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TWU Mourns Helen O’Connor, Retired Member of the Union Staff

TWU Local 100 is mourning the passing of a beloved member of the union staff, Helen Lynch O’Connor, who worked in the union’s Accounting Department for nearly 35 years until her retirement in 2000. She was 90 and passed away peacefully at her home in the Woodlawn section of the Bronx on Jan. 9, 2021.

Helen was a first cousin, once removed, of TWU Founder Michael J. Quill, whose mother was a Lynch. She was born in Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland and came to New York in 1963.

Helen was married to the late Michael O’Connor, a MaBSTOA Bus Operator. Her brother Patrick Lynch was a TAS Surface Bus Operator and manager.

Local 100 President Tony Utano said: “Helen was a lovely woman, always smiling; the kind of person who lifted your spirits every day you saw her. Her co-workers loved her dearly. She brought a lot of joy to TWU during her time with us. She also had such a strong connection to the people who founded our union. My heart goes out to her family.”

Helen is survived by sons, Michael and Donal, brothers Jack and Patrick, and three grandchildren.

Arrangements are as follows:

9:00 am - 10:30 am
Thursday, January 14, 2021
Hodder Farenga Funeral Home
899 McLean Ave
Yonkers, New York, United States

Funeral Mass
Thursday, January 14th
10:45am, St. Barnabas Church 409 E. 241St Street Bronx, NY 10470

Link to live feed:

Vaccines for Transit Workers Are Here

MONDAY, JANUARY 11 -- Local 100 members are now eligible for vaccines against COVID-19. Local 100 insisted that transit workers be given priority status -- and we were. Your union leadership urges you to get vaccinated to protect yourself, your family, your co-workers and your community. Together, we can stop the spread. Click here for the MTA's memo on vaccination opportunities and plans.

Pres. Utano Calls for More Police Presence in the Transit System

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JANUARY 6 -- CBS 2 News reports on recent assaults against our members, and the call by President Tony Utano to add more police presence to the transit system. Bus and Subway workers have been assaulted nearly 900 timnes between August and Mid-December. In a letter to Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, Utano said that transit workers don't feel protected on the job. "They call us heroes," he said. "Well, protect your heroes!" A meeting will be held soon. Click on the image above or see the news report by clicking here.

Union Calls for Meeting With Police Brass on Transit Assaults

Local 100 President Tony Utano is calling for a meeting with Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes, and NYPD Transit Bureau Chief Kathleen O’Reilly to demand more police presence throughout the transit system to stop the recent rash of violent assaults against transit workers and riders.

Utano said in the letter that transit workers “do not believe the NYPD has their back. They say that they never see uniformed police officers on their buses, and that they never see uniformed police officers on subway platforms. They occasionally see officers near turnstiles where they appear focused on fare-beating.”
You can read President Utano’s letter to the NYPD Commissioner here.

Latest COVID-19 Testing Schedule for Transit Workers

The Covid-19 early detection testing program continues into the New Year.
Thousands of Local 100 members have now been tested at depots, yards, MACs and other facilities, and hundreds with the virus have been identified.
Get tested. Protect yourself, your family and co-workers. Help stop the spread.


For a complete list of locations and dates going forward for the New Year, click here.

Union Mourns Traffic Checker Terence Hooper, 29

Union members in many NYCT Departments are mourning the untimely passing of Terence C. Hooper, Jr., at the young age of 29. He was a Traffic Checker and had seven years on the job. He was the brother of RTO Executive Board member Kimberly McLaurin, and of Alphonso Kenny of CED, and the son of RTO Train Operator Terence C. Hooper, Sr.

Ms. McLaurin remembered him as "charismatic, intelligent, creative... the best uncle in the world."

Services will be held at Metropolitan Baptist Church, 151 West 128th Street, in Harlem, on Friday January 15, 2021 at 7pm. All are welcome.

Station Agent Alex Paredes
Station Agent Alex Paredes

Stations Dept. Mourns Station Agent Alejandro Paredes, 67, of COVID-19

DECEMBER 29 -- TWU Local 100 was rocked with yet another COVID-19 related death with the demise of Station Agent Alejandro "Alex" Paredes, 67. Brother Paredes worked the York Street Station on the F Line and had 14 years of service with NYCT. His family is holding a service for him today.

"We have lost another good man to COVID," said Stations Dept. Vice President Robert Kelley. "This disease is still very much with us. Clearly, the precautions we are taking are not enough. As this escalates, we must increase our safety protocols. Since we are essential workers, the government must move quickly to vaccinate transit workers."

 Photo: Stations VP Robert Kelley talking to Agent Narinder about his ordeal
Photo: Stations VP Robert Kelley talking to Agent Narinder about his ordeal

Man Charged with Pushing 70 Year-Old Station Agent onto the Tracks

DECEMBER 29 -- A 27-year-old man was indicted today for allegedly pushing a 70-year-old Station Agent to the subway tracks in Brooklyn, fracturing the Agent’s spine.

