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Peter Lewnes, Retired Executive Board Member, Dies

TWU Local 100 mourns the passing of Peter Lewnes, a retired member of the Local 100 Executive Board. Lewnes, a Station Agent, also served on the Local 100 staff and was a member of the Local 100 Elections Committee.

Following are the arrangements for Brother Lewnes: Friday, May 12, 2017. Service: 6pm – 9pm at the Dahill Funeral Home, 2525 65th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11204.

 

TWU Mourns Joseph Gifford, Station Agent and Section Chair

Local 100 is mourning the passing of Joseph Gifford, a union representative and Section Chair for Station Agents. We learned of his passing on May 8. He had just retired from Transit last year. Brother Gifford was active in the three-year fight against booth closings under former MTA CEO Jay Walder, and spoke out against Walder in the April, 2010 meeting of the MTA Board. He worked the pick room for many years, making sure that management followed the contract in making assignments. TWU Local 100 Vice President Derrick Echevarria remembered him as, "a good rep, but a better person." Brother Echevarria has been in touch with Brother Gifford's family and we will post arrangements as soon as we have them. A service will take place at the Calvary Baptist Church in Red Hook, at 773 Hicks Street, Brooklyn, from 9 am to 11 am on Friday, May 19th.

Be on the Lookout: Police ID Zire King, 44, in Murder of Conductor Jacqueline Dicks

"Let's help the NYPD catch this coward. Don't put yourself in harms way, be extra vigilant." -- TWU 100 Secretary-Treasurer Earl Phillips.

Here's the official police notification:

On Monday, May 1, 2017 at 2341 hours, police responded to a 911 call of a female shot in front of 1010 Elton Street, within the confines of the 75 Precinct. Upon arrival, officers observed a 41-year-old female, unconscious and unresponsive, with a gunshot wound to the head. EMS responded to the location and pronounced the victim deceased at the scene. There are no arrests and the investigation remains ongoing. The deceased has been identified as Dicks, Jacqueline (NYCT Conductor).

Pursuant to the ongoing investigation, the New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating the individual depicted in the attached photograph wanted for questioning in connection to the above described homicide. He is identified as follows:

Wanted: King, Zire, 44-year-old male. He is described as a male, 5'9", 170lbs. Photograph made available by DCPI is on this page.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

All calls are kept strictly confidential.

 

Blood Drive Set for Thursday, April 13 at 130 Livingston

IB ImageThe drive will provide vitally needed blood for New York area hospitals. Please donate on Thursday, April 13, 2017, between 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at 130 Livingston Street, Conference Rooms 119/120. To schedule an appointment, contact: Debby Gainor at 347-643-8358 or email her at Deborah.Gainor@nyct.com. Walk-ins are also welcome.

TWU Mourns the Passing of Train Operator Joseph Abraham

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A devastated Nancy Rodriguez, William Pena's widow, stands with MaBSTOA VP Richard Davis and Pena's brother, Alex.
A devastated Nancy Rodriguez, William Pena's widow, stands with MaBSTOA VP Richard Davis and Pena's brother, Alex.

Drunk Driver Convicted in Death of Bus Operator William Pena

The joyriding drunk driver who killed Bus Operator William Pena was convicted Friday of vehicular manslaughter and other charges in Manhattan Supreme Court. Domonic Whilby, 25, could be sentenced to at least eight years in prison - and as many as 25 years behind bars, ADA Randolph Clarke said.

Whilby stole an 18-ton delivery truck and careened down 7th Ave. on the early morning of Feb. 12, 2014. He slammed into Pena’s M14 bus, killing Pena and injuring several passengers. During the trial, Whilby’s defense attorney said he was too drunk to know what he was doing.  Whilby became extremely intoxicated earlier at a VIP party that his famous uncle took him to at the 1OAK club on W. 17th St., according to trial testimony. While the Supreme Court jury found Whilby guilty of manslaughter in the second degree and aggravated vehicular homicide, the panel acquitted him of other charges, including the most serious: depraved indifference murder.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance had the following statement: “Because of Domonic Whilby’s reckless decisions, a beloved family member and public servant is dead. This was a devastating and utterly preventable tragedy. My heart goes out to Mr. Pena’s family, friends, and coworkers, as well as the four other pedestrians, passengers, and motorists who were injured that day.”

Brother Pena’s widow, Nancy Rodriguez, who has carried on a long and courageous campaign for justice for her husband, broke down in tears after the verdict was read. Responding to a question from a reporter from the New York Times about the message sent by the jury’s failure to convict on counts involving criminal intent, she said: “I think it’s horrible, the message that is being sent. An innocent man goes to work. What went wrong that day was that he got to work on time. He was doing his job and he gets killed.”

“Our hearts go out again to William's family,” TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen said. “This has been a terrible and long ordeal. I’m absolutely awed by the their strength and perseverance. They worked tirelessly for more than three years to keep William’s memory alive, and to keep this case in the public’s view. They are union heroes. He would be proud.”

Outside the courtroom, MABSTOA VP Richie Davis expressed the feelings of his fellow Bus Operators: “It’s not a just verdict for the Bus Operators of New York City Transit,” he said. “They come to work to make an honest living and go back home to their families safely. One was murdered. We did not get that top charge [depraved indifference murder] that we were looking for. That would have served justice. From our eyes, [Whilby’s] intent was there, from signaling his left turn, to maintaining his distance as he drove, to making contact with the bus in a deliberate way. It’s pure murder for us. We’re very unhappy with the verdict.

