The Transit Workers Union Local 100 is holding a daylong “reclaim public transit” event tomorrow in conjunction with Occupy Wall Street and the Working Families Party, against the backdrop of their protracted contract negotiationswith the Metropolitan Transit Authority. According to the statement announcing the event, it is designed to “highlight funding and infrastructure needs of public transportation across the nation” and “raise awareness about how public transit supports good jobs, sustainable communities, a greener environment and reduced consumption of oil.” Tomorrow’s event will include a pair of press conferences as well as leafleting and petitions calling on the MTA to “reoccupy” underutilized buildings in Downtown Brooklyn in order to cut costs.
Big Man On Campus
Adam Lisberg, the Editor of the New York political media outlet City & State is moving on to handle communications for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the state agency announced this morning.
“It’s going to be quite a challenge, they came gunning for me hard,” Mr. Lisberg told The Politicker.
“At first I thought, I’ve be a reporter my entire career,” he said. “But I’ve always been a transit geek … I really believe in mass transit. I believe in cities, and finding ways for people to move in and out of a concentrated space is the lifeblood — not just economically — of what makes cities thrive.”
Public Advocate and likely 2013 mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio is the latest city politician joining the push to establish an NYU and Polytech applied sciences campus at an empty building owned by the MTA in Brooklyn. The Politicker obtained letters Mr. de Blasio sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and MTA Chairman Joe Lhota last Friday urging them to support the project.
“The proposed repurposing of the MTA’s unused building at 370 Jay Street to house the NYU Applied Science Center would be an integral part of the continuing revitalization of Downtown Brooklyn and would also help a New York City educational institutional increase its contribute to education and in technology in our city,” Mr. de Blasio wrote in his letter to the Mayor.
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.
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.”
Mayor Bloomberg partied with the press and joked about Occupy Wall Street at his annual holiday fête.
Apple swore city government officials to secrecy about its new store in Grand Central Station.
The new tax deal may mean higher fares on public transportation.
Governor Cuomo said he might make New York State lawmakers cut their winter vacations short to deal with the projected budget shortfall.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver lost a battle with a pothole.
Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg teamed up to support same sex marriage.
Should Kirsten Gillibrand’s low approval rating make her sweat?
New Gingrich watched “Bridesmaids” to prep for tonight’s Republican debate.
Mayor Bloomberg said something sort of nice about Occupy Wall Street.
Former Congressman Guy Molinari said something not-so-nice about Chuck Schumer.
State Senator Ruben Diaz is still mad about same sex marriage.
Prospective 2013 Mayoral candidates Chris Quinn and Bill de Blasio would really like you to know that they’ve been arrested multiple times–for civil disobedience.
New MTA boss, Joe Lhota, had a rough time at a board meeting yesterday where he was confronted with angry employees and crazed subway riders.
Governor Cuomo made up a new curfew law to bust Occupy Albany protesters.
Cigarette smuggling is running rampant in New York.