Heck No We Won't Go
Transit Workers Union Local 100 President John Samuelsen doesn’t want members of his union to help the NYPD transport protesters arrested at Occupy Wall Street’s May Day demonstrations. Mr. Samuelsen marched with Occupiers and union members from Union Square to Battery Park this evening and, at the end of the route, he made a speech where he urged transit workers to “resist orders” given by “the screws” to drive buses full of arrested protesters.
Transport Workers Union Local 100, which represents the people who operate the city’s subways and buses, has pulled out of contract talks with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. In a statement released today about their departure from the bargaining table, Local 100 accused the MTA of “negotiating in the press” in “a shocking violation of good faith negotiation tactics.”
“Negotiations were to resume on Thursday, January 19. That morning, an article appeared in the NY Daily News presenting givebacks that the MTA would be asking for at the meeting. This was a shocking violation of good faith negotiating practices and of a specific agreement with management to refrain from negotiating in the press,” the statement said. “This move, the second time in three days that management had seeded the press with its claims, poisoned the atmosphere for negotiations. Local 100 presented its protest and then cancelled the remainder of the bargaining session in order to clear the air before negotiations continued.”
TWU’s statement didn’t just accuse the MTA of planting the story. It also said the information contained in the story was inaccurate.
Governor Cuomo appeared at the Riverfront Library Auditorium in Yonkers this morning to present his executive budget message and, during a Q&A after the presentation, The Politicker asked whether he’s optimistic the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will be able to reach a deal on a new contract with Transit Workers Union Local 100, which represents the people who operate New York City’s subway and bus system.
“You know I’m leaving that up to the MTA and Joe Lhota,” Governor Cuomo said.
As the Giants fought the Packers in the divisional playoffs Sunday evening, another battle was unfolding at the Sheraton Hotel in Midtown, where the Metropolitan Transportation Authority held an all-night session of contract negotiations with the Transport Workers Union Local 100, which represents the people who operate the city’s subways and buses.
Outside the hotel, the union held a raucous rally, where hundreds of members gathered in the freezing cold to hear their president, John Samuelsen, give a defiant speech about the contract talks. A pair of big-screen TVs broadcast the football game to the crowd. In addition to the winter chill and periodic cheers for the Giants, the threat of a crippling transit strike hung heavy in the air.
As the MTA’s contract with the Transport Workers Union Local 100 was set to expire at midnight last night, hundreds of workers gathered in the bitter cold outside the negotiations at the Sheraton Hotel in midtown for a raucous rally where they were joined by several local politicians.
“I’ve been bargaining for the better part of the last 48 hours,” TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen said. “I’m going to go back into that hotel and I’m going to tell the chairman of the MTA, I’m going to tell the governor to take their petty demands and shove it.”