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New Relief Available
New Relief Available

City Opens Web Portal for New Sandy Assistance

The City of New York has just announced that new funds will be available to homeowners who lost their homes or suffered damage due to Hurricane Sandy. The money will become available in June and you can access the site here. According to the website, "New Yorkers living and working in communities affected by Hurricane Sandy face many challenges as they rebuild their homes, restore their businesses and get their lives back to normal. This site provides access to information on the City's efforts to help New Yorkers recover from the devastating effects of the storm. Are you a New York City resident whose primary home or building was damaged during Hurricane Sandy? You may be eligible for assistance. Registration for the program will begin in early June." The money is coming from the Federal government.

TWU Veterans found a receptive audience in legislators
TWU Veterans found a receptive audience in legislators

Veterans' Lobby Day A Solid Step Forward

Calling it "an amazing success," and "the best lobby day I've been to" Local 100 officers came back from Albany May 7th in high spirits. RTO Vice President Kevin Harrington said the day was a powerful follow-up to the union's March 12th Lobby Day for a very concrete reason: State Senator Bill Larkin (RC-Cornwall-on-Hudson), a retired Lieutenant Colonel who served 23 years in active duty with the U. S. Army, heard TWU veterans on that day and promised he would get involved. Larkin delivered big-time, co-sponsoring a bill with Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Westchester) which covers all veterans who are members of public retirement systems, allowing them to obtain pension credit for military service. IB ImageTheir bill, A. 6974/S. 4714, would consolidate at least five separate veterans bills that are now pending. 27 TWU Local 100 veterans came to Albany, and spent the day lobbying 30 legislators, speaking mainly to the principals and not aides. Brothers and Sisters, note those bill numbers and get ready to march!

Getting organized at Quality Transportation

On May 6, TWU Local 100 held an informational meeting for school bus workers who recently voted by an overwhelming margin to join Local 100. The purpose of the meeting was to keep the Brothers and Sisters at Quality in Brooklyn informed of the progress of the fight to install our union as their recognized bargaining agent.

Despite the 111-7 margin for Local 100 in the April 23 representation vote, Quality management has filed a series of protests with the NLRB to slow down the process, hoping to demoralize the Quality workers.

At the meeting, speaking for the union, Curtis Tate declared: “You are members of the TWU family.” Several Quality workers spoke, declaring their intent to stand together and stand by their vote.

The gathering concluded with a surprise birthday party for Nadine Jerome, a member of the organizing committee at Quality. We wish Nadine and the whole TWU Local 100 family at Quality many happy returns.

TWU Local 100 family at Quality

LES Chair Chiarello delivers eulogy for Louis Moore
LES Chair Chiarello delivers eulogy for Louis Moore

LES Chair's Eulogy for Fallen Signal Maintainer Louis Moore

John Chiarello, Chair of Line Equipment/Signals, speaking for TWU Local 100 and his members, delivered a well-received eulogy for Brother Louis Moore, who died in the line of duty on the subway tracks on April 24, 2013. John spoke to friends and family about the impact of Moore's death, both personally and for TWU Local 100 as a whole. In the audience at Gilmore's Funeral Home in St. Albans were dozens of Signal Maintainers, who wore MTA safety vests. Here is the text of John's remarks:

Good morning everyone. My name is John Chiarello.  I am the TWU Local 100 Chair of the Line equipment Signal Division.  I am also a Signal Maintainer, and knew Louis for most of his time on the job. On April 24, in the early morning hours,  I received a call from one of our union safety officers.  He informed me of the tragic accident and death of our Brother Louis Moore. It is without a doubt the saddest and most surreal moment I’ve ever encountered since being on the job. There is no question a Signal Maintainer’s and any track worker’s job is dangerous. But when confronted with the sudden death of a fellow worker under these horrifying circumstances, it takes your breath away.  

