International President Samuelsen Interviewed on Good Day NY

John Samuelsen, International President of the Transport Workers Union, praised Local 100 members transporting soldiers fighting the war against the Coronavirus – nurses, EMS workers and other healthcare professionals – to the front. But he criticized the MTA for belatedly providing masks to transit workers and only after being compelled to do so by the union.

“Our people are the most dedicated workforce you can ever imagine,” Samuelsen, a former Local 100 President, said Monday on the Good Day New York news television program. “We recognize that we are the front-line transportation network that is really transporting the soldiers fighting this war against COVID-19. But we’re not going to be used as cannon fodder. We don’t want to be used recklessly. Unfortunately, I think the fatalities that you are seeing, and the amount of infections you are seeing among transit workers, could have been mitigated against if the PPE came a lot earlier than it did.”

Local 100 President Tony Utano thanked Samuelsen for securing tens of thousands of masks for transit workers to supplement those the MTA began distributing Sunday. Utano, Secretary-Treasurer Earl Phillips, TWU International staff Rep. Angelo Cucuzza and Samuelsen helped transport those union-obtained masks, along with thousands of others donated by Councilman Justin Brannan, to Local 100 Vice Presidents and Chairs Monday morning.