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Local 100 President John Samuelsen Issues Statement on The Assault of a C/R By an Off-Duty NYC Police Officer

I am shocked to learn that the person who assaulted one of our members, a Conductor in uniform and on duty, in the Bronx on Dec. 23, 2014 is an off-duty NYC Police Officer.  Transit workers deal with physical and verbal abuse from the public on a daily basis, but to have an off duty Police Officer engaging in this inexplicable act of violence is an outrageous breach of the public trust.

We have spoken at length with the Conductor and a second MTA worker on the scene and we are confident that they acted professionally at all times.  The officer’s version of what happened on that platform is not believable, not supported by the facts and a pure fabrication. The fact that he waited more than a week to report anything, and only did so once his picture was made public, underscores his culpability in this case.

The Police Officer who perpetrated this crime should have already been arrested.  Had the roles been reversed, our Conductor would have been arrested on the spot.  We will not allow this case to be swept under the rug.  Nobody has the right to assault a transit worker in the course of his/her duties in service to New York. Under NYS law, assaulting a Conductor who is on duty and in uniform is a felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison.  I fully expect the Bronx DA to prosecute this case to the fullest extent of that law.

Union officers are in touch with the Conductor and will continue to assist her as she recovers from this ordeal.  They will also be meeting with their counterparts at the TA to review the TA’s policies for assigning personnel to isolated station platforms.

UPDATE: The victim, identified only as a female Conductor, aged 28, spoke with Pete Donohue of the NY Daily News in an interview published January 3, 2015.

EXCLUSIVE: Subway conductor allegedly attacked by cop speaks

Train Operator Mike Conklin Sings Let It Be at NYCT's Medal of Excellence Awards

Train Operator Mike Conklin, honoring the recipients of this year’s Medal of Excellence trophies, sings The Beatles’ “Let it Be” at National Grid Auditorium in Brooklyn’s Metrotech Center.

Thirty transit employees, most of them rank and file members of TWU Local 100, were honored for acts of heroism and public service, where they went above and beyond the call of duty to help an injured, sick, or lost rider or co-worker. MOW Vice President Tony Utano represented TWU Local 100 at the annual event.

Samuelsen: We will bear witness until justice is served

Statement of TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen on the Failure of the Grand Jury to Act in the Garner Case

We look forward to a federal investigation of this needless death of a member of the TWU family. There was clear visual evidence that Eric Garner posed no threat to the Police or anyone else when he was taken down for the most minor of offenses and then handcuffed while in an obvious state of respiratory arrest. To Eric Garner’s mother, a retired Train Operator, and to his sister, a TAS Bus Operator, I say, please do not despair. In federal court, in civil suit and in the next life we will bear witness until justice is served.
Plaque showing the loss hangs in the William Pena Swing Room at the Quill Depot
Plaque showing the loss hangs in the William Pena Swing Room at the Quill Depot

Tomorrow's the Next Court Date for William Pena's Killer -- Be There!

It's been almost nine months since Bus Operator William Pena, who drove the M14 bus for decades out of the Quill Depot, was killed by drunk driver Domonic Whilby. Whilby has been in Riker's since, but has had problems finding an attorney to represent him. The case has dragged on and on, putting William's family -- his widow, Nancy and their daughter, Gabrielle, through much suffering which is even greater now, during the holiday season. Read the flyer TWU Local 100 has put out about the importance of tomorrow's court appearance -- and please show up at Manhattan Criminal Court, 100 Centre Street, Part 32 (13th Floor) on Wednesday, December 3 to support Nancy and Gabrielle. Court begins at 9AM -- please be early to go through the security check. Let's show the judge that TWU members are united for justice and want to see the trial begin speedily so justice can be served.

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."

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