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A Veterans Day Message from TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen

Today, I join all Americans in offering our deepest gratitude to the courageous men and women who answer their nation’s call to service.  I offer a special thank you to our Local 100 members who have served in the U.S Armed Forces, especially those who have put their lives on hold, and have left their jobs and families to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past decade.

This year, I was hoping that we as a union would be able to offer a more tangible form of gratitude to our pubic sector military veterans. 

For the past two years, the Local 100 Veterans Committee has worked tirelessly to gain passage of a bill that would allow all veterans, regardless of when they served, to buy back up to three years of pension service in the city or state retirement systems.  Current law grants that ability only to veterans who have served during certain periods of war and national crisis.  This unfairly excludes veterans who served in peacetime, and virtually all women veterans, who until recently were barred from combat roles.

Service to America is service to America, no matter when it occurs.

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Unions Rally at Times Square to GOTV for Cuomo/Hochul, Schneiderman & DiNapoli

It's Get Out The Vote time. On election day, the campaign is only as good as our ground game. Today we rallied at Times Square and heard speeches by Governor Cuomo, his running mate, Kathy Hochul, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and others supporting the Democratic ticket and exhorting members to get out and vote. Going into the election, the Cuomo team is heavily favored to win, but every vote matters in order to rack up an impressive margin of victory. Andrew Cuomo has delivered for TWU Local in helping settle our contract earlier this year, and has bills on his desk which are important to us. So please get out and vote tomorrow for Cuomo/Hochul, Schneiderman for Attorney General, and Tom DiNapoli for Comptroller.

A Message from President Samuelsen on the Confirmed Ebola Case in NYC

President Samuelsen tonight released a statement to all members of TWU Local 100 on the confirmed case of Ebola in a young doctor who recently returned from Guinea. Here is the text of the statement:

THURSDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 23 -- The inevitable has happened.  New York has its first confirmed case of Ebola, a young doctor who treated Ebola patients in West Africa, and returned symptom free to JFK 10 days ago.  But, he developed symptoms today, and is now in Bellevue Hospital being treated. I have been in touch several times this evening with MTA CEO Thomas Prendergast, who was at Bellevue with other City and State officials to determine the facts of the doctor's movements since arriving back to the States.

The NYC Health Commissioner, Mary Bassett, has confirmed that the doctor used the subway to travel from Manhattan to Williamsburg, but this was done yesterday, Wednesday, before he came down with symptoms of the disease. Ebola patients are only contagious when they develop symptoms. When he had fever this morning, he called for an ambulance and was transported to Bellevue Hospital.
Ever since the Ebola crisis hit America with the much-covered cases in Dallas, our union has been preparing for the event that became public this evening.Your union's officers and safety representatives have attended every City and State sponsored Ebola educational seminar held in the City.  We assisted our International Union in hosting an Ebola educational summit in Washington, DC today (Oct. 23) for TWU Local union leaders.

Our Local 100 Director of Occupational Health, Dr. Frank Goldsmith, has been closely monitoring the situation, and has disseminated as much information as possible to your officers and safety representatives. Earlier this week, the union began passing out literature to the membership in RTO on safety protocols for dealing with potentially infectious waste in the system. Your union is as prepared as we can be to ensure your safety during this potential crisis.We will be sending out more information tomorrow (Friday). 

Transit workers have always dealt with crises calmly and professionally.  We kept our heads during 9/11, and have dealt with all sorts of weather emergencies, including Sandy, in the same manner.
But this is different.   This is something no one in New York has ever had to deal with. There is no need for panic, but there is need for concern and vigilance. Together we will overcome whatever gets thrown at us.

Be fully assured, we will protect your safety at all costs.


Lombardo and Samuelsen join Local 101's leadership at the rally, where half of the entire membership filled Jay Street.
Lombardo and Samuelsen join Local 101's leadership at the rally, where half of the entire membership filled Jay Street.

Massive Rally Tells National Grid: Back Off Your Giveback Demands!

Over half of the entire membership of TWU Local 101 showed up to rally in front of National Grid's Jay Street headquarters in a clear mandate for a tough line against massive health care cost increases demanded by the employer. With a five-year wage freeze on the table as the price to continue existing health plans, TWU International President Harry Lombardo and TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen, who is also Executive VP, and Transit and Utility Division Director Jerome Lafragola joined Local 101 President Mike Conigliario and his team on stage to address the membership.

As National Grid management made themselves scarce, union leaders and members expressed their outrage that the huge multinational utility company with revenues of $24 billion worldwide and with US profits of $1.7 billion last year would attempt to force a lower standard of living on its dedicated workers. TWU Local 101 members service gas lines and terminals in Brooklyn and Queens providing safe energy to the largest population center in the United States. Their slogan, "burning bright," expresses what the Union members do and also how they used to feel about the company, the former Brooklyn Union Gas. Now we call the boss "National Greed" -- and their current bargaining position is living up to that name.IB Image

National Grid Threatens Lockout; TWU Local 101 Sets Rally at MetroTech Center Thursday 5PM

National Grid, the multinational energy company that controls natural gas and electricity distribution in key markets in New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, made an unacceptable contract demand to TWU Local 101 workers who work for the company in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. They want workers to agree to a five-year wage freeze in exchange for keeping their  health benefits. This from a company that reports a "return on equity" of 9% and a US profit of over 1.1 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) in their latest fact sheet. So this Thursday, October 9th, from 5PM to 9PM, Local 101 is calling a rally to demand a fair contract to retain the good union jobs that are now at risk. For more details, click here. Turn out. Stand with your Brothers and Sisters who work for National Grid.

