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Bagpiper plays mournful dirge as Straphanger's Gene Russianoff looks on
Bagpiper plays mournful dirge as Straphanger's Gene Russianoff looks on

A Sad Day in Brooklyn for New Subway Cars?

TWU Local 100 members attended a “mock funeral” for 940 new subway cars that may never hit the rails because the MTA’s capital program remains largely unfunded. The funeral, which was conducted by the Straphangers Campaign in the Jay St/MetroTech station in Brooklyn, featured a bagpiper and a wreath for the high-tech R211 cars that would replace “clunkers” built in the 1970s now on the A, F and R lines.

Transit officials have urged the state and city to increase subsidies to help plug the $14 billion shortfall in the $32 billion capital plan. The 2015-2019 plan would fund system repairs and upgrades, expansion projects like the Second Ave. subway, and replacement of equipment like subway trains and buses. About a dozen Local 100 members, officers and staffers showed their support for capital plan funding by attending the proceedings.

TWU Family Day Brings 5,000 to MCU Park at Coney Island

A Message from John Samuelsen:

I want to thank everyone who contributed to the incredible, unprecedented  success of our annual Family Day. The wonderful families that make TWU Local 100 such an amazing institution were on full display. The sun was shining (for the most part), and the aroma of grilled meat and fish was floating all over Coney Island. Our Family Day has now developed its own unique style of awesome divisional tailgating, with all kinds of great food and "interesting" beverages.

A member gave me a cup of  Trinidadian vegetable soup yesterday. I'd never had it before (not too much Trinidadian soup on the stove growing up with an Irish mother), and it was unbelievably delicious. Our softball team dominated. We retained the TWU tournament trophy once again. Thank you to all our Local 100 soft ball players. I'm thankful to our sister Locals who graciously made their way to Coney Island and contributed to the success of our day. Local 252 president Debra Hagan spent the day with us, and fielded a softball in the tournament, as did Pat Flannery with Local 2001 and Angelo Cucuzza with Local 501. Steve Hamm of Local 299 brought his squad. Thanks for fielding your teams and spending the day with us! And president Mike Conigliaro and the Local 101 membership once again proved themselves to be an incredible 'solidarity" partner with Local 100.

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Rangel Calls Vision Zero Bus Op Arrests "One Big Damn Mistake"

Powerful Harlem Congressman Charlie Rangel took aim at the de Blasio adminstration on Monday for making "one big damn mistake" by allowing MTA Bus Operators to be arrested under the new Vision Zero law. He visited the Mother Clara Hale depot in Harlem on 145th and Lenox along with Assemblyman Keith Wright, and City Councilwoman Inez Dickens, both of whom back amending the law so as not to subject Bus Operators to arrest. TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen has called criminalizing the work of Bus Operators an outrage, noting that the Union is supportive of Vision Zero's goal -- to make driving in New York City safer -- but is backing Intro. 663 in the City Council because the law, as currently written, mandates police to make arrests even if there is no negligence or recklessness on the part of the driver. President Samuelsen gave a shout-out to union members on WBLS radio with on-air personality Dr. Bob Lee, who also came to the depot.

WBLS's Dr. Bob Lee visits Mother Clara Hale Depot

WBLS radio personality Dr. Bob Lee gave a shout-out at TWU Local 100 at the Mother Clara Hale Depot in Harlem this morning – and interviewed President Samuelsen and Sec-Treasurer Earl Phillips about the work of our Bus Operators and the attack we’re experiencing around the Vision Zero law. Have a listen!

Lobby Day Blitzes Albany with 1,300 Union Members

TWU rank and file crowded the halls in Albany's legislative offices last Tuesday, seeking to push our transit agenda as budget negotiations come down to the wire between the two houses and the Governor. Key for TWU Local 100 is firming up an allocation of $100 million for Bus Rapid Transit, which would include two new routes from Sunset Park to JFK and East Harlem to Co-Op City. That would give faster access to 40,000 jobs for residents, including many low-income workers, as well as creating 241 brand TWU new Local 100 jobs. Another key objective was to get the Veteran's Equality Act -- the ability to buy back pension credit for veterans -- spearheaded by Local 100, into the budget.

