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Labor's tough customers: The city's new breed of old-school union leaders are ready to rumble

Daily News Op-Ed
by Philip Dine
May 30, 2010

Listen to some new labor leaders on the New York City scene, and you might think we're back in the union movement's take-no-prisoners days of the 1930s. We're not, of course, but something intriguing is going on - and it has national implications.

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Bus Operators to Walder: Stop Hustling!

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Union Files Charge Against MTA Health Care “Audit”

Local 100 members recently received a letter from MTA NYC Transit asking for copies of dependent birth certificates and other documents to “audit” health care coverage. The letter says members have until June 21 to supply the information or dependant coverage will be terminated.

Local 100 contends that NYC Transit cannot ask for such documentation. We have filed an improper practice charge at the Public Employee Relations Board along with other locals representing transit employees.

At the same time, we urge members to comply until we get a ruling from PERB halting this improper practice. Nobody’s dependent coverage should be put at risk, even for a day.

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M.T.A.’s Budget Ills Are Worse Than Accounts of Spitting

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Metro: Bus drivers take cue from MTA managers

Outraged bus drivers will hold a pool tournament this afternoon outside MTA CEO Jay Walder’s Tribeca home in response to his complaint they play pool and pingpong on the clock. They say the MTA created the hated swing shifts that leave them idle for hours.
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Public Transportation Preservation Act Introduced in Congress

Would Provide $345.25 Million to NY/NJ /CT Transit
Would Reverse MTA Service Cuts and Layoffs

A bill introduced in Congress by New York’s two Senators as well as five others would reverse transit service cuts and layoffs ordered by the MTA by making available nearly $350 million in new federal funding, Local 100 President John Samuelsen announced today. It would also help the MTA hold the line on future fare increases.

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Union Files Motion to Dismiss MTA Contract Arbitration Appeal

On Monday, May 24, 2010, the Union filed a motion asking the Court to dismiss the MTA’s appeal regarding the contract arbitration award. After a lower court rejected the MTA’s first appeal, the MTA started fulfilling some terms of the arbitration award. However, it is still holding out on others terms, using the appeal to a higher court as legal cover.

As well as the third year pay increase of 3%, the MTA is holding out on the cap on health insurance contributions. Moreover, the MTA has not yet paid a penny in wage increases for MTA Bus.

Our motion, if granted, would put an immediate end to the stalling.

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Rev. Jackson Partners with Local 100 to Keep America Moving

A broad coalition of transportation labor, environmental, community and passenger advocate leaders launched a new national partnership – Keep America Moving -- to rescue the nation’s financially distressed mass transit systems at a press conference at New York’s Penn Station March 31, 2010.
Founding members of Keep America Moving, including Rev. Jesse Jackson, Transport Workers Union Local 100 President John Samuelsen, ATU International President Warren George and TWU International President James C. Little articulated the plight of mass transit in America and the steps needed to fix the crisis at the event.
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Transit workers rally in Cleveland
Transit workers rally in Cleveland

In Cleveland, Samuelsen Calls for National Fightback


TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen went to Cleveland last Saturday to appear with the Rev. Jesse Jackson and union officials to call for a full-court press to support a new bill being introduced Monday, May 24 in the U.S. Senate to fund mass transit. Called the Public Transportation Preservation Act of 2010, the bill is supported by the Keep America Moving coalition, which includes over 60 transit unions from across the United States.

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Fox News: MTA Bought Jet Fuel To Power Buses


MYFOXNY.COM - A new audit claims that New York City Transit and the MTA Bus Company spent millions of dollars on jet fuel to power busses instead of cheaper, lower grade fuel that would power the vehicles. The New York State Comptroller's office says the agencies spent an extra $39 million on fuel due to wasteful practices and improper oversight. Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says the MTA Bus Company’s records showed unexplained discrepancies in fuel delivery, quality and usage.

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