Regular readers know that I am not anti-union like some others seem to be in the transit world. I support unions engaging in legitimate tactics to protect their members while also doing their part if & when things hit the fan. Throughout the latest war between the MTA & TWU over layoffs, I strongly supported the two sides skipping the fighting through the media & focusing on legitimate negotiations.
It is safe to say that both sides have not put their best foot forward in terms of focusing on negotiations. One of my biggest issues stemmed from TWU Local 100 President John Sameulsen’s obsession with the underpaid salary of MTA Board Chairman & CEO Jay H. Walder. As I noted in May, John is engaging in a battle of populism that he & his members just can’t win.
Unfortunately he seems hell bent on making this about Jay’s salary as his latest stunt revolves around the handout of fake vacation postcards from France with a picture of the CEO. Let’s first look at the report about this from Pete Donohue of the New York Daily News:
The transit workers union is escalating its war on MTA Chairman Jay Walder’s wealth Thursday by handing out fake vacation postcards from the south of France.
“Having a great time here in my summer getaway in St. Antonin Noble Val,” reads the ersatz note to the city’s commuters from Walder, who is relaxing at his villa in the Pyrenees.
The postcard’s front depicts Walder frolicking in a suit on the beach at Cannes.
“Heard the weather’s real hot and humid back in New York and that you’re packed in like sardines on the trains and buses because of all the service cuts,” it says.
“I’ll be back in plenty of time to push through the fare hikes.”
The Transport Workers Union Local 100 says it will hand out 10,000 of the counterfeit cards to embarrass Walder and whip up riders against the MTA cuts.
“Jay Walder is completely out of touch with average, everyday working New Yorkers who don’t have country houses – or the unmitigated gall to take a three-week vacation in the south of France in the midst of drastic cuts,” said Local 100 President John Samuelsen.
Click here for the complete report.
Now let’s take a look at a report about this by Michael Ventura of DNAInfo:
MTA Chairman Jay Walder is living it up in France, or so says fake postcards distributed to straphangers by transit workers.
The front of the card shows a mock-up of Walder on the French Rivera. The back contains a phony message for subway riders from his summer getaway.
“Heard the weather’s real hot and humid back in New York and that you’re packed like sardines on the trains and buses because of all the service cuts,” the postcard reads. “I know there’ll be a big spike in crime too because I fired all those Station Agents.
“Oh well, c’est la vie.”
The Transport Workers Union Local 100 told the Daily News it plans to distribute 10,000 cards to riders.
Click here for the complete report.
According to John, Jay is completely out of touch with average New York riders due to his salary & perks that come with being the MTA Board Chairman & CEO. I hate to break it to John but, his actions over the last months arguably show he is as clueless as he thinks Jay is.
Average riders do not give a damn about fake postcards, what his salary is, where he vacations, lives, etc… I am strongly confident that if you ask them what they remember or feel about all MTA employees, they would focus on the rude attitude of some workers, those who fall asleep, etc… & not what Jay has. I bet most riders could not even name who the CEO is!
These childish attacks are doing nothing for his members or the riding public he claims to care & fight for so much. I truly wonder how members feel about this childish stunt & if they are happy to see their leaders spending or more accurately wasting money on such a gimmick. These are the kind of games that are not needed at anytime much less during such a major financial crisis.
I am sincerely imploring John to stop wasting time with these childish attacks & get back to negotiating & fighting against the people who seem to dump on riders the most, our elected officials. Not to say I endorse doing this but if anyone deserves fake postcards, it is the clowns in office who continue to treat transit as a bastard stepchild. Get your priorities & reality in order John & lead the way you should.
xoxo Transit Blogger