Nothing to worry about
Nothing to worry about

Prendergast Assures Us There's No Credible Terror Threat to the Transit System

Iraq's prime minister Haider al-Abadi surprised everyone in New York, especially transit workers, when he told reporters at the UN Thursday morning that his country's intelligence operation had uncovered a plot for an “imminent attack” on subway systems in United States and Paris. Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, and Police Commissioner Bratton all poured cold water on the threat report. Cuomo and de Blasio even rode the subway to demonstrate that New Yorkers had nothing to fear.

MTA Chair Thomas Prendergast, in a telephone call, assured TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen that there was no credible threat against the New York City transit system.  Prendergast also assured Samuelsen that he would keep the union informed should the situation escalate. In a statement to TWU members, President Samuelsen said that transit workers have a special vested interest in the safety of the transit system. "Should there be a terrorist act on our system, transit workers will be essential to the response. We must be extra vigilant during this period of uncertainty. The families that ride this system are depending on us."

JP Patafio: Why the People's Climate March is So Important

Twenty years from now, your children or grandchildren will want to know if you turned out. TA Surface Vice President JP Patafio, speaking to the TWU Local 100 Mass Membership Meeting at the Javits Center, outlines why the fight against climate change is so important, why TWU is critical to the fight, and what the stakes are for our children and grandchildren. Read more on our climate page.

NYCT Station Agent: Why I'm Going to the People's Climate March

The science is conclusive. Global warming is here and set to increase quickly if we do not control the burning of fossil fuels.

I'm supporting the People's Climate March because in the past, air pollution was about personal health. Today it's about planetary health. And at TWU, we have a solution: more mass transit means less climate change.

So join us at the People's Climate March this coming Sunday, September 21. We meet at 58th and Broadway near Columbus Circle for a labor rally at 10 AM. The March steps off at 11:30.

This is a march for our future. If you don't do it for yourself do it for your children.

For the latest science, visit our climate page.

For the TWU march flyer, click here.

TWU, at Labor Day Parade, Supporting Cuomo Hochul in Primary Contest

TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen was greeted at the Central Labor Council's Saturday Labor Day Parade by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and his running mate for Lt. Governor, Kathy Hochul. The Union is supporting the Cuomo/Hochul ticket in the September 9th primary this coming Tuesday. Local 100 has forged a good working relationship with the Governor, who controls the MTA. He has been responsive to our issues and he intervened decisively earlier this year in contract negotiations with the MTA, working with the Union's leadership to craft a good contract. Other TWU officials including Local 100 Secretary-Treasurer Earl Phillips, TWU International Transit Director Jerome LaFragola, MOW Vice President Tony Utano, LES Chair John Chiarello, and others were on hand as well. Let's win it on Tuesday for Cuomo/Hochul!IB Image

l-r: Rodneyse Bichotte, our candidate in the 42nd AD, Sec-Treas Earl Phillips, and Rec Sec LaTonya Crisp Sauray, at the West Indian Day Parade
l-r: Rodneyse Bichotte, our candidate in the 42nd AD, Sec-Treas Earl Phillips, and Rec Sec LaTonya Crisp Sauray, at the West Indian Day Parade

Our Endorsements

Here are all of our endorsements for Primary Day, September 9th. Remember to vote.

In Brooklyn's 42nd Assembly District, we are enthusiastically supporting Rodneyse Bichotte, shown here with TWU Local 100 Secretary-Treasurer Earl Phillips and Recording Secretary LaTonya Crisp-Sauray. Rodneyse is a District Leader, the proud daughter of Haitian immigrants, and a 20-year Brooklyn activist who will put the needs of mass transit at the top of her to-do list once she makes it to the Assembly.

But she won't get there without the help of TWU Local 100 members who live in the 42nd Assembly District (click here for the map). Current incumbent Rhoda Jacobs is not running again, but Rodneyse has lots of competition. Let's make this her year to win a seat in the Assembly. We are also hosting phone banking for Rodneyse at the TWU Local 100 Union Hall at 195 Montague Street from now until the election. We'll be phoning every day from 12 noon to 8PM. To advise our Political Action Committee of your hours, please contact Michele Gilliam at 347-429-4481 or We hope to see you at the Hall to help elect Rodneyse Bichotte.

On September 9th, we are also supporting scores of candidates who have shown their support for TWU Local 100 and mass transit. Check out all of our endorsements here. We're also calling in the troops to work for Latrice Walker, who is running for the seat of disgraced Assemblyman William Boyland. Like Latrice on her facebook page and make sure to cast your vote for her if you live in the 55th Assembly District.

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