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TWU Mourns Gleason Bus Operator Maqueda Lewis

IB ImageThe Gleason Depot, and the entire TWU Local 100 family, is mourning the death of Bus Operator Maqueda Lewis from Covid-19.

Lewis, 51, was a quiet but positive force in the depot from which she operated the B35.

“She was always very pleasant,” Gleason Vice Chair Ebony Walton said. “She was very nice, easy to get along with. Everyone you speak to here will say the same thing. She had a good spirit.”

Lewis worked out of Gleason since she was hired by NYC Transit in 2013. A mother of three children, Lewis also loved being a grandmother, Gleason Shop Steward Nicholas Stanford said. She was thrilled with the birth of the newest member of her family earlier this year, Stanford said. 

“She was very excited,” he said.

A Track Worker Remembers 911

Live on CNN: Bus Operator Rosa Almonte Explains How She Brought Her Passengers to Safety

Bus Operator Rosa Almonte, out of Fresh Pond Depot, came to the Union Hall on Friday for a live interview with CNN about how she brought her passengers through raging floodwaters on Queens Boulevard. The national TV broadcast showed America something about the guts, determination, and professionalism of transit workers.

OPTO? Hell, NO!

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It takes a team.

 

That’s the anti-OPTO message your union successfully promoted to the media and elected officials during the recent subway power outage and the incredible flooding that came days later.

In both emergencies, Local 100 Conductors and Train Operators urged riders to remain calm as they orchestrated train evacuations in these very difficult circumstances.

 

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“It takes a team on the train during emergencies like this,” TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano said. “Conductors and train operators across the system used their training, worked together, and evacuated passengers quickly and safely. The power outage and the flash flood clearly demonstrate why you need Conductors and Train Operators on board - no matter how much new technology is added to the system.”

 

The publicity prompted many elected officials to express support for two-person crews via Twitter, including mayoral candidate/Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

 

Here's how Greg Mocker on WPIX 11 reported the story.

 

Read the Chief's coverage here.

 

 

Update: MTA Vaccination/Testing Program

The MTA is rolling out its COVID-19 vaccination/testing program.

If you are unvaccinated, you have a choice -- you can get the shot or be tested. Testing will take place on transit property and on company time. If testing is not available at your reporting location, you do not have to do anything. Management may, however, direct you on company time to go get tested at a nearby site.

The MTA has directed both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers to inform management through the employee portal of their vaccination status. If the MTA changes its position and moves to make vaccination a requirement of continued employment, TWU Local 100 will file a lawsuit and fight against such a mandate in court.

See the testing locations and schedules here.

The MTA is directing vaccinated workers to notify management using this link.


 

Transit Workers Recognized for Heroic Role in Flood Rescues on Subways, Buses

SEPTEMBER 2 -- NYS Governor Kathy Hochul called a press conference today at Fresh Pond Depot to praise the actions of Bus Operator Rosa Almonte, who drove her bus through raging waters to bring her passengers to safety last night. The widely circulated video of her bus opens the video. Joining Gov. Hochul and Bus Op Almonte at the press event were public officials and TA Surface Vice President JP Patafio. Subway workers were also recognized widely in press coverage. Watch our site for a full recap.

Union Commemorates 20 Years Since 9/11; President Utano Gives Remarks

AUGUST 31 -- It's been 20 years since the Attack on America. More than three thousand transit workers responded to the rescue and recovery effort, the bulk of them assigned there by NYCT, others who volunteered. On August 31, TWU Local 100 held our seventh commemoration of the event, as we continue to press the media and the larger community to recognize the sacrifices of transit workers on that fateful day. As is our regular practice, we awarded 9/11 Medals to our members who have become seriously ill due to toxic exposures on 9/11 and who have received compensation from the federal government under the Zadroga Act. 14 of those Medals were awarded in this ceremony. Also, Recognition Pins were given out to members who served at Ground Zero. TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano spoke at the event.

Update: MTA Vaccination/Testing Program

A Message from TWU Local 100:
What You Should Know About the MTA’s Vaccine/Testing Program


What You Should Know

The MTA, as every other City and State Agency, is currently developing a program to deal with State and City regulations on vaccinations and testing. The MTA Says that 70 percent of its overall workforce is already vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, all you need to do is make sure the MTA knows.

Go to the MTA’s online Employee Resource Center: https://new.mta.info/covid-19/employees

When the MTA implements the program, here is what will happen:  If you are not vaccinated, you may be subject to testing as often as once a week. The MTA told the union that testing will be at work locations and on company time.

MANAGEMENT HAS NOT FINALIZED ITS TESTING PLAN.  In other words, if you are not vaccinated, you don’t have to do anything except wait, and stay informed.

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given full and final approval to the Pfizer Vaccine, and is expected to approve the other major vaccine providers products (Moderna, J&J) in the near future. Local 100 believes that you should not be forced to get the vaccine if you don’t want it.  If the State forces the MTA to reverse its current position on choice of vaccine or testing, we are prepared to go to court. Obviously, Covid must be taken seriously.  630,000 Americans have died of Covid, including more than 100 TWU Local 100 members.

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS ABOUT VACCINATION, CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR.
We will keep you informed of all updates as we get them from the MTA.

Russian Day Festivities Set for Oct. 10th in Brighton Beach

TWU Local 100's annual Russian Day event will take place this year on October 10th at Tatiana's Restaurant in Brighton Beach. Reservations are required and must be made by September 15th. Click on the image below for the downloadable flyer. Because of the Mayor's Executive Order 225, all attendees must present proof of vaccination to be allowed inside. See the second page of the flyer for directions on how to reserve your place.

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Police Ask for Help in Menacing Incident on Station Agent

IB ImageThe New York City Police Department is asking the public's assistance identifying the individual depicted in the attached photograph regarding a public lewdness incident that occurred within the confines of the 77th Precinct. Details are as follows:

It was reported to the police that on Friday, August 13, 2021 at approximately 0445 hours, inside the Botanic Gardens Subway Station located at the intersection of Franklin Avenue and Eastern Parkway. An unknown individual approached an MTA toll booth with a 51-year-old female MTA employee inside, the individual exposed himself before fleeing to parts unknown. The victim, off-duty left the toll both and began walking on the southbound platform when she observed the unknown individual following her. The individual brandished a knife and stated "I'm going to kill you" the victim in fear for her life ran into a near by toll both, called the police and took a cell phone photo of the individual. The unidentified individual fled on a southbound train to parts unknown. There were no injuries reported.

The individual is described as a: Male, approximately 25-years-old, with a dark complexion, 5'8" tall, 170 Lbs, brown eyes, mustache, blotchy skin and a long dark Afro. He was last seen wearing a black t-shirt, black jeans and a multi-colored bandana.

A cellphone photograph of the individual taken by the reporter is attached and available at DCPI.

Anyone with information in regard 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 https://crimestoppers.nypdonline.org/, on Twitter @NYPDTips.

All calls are strictly confidential

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