The vicious attack took place approximately 2 a.m. on Dec. 24 at the Nassau Ave. subway station. Jhonathan Martinez was indicted by a grand jury in Brooklyn on assault-related felony charges for the G-line attack on SA Kumar Narinder. Martinez faces up to 15 years behind bars.

But a livid TWU Local 100 Vice President, Robert Kelley, blasted the charges as inadequate. “This was attempted murder,” Kelley said. “He pushed a 70-year-old man to the subway tracks and nearly killed him. My Agent could have been struck by a train or electrocuted if he came in contact with the third rail. This guy should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” Kelley also said there needs to be more security in stations for workers, particularly during the overnight shift. “You can’t leave people out there alone to be killed,” Kelley said. “I’m very disgusted and very disappointed with the lack of protection for my members. It’s only by the grace of God that Kumar is still with us today.”

Police originally charged Martinez with second-degree assault, which carries up to 7 years in prison. Brooklyn prosecutors, however, secured an indictment on the more serious and upgraded charge of first-degree attempted assault, which carries up to 15 years in prison. “We pushed and pushed them to raise the stakes,” Kelley said. “I’m glad they did. I’m not totally satisfied but we definitely had an impact.”

The subway is supposed to be closed to the public between 1 am and 5 pm for cleaning and disinfecting. Trains operating during those hours are only to be used by first responders and transit workers showing identification. S/A Narinder, who was in the booth, informed Martinez the station was closed – but Martinez jumped the turnstile and went down to one of the platforms anyway. Minutes later, Narinder went to the platform himself to catch a train to another station to relieve another station agent. (Narinder’s job is to go to various stations and work the booth so the full-time agent can take a meal break).

When a train arrived, the conductor on board told Martinez he couldn’t ride because he wasn’t authorized. Martinez then blocked Narinder from boarding and blocked him from leaving the platform to go back to the booth. Martinez then shoved Narinder in the chest to the tracks (the train had departed). He fell on his back between the two running rails. “I was inches from the third rail,” Narinder said. “If my hand touched the third rail, I was no more. I was lucky.”

According to the criminal complaint, Martinez also told Narinder to lower his mask because he had COVID-19 and was going to give it to the Station Agent. Narinder is in a lot of pain and can barely walk, Kelley said. He suffered a fractured spine, cuts to his knees and forehead, and large bumps to the head. “Everything is bad,” Narinder said. “Everything hurts. It’s very painful.”

Responding police officers helped Narinder to the platform and arrested Martinez who remained in the station. He is being held in jail on $50,000 bail. Kelley vowed to bring other union members to future court dates to push for a felony conviction and stiff prison sentence for Martinez. Narinder has been a Station Agent for 20 years.

Christmas in Yonkers as Liberty Lines Retiree Brings Joy to the Kids

The good works continue as James Pace, Pastor of the Joy Temple Church of God in Christ in Yonkers and a TWU Liberty Lines driver for more than 35, years collects toys for needy children. With Union Chair for Liberty Lines Carlos Bernabel.


Local 100 Recognized by TransitCenter

A research and advocacy organization with a national reach has granted a public service award to TWU Local 100 for its representation of transit workers during the pandemic. TransitCenter Executive Director David Bragdon presented the “Special Award for Outstanding Public Service and Contributions to Worker Safety” in a virtual event.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority, The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District and the leader of the Cincinnati Better Bus Coalition also were honored for their efforts during the global health crisis that has been devastating: more than 18 million Americans have been infected and approximately 310,000 have died, including more than 90 Local 100 members.

TWU Local 100’s efforts have included: fighting for workers’ right to wear masks and for the MTA to provide PPE; successfully advocating for rear-door boarding of buses and improved partitions; aggressive cleaning and disinfecting protocols; face shields for conductors, and an early-detection program with Covid testing at bus and subway work locations.

“For their fight for worker protections and their commitment to keeping NYC and essential workers moving, TWU Local 100 wins the Frequency for Outstanding Public Service and Contributions to Worker Safety,” the TransitCenter said in the award announcement. “During the early days of the pandemic, as New Yorkers were being urged to stay home if we could, transit workers continued to keep NYC and the essential workers we all depend on moving. Transit workers were part of our public health response, keeping hospital workers, grocery store workers, government employees, and other essential workers moving, all while needing stronger protections for their own safety.”

The TransitCenter continued: “During this time, Local 100 was dealing with the risks of operating during the outbreak, fighting for worker protections like PPE and stronger distancing measures, expanded sick leave and quarantine policies, and the recognition that transit workers deserved. TWU Local 100 was a leader in this fight, securing protections and raising awareness of worker needs that benefited transit workers nationally.”

MaBSTOA Vice President and Local Chief of Staff Richard Davis accepted the award on behalf of President Utano, Local 100 officers and members. “Transit workers have always been essential to the day-to-day life of New Yorkers,” Davis said.  “We get New Yorkers to their jobs, schools, churches, doctor’s appointments and countless other destinations. But throughout this crisis, transit workers have been more than essential. They have been critical to the city’s very survival. When this pandemic hit, New Yorkers were counting on transit workers being there for them. Transit workers delivered. They stepped up like heroes.”


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