 911

Live on CNN: Bus Operator Rosa Almonte Explains How She Brought Her Passengers to Safety

Bus Operator Rosa Almonte, out of Fresh Pond Depot, came to the Union Hall on Friday for a live interview with CNN about how she brought her passengers through raging floodwaters on Queens Boulevard. The national TV broadcast showed America something about the guts, determination, and professionalism of transit workers.

OPTO? Hell, NO!

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It takes a team.


That’s the anti-OPTO message your union successfully promoted to the media and elected officials during the recent subway power outage and the incredible flooding that came days later.

In both emergencies, Local 100 Conductors and Train Operators urged riders to remain calm as they orchestrated train evacuations in these very difficult circumstances.


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“It takes a team on the train during emergencies like this,” TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano said. “Conductors and train operators across the system used their training, worked together, and evacuated passengers quickly and safely. The power outage and the flash flood clearly demonstrate why you need Conductors and Train Operators on board - no matter how much new technology is added to the system.”


The publicity prompted many elected officials to express support for two-person crews via Twitter, including mayoral candidate/Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.


Here's how Greg Mocker on WPIX 11 reported the story.


Read the Chief's coverage here.



Update: MTA Vaccination/Testing Program

The MTA is rolling out its COVID-19 vaccination/testing program.

If you are unvaccinated, you have a choice -- you can get the shot or be tested. Testing will take place on transit property and on company time. If testing is not available at your reporting location, you do not have to do anything. Management may, however, direct you on company time to go get tested at a nearby site.

The MTA has directed both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers to inform management through the employee portal of their vaccination status. If the MTA changes its position and moves to make vaccination a requirement of continued employment, TWU Local 100 will file a lawsuit and fight against such a mandate in court.

See the testing locations and schedules here.

The MTA is directing vaccinated workers to notify management using this link.


Transit Workers Recognized for Heroic Role in Flood Rescues on Subways, Buses

SEPTEMBER 2 -- NYS Governor Kathy Hochul called a press conference today at Fresh Pond Depot to praise the actions of Bus Operator Rosa Almonte, who drove her bus through raging waters to bring her passengers to safety last night. The widely circulated video of her bus opens the video. Joining Gov. Hochul and Bus Op Almonte at the press event were public officials and TA Surface Vice President JP Patafio. Subway workers were also recognized widely in press coverage. Watch our site for a full recap.

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