A scene many would like to not see again, TWU Local 100 members on strike.
Just a few minutes ago, the contract between the MTA & TWU Local 100 expired. This comes as no surprise considering no one from either side or observers such as myself expected a deal to be reached before it did.
The two sides, which are constantly at war with each other, will continue to negotiate. Even with negotiations ongoing, Transport Workers Union Local 100 John Samuelsen continues to talk tough as he had this to say yesterday while on break from negotiations:
I’m going to go back into the hotel and I’m going to tell the MTA chairman and the governor they can take their set of demands and shove it. We’ll fight them until they relent and give us a fair contract.
The MTA released an official statement shortly after midnight:
Even though the MTA and TWU Local 100 have negotiated through the weekend, we have been unable to reach a settlement prior to the expiration of the contract. While we remain far apart, the MTA will continue to negotiate in good faith in the hope of reaching a settlement.
Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News takes a closer look into the negotiations:
The transit contract was expected to expire midnight Sunday without a deal — and the leader of 34,000 bus and subway workers had only harsh words for MTA brass and Gov. Cuomo.
John Samuelsen, president of Transport Workers Union Local 100, told an estimated 800 rallying workers — who had braved the cold and skipped the Giants-Packers game to be there — he was “reinvigorated” by their show of support.
The MTA demands include establishing a new class of part-time bus drivers, five unpaid vacation days and overtime after 40 hours — instead of after eight hours in a day. MTA officials also have said any wage increases must be paid for by work-rule changes that cut costs.
One source close to the negotiations said there appeared to be pressure coming from the Cuomo administration not to grant workers even a small pay increase. The Cuomo administration last year reached deals with the state’s two largest unions that froze pay rates for the first three years of five-year deals.
Click here for the complete report.
As I noted, it comes as no surprise that the two sides did not reach a new deal before the most recent contract expired. While the two sides will never see eye to eye on many things, it is promising that the union is not leaning towards striking as it did in 2005.
I do find it interesting that the MTA is willing to commit to install 400 bus driver safety partitions. In my opinion, that is something that should not have to even be mentioned in negotiations. The safety of their employees should come first before anything. Losing one bus driver would be too many much less the fact we have lost a few due to no safety measures being in place for them.
I will continue to follow these negotiations which for the sake of everybody will hopefully come to a quick & positive end for both sides.
xoxo Transit Blogger