TWU's settlement for the last nine years blows away what the UFT did
Some highlights from this Daily News piece on the TWU contract battle:
The transit union heralded its recent contract deal with the MTA as a rare victory for workers during dark times for the labor movement.
But that's not how Tramell Thompson, a 35-year-old conductor from Brooklyn who's been on the job for a scant three years, sees it.
"The contract was one of the worst contracts we've ever had," Thompson said of the deal Transport Workers Union Local 100 president John Samuelsen cut.
Meanwhile, Thompson is building recognition among the TWU ranks for a movement he calls Progressive Action.
The conductor started Progressive Action last year as an internet radio show, blog and bustling private Facebook group that's attracted nearly 7,000 members.
"They respond better through internet interactions versus the old-fashioned tactics the union is using, (like) mass membership meetings," Thompson said.
He is acerbic and blunt when it comes to TWU leadership, critical of how it runs the organization and the benefits it gets for workers.
A flank of the TWU that supported former union president Roger Toussaint, who organized the 2005 transit strike, has allied with Progressive Action.
"We're like-minded," said Joe Campbell, a car inspector for 27 years with the MTA who twice ran unsuccessfully against Samuelsen and was a Toussaint ally. "He's bringing along a lot of the younger members."
Current TWU leadership is calling Thompson a scab because he said he would not strike if they are in office. TWU fights are so bitter but I think they show a truly thriving democratic union. It is very unlike the UFT in so many ways.
Thanks to Mike Schirtzer for sending the article out.