We can never prepare for something like this.  We know it’s possible because of the conditions we work in.  It is obviously life altering for Brother Moore’s family, but it is also a harsh wake-up call for all of us who work on the tracks to keep more than 8 million New Yorkers who use our system safe. I remember the first time I met Louis when he first came on the job about 8 years ago.  It was uptown in the IRT. My first impression was he knew a lot about a lot of different things – philosophy, politics, religion.  He was extremely articulate. My very next thought was, what the heck is he doing in Signals? He should have been a college professor. He turned out to be an outstanding Signal Maintainer and a loyal union member.

On behalf of the leadership of local 100 and the entire union, I offer my sincerest condolences on your family’s loss. We will remember Louis as a good father, brother, friend – and union Brother. In the union there’s a saying “an injury to one is an injury to all.” Today the entire union mourns the passing of our dear brother Louis Moore.

Samuelsen Mourns on 6th Anniversary of Track Worker Marvin Franklin’s Passing

TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen spoke at the sixth anniversary of the death of Track Worker Marvin Franklin, who died at the age of 55 after being struck by a G train which came through the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station, and struck two transit workers, one of whom survived. President Samuelsen talked about the many deaths the transit system has seen over the years, some 20 over the past 20 years. Samuelsen spoke of when he and LES Chairman John Chairello carried Franklin’s body to street level, with tears in their eyes. He said that the toll of lives due to accidents would be “astronomically higher but for the diligence of the union.” He pledged that TWU Local 100 would “continue with unannounced and scheduled safety inspections” at all facilities, and “a pro-active safety plan to stop the company from putting our members in harm’s way.” He urged TWU Local 100 members and others to contribute to the Union’s Widows and Orphans Fund.

Quill Scholarship Deadline set for May 13

Harry Lombardo, TWU’s International Executive Vice President, has announced that Quill scholarship applications will be accepted through mid-May.
Applications must be postmarked by May 13 to be entered into the public drawing.
Click here for application and instructions

Back to Work at Smith and 9th in Brooklyn

A TWU Local 100 Station Agent and three Cleaners were on the job at the newly opened Smith and 9th Street Station on the F and G lines in Brooklyn. The station, closed for two years for renovations, opened with much fanfare on Friday morning, with a gaggle of local politicians, as well as former MTA CEO Freddie Ferrer and incoming NYCT President Carmen Bianco. TWU Local 100 Officers Derrick Echevarria and Paul Piazza were on hand with Shop Steward Theresa Green to salute our rank and file members who are back on the job at the highest subway station in the world.

Tragic Anniversary at Columbus Circle

Union Brothers and Sisters made an annual pilgrimage to the uptown #1 platform at Columbus Circle to commemorate the passing of Track Worker Danny Boggs, who died on the tracks at this station in 2007. Today’s memorial was made especially somber by the death yesterday of Signal Maintainer Louis Moore, who also died after being hit by a train. President John Samuelsen spoke personally of the loss of his friend, and Danny’s widow, Bernadette, also addressed the crowd. MTA Chief Chaplain Rabbi Harry Berkowitz spoke movingly of the humble character of the transit workers who do a dirty and often unrecognized job running the transit system.

President Samuelsen Marks the Passing of Signal Maintainer Louis Moore

Just hours after Signal Maintainer Louis Moore died on the tracks at the 46th Street and Broadway subway station in Astoria, TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen spoke to the press about the tragic incident, placing it into the context of the number of fatalities over time and the intractable safety challenges facing transit workers.

Misdirected Anger

About two dozen people picketed outside Local 100’s offices April 18, chanting that the TWU had “abandoned” over 600 members who recently lost their jobs at First Transit.  While a few of the pickets hope to score some cheap political points, most of them are understandably angry at losing their jobs.  However, their anger is misdirected. 

First Transit lost their bid to continue their contract with the MTA. They were underbid by an anti-union contractor from South Carolina. Despite our efforts, the  new contractor refused to hire most of the existing workforce.  But we never abandoned our brothers and sisters there.  In fact, the Local is continuing its efforts to force the new contractor to bargain with the TWU and offer jobs to the workers from First Transit.  Charges have been filed at the NLRB against the MTA and the new contractor for discriminating against the workforce in place because of their membership in the TWU.

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