Whilby has been in jail since the day of the incident, and will remain there until sentencing by Justice Gregory Carro on Tuesday, April 25th.

Union, Family Wait for Verdict as Pena Case Goes to the Jury

It’s all up to 12 New Yorkers, men and women who have mostly likely taken countless rides on MTA buses and subways. It’s their task now to decide the guilt or innocence of Domonic Whilby, whose actions while driving an 18-ton truck caused the death of Bus Operator William Pena three years ago.

Was Whilby so drunk on alcohol and high on marijuana that he lacked the ability to know what he was doing when he stole the truck and slammed it into the M14 bus, as the defense contends? Or was he a man with a high tolerance for alcohol, who made dozens of conscious, rational decisions as he piloted the stolen truck, injuring four men and killing one -- revealing him to be utterly unconcerned for anyone’s life but his own?

Jurors are now considering Whilby’s guilt or innocence on 17 counts ranging from depraved indifference murder to grand larceny. Listening to the closing statements in the courtroom were 50 union members and friends of William Pena’s family, including TWU Local 100 VP for MABSTOA Richard Davis, Division Chair Donald Yates, and American Airlines workers represented by TWU Local 501. Family attorney Sanford Rubenstein joined Davis and Pena’s widow, Nancy, in a press conference outside the courthouse as deliberations began.

Pena Case Goes to Jury Thursday, March 23rd

Both the prosecution and the defense have now rested in the murder trial of Domonic Whilby, who drove a truck into Bus Operator William Pena's M14 bus early on the morning of February 12, 2014.

After three weeks of testimony, the case will now be handed to the jury. This is the time for the jurors to see the support of fellow transit workers for William's family, who will all be present, and see that we are united to demand justice for the killing of a transit worker who died in the line of duty, serving the citizens of New York.

At 10 AM, we will hear the closing statements of the prosecution (ADA Randolph Clarke), and the defense (Attorney Laura Miranda) as well as the instructions to the jury from Judge Gregory Carro.
Be there to show that we all stand together.

DATE: Thursday, March 23rd, 2017
Time & Place: 10AM, NY Supreme Court
Criminal Term -- 100 Centre Street Manhattan
Part 32 -- 13th Floor
Be early: Security Check
Please remember to wear MTA/TWU colors.
 

Scribe Pete Donohue (left foreground) with LES Chair John V. Chiarello, MOW VP Tony Utano and, seated, the three who made the difference for a supervisor.
Scribe Pete Donohue (left foreground) with LES Chair John V. Chiarello, MOW VP Tony Utano and, seated, the three who made the difference for a supervisor.

Lighting Maintainers Save the Day

A trio of quick-thinking Lighting Maintainers is being credited with saving the life of a NYC Transit foreman who suffered a heart attack on the road. Anthony Jacondino, Michael Anderson, Mampatteth George and foreman Richard Michel had just left the 14th St. crew quarters in their NYC Transit truck on Saturday when Jacondino sensed something was wrong with the supervisor.

“I heard a wheezing sound, like someone having an asthma attack,” Jacondino said. “I looked over at Richie and asked if he was ok. He wasn’t moving at all. I tapped him on the shoulder but he didn’t respond. He was motionless.” Without hesitation, Jacondino directed his co-workers to stop the vehicle and look for a police officer to flag down. Jacondino, meanwhile, called 911 for an ambulance. Amazingly, a NYPD patrol car was in traffic directly behind the signalmen’s truck.  Two officers performed CPR. Paramedics jolted Michel with a defibrillator, essentially jump-starting his heart to keep him alive.

Paramedics took Michel, a married father with two daughters, to Beth Israel Hospital. As of Thursday, Michel was in a medically induced coma. MOW Vice President Tony Utano and Line Equipment/Signals Division Chairman John Chiarello went to the crew quarters Thursday morning to congratulate Jacondino, Anderson and George for keeping their cool and making the right moves in such an emergency.

“They acted quickly and correctly, and saved a life,” Utano said. “They deserve a lot of thanks and praise.” Chiarello vowed to nominate the Lighting Maintainers from 14th St. for a Hometown Heroes in Transit Award next year. The Daily News will soon be announcing the 2016 winners and will hold a joint award ceremony with Local 100 in April.

Quill Connolly Day Comes to Queens

TWU Local 100 members packed the IBEW Apprentice Hall in Queens on March 15th for the inaugural event of the James Connolly Irish American Labor Coalition. The rousing event featured an address by President Samuelsen, and a speech about the current positive outlook in Ireland for unification of the country by Martin Kenny, Sinn Fein TD for Sligo, Leitrim,West Cavan & South Donegal. IBEW Local 3 Business Manager Chris Erikson and William Lynn, IUOE Local 30 Business Manager and Executive Director of the newly minted group, also spoke to the crowded room.

The James Connolly Irish American Labor Coalition is a new organization of American labor organizations who are pledged to carry on the spirit of Connolly, who was martyred in 1916 as an organizer who died for the cause of Irish freedom. President Samuelsen is a member of the Coalition's Board of Directors. We foresee an exciting partnership between Local 100 and other unions under this banner.

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