The end of the line for hundreds of MTA workers inches closer & closer with each passing day. With a budget deficit that continues to eat away at the MTA, the much maligned transit agency has had their hand forced by a city & state that continues to show no desire to come up with sustainable funding solutions.
The prospect of having no job has really hit home for one worker in particular, Jhesky Vega. Mr. Vega is a station agent who will work his last shift on Wednesday. As if losing his job was not bad enough, it happens at a time when he & his fiancee were preparing for their October wedding in Puerto Rico. Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News has more in this report from Sunday:
There’s no good time to get laid off from work – but for token booth clerk Jhesky Vega, the timing couldn’t be worse.
Vega and his fiancée were in the midst of planning their October wedding in Puerto Rico when he received a pink slip from NYC Transit last week.
Vega, 31, will work his last shift Wednesday.
“I’m feeling lost and dazed,” the Queens man said. “I’m walking around like a zombie.”
Vega is among about 450 station agents getting laid off or reassigned, despite their expectations that their civil-service positions granted life-long job security.
To the very end, many agents believed they might be spared from the budget ax.
Veteran workers assured younger colleagues the MTA always cried wolf, Vega said, but the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s fiscal woes proved too severe.
“The older clerks said, ‘It’s never going to happen.’ … And it actually did,” Vega said. And while he’ll file for unemployment and look for another job, he knows how little work is available.
“How am I going to get the money for the wedding?” he fretted. “My girlfriend already put a deposit on the dress. I feel like my gut’s being ripped out.”
Click here for the complete report.
My condolences go out not only to Jhesky Vega & all of the workers being laid off but to the loved ones of these workers as well. I am sure the New York Daily News could do stories like this on all ofthe workers who are losing their jobs.
Back in the day, getting a job with the MTA was considered something big to shoot for as the pay was good & it offered a legitimate chance at a long career. However nowadays, the harsh reality is that you could bust your ass for them for years & be out the door the very next day.
While the financial woes of the MTA are not all their fault, I do find it completely disheartening & disgusting how the blue-collar workforce of the MTA is the first to get pinched during these tough times, yet the redundant layers of management continue to stay the course. Seriously, this just not right!
xoxo Transit Blogger