The Union's reception for legislators brought out the most powerful men and women in the chamber, including newly-elected Speaker Carl Heastie, to talk with TWU leadership in a relaxed gathering before the official start of Lobby Day. President Samuelsen and top officers greeted members coming off dozens of buses into the Empire State Plaza concourse in what has become a Lobby Day tradition, before addressing the 1,300 assembled members in the convention center auditorium. Samuelsen made special mention of the anger transit workers feel over the unjust Vision Zero law, that has been criminalizing the lawful operation of buses. Many legislators spoke directly to this issue at the podium and assured TWU members that the law had been misinterpreted and should be corrected. TWU Local 100 Political Action Director Marvin Holland  thanked the rank and file for putting muscle behind our fight, noting the great importance of Local 100 members making the trip up to Albany to directly lobby NYS legislators.

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Fight for Justice Continues

It's been more than a year since Quill Depot Bus Operator William Pena was killed in the performance of his duties. His killer, Domonic Whilby, who has been indicted on two counts of murder (felony murder, and reckless disregard for human life), was in court again today.

The Pena family, and Local 100 members and officers, led by Recording Secretary LaTonya Crisp-Sauray, attended to underscore our resolve to see justice in this case. The next court date is May 13, 2015.

Reimbursement for delayed commutation passes

The arbitrator has ruled that members with commutation passes may be reimbursed for management's delay in issuing the passes. A reimbursement claim form is now available here.

 

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Eyewitness News: MTA Bus Drivers Believe They Are Unfairly Targeted by Vision Zero

From Eyewitness News: Bus operators have a hard enough job, they say, but they don't believe they should be arrested if they are involved in a pedestrian accident.

MTA bus operators making turns through crosswalks have now been instructed by their union officials to follow the letter of the law and wait until a crosswalk is completely clear before proceeding.

"We are no longer going through crosswalks wherever there are pedestrians," TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen said. "We will clear the crosswalk when pedestrians are on the sidewalk."

Previously

An Urgent Message to All Bus Operators from TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen

Widows & Orphans Benefit: A Fabulous Night for a Good Cause

JANUARY 29 -- The stars came out at the Gotham Ballroom in Manhattan last night -- and they were us.Together with our friends in business and labor, the transport workers of Local 100 raised tens of thousands of dollars to benefit the families of co-workers who lost their lives in recent memory in the line of duty, from Track Worker Samuel McPhaul in 2001 to Bus Operator William Pena in 2014. Attendees at  the elegant event said they couldn't recall a more accomplished and impressive TWU Local 100 benefit dinner. President John Samuelsen, keynoting the evening, said: "True religion is taking care of the widows and  orphans -- and we have accomplished it." In a moving video produced by Wilkie Cornelius from the Stations Department, the children and spouses of fallen workers praised the Union for giving them the funds to attend college and weather life's storms. Samuelsen said the fund's continued growth has led to higher payouts to families each year. The TWU Local 100 Widows & Orphans Fund is also a recognized charity that members can contribute to via paycheck deduction. Local 100 Recording Secretary LaTonya Crisp-Sauray, who MC'd the event, praised the Union's Comptroller, Dalia Lamming-Tilly, for being a driving force behind the event.

Local 100 Helps Families Succeed Through Scholarships

This year, the M3 Technology/TWU Local 100 Scholarship program gave 25 children of Local 100 members $1,000 scholarships apiece to attend the colleges of their choice. Speaking to parents, sons and daughters, the union officials, TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen spoke about the expanding scholarship program, other educational offerings the union is working on, and his gratitude for the union’s ability to make all of this possible. Click here for a list of the scholarship winners.

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