Monday, February 13, 2017


Not everyone is happy with the recent Transit Workers Local 100 tentative contract. A young Brooklyn Conductor is leading a spirited vote no campaign and he has joined forces with dissidents who were aligned with former TWU head Roger Toussaint who led the 2005 NYC transit strike. Readers might recall the tentative TWU agreement calls for two 2.5% raises over a 28 month period.

TWU's settlement for the last nine years blows away what the UFT did for,  it might be better to say, to city workers.

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.

The Flatbush native may be new to the tracks and even newer to the union hall, but he's organizing an aggressive campaign for the group's rank-and-file members to vote down the contract. TWU members have until Wednesday to mail in their ballots.

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.


Anonymous said...

They are opposed to a contract much better than what we got. WHat does that say about us and ours?

Anonymous said...

It says that the majority of UFT members are female and just don't believe they're worth much. And Mulgrew simply recognized that and capitalized on it.

I can confirm this within my own school where the male teachers were unanimously opposed to the last deal and the overwhelming majority of females were either neutral or in favor.

Of course if we had a competent and honest leader who is truly working on behalf of membership, we would've done better. But I think it's obvious to everyone who reads this blog that this clown just works for himself, if he works at all.

Unitymustgo! said...

There is a lesson here for MORE. If you want to reach members follow this guy's example.

James Eterno said...

Out in the field is where the rank and file are.