July 21, 2011
Statement from TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen on the resignation of MTA Chairman Jay Walder
“Transit workers won’t miss Jay Walder and quite frankly will be glad to see him go. He has been antagonistic to the union and the workers from his first day on the job. His attempt last year to blackmail the union into major pay and other concessions led to gratuitous layoffs.
He ushered in unprecedented service cuts in both subway and bus service, with particular insensitivity to already underserved areas of Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx.
“He never grasped the notion that our bus and subway systems are the most basic and vital service afforded to New York’s working class. And he was ineffective in dealing with Albany to not only secure new funding for public transportation to avoid service reductions, but to protect the dedicated sources of transit revenue. He attacked his blue collar workforce and his own lower level white collar employees. But never looked to upper management on his “quest” for cost savings.
“He leaves New York City transit in worse shape than when he arrived less than two years ago. We will urge the Governor to appoint a new Chair who will view his workers as allies not the enemy, and a person who fully grasps the magnitude of the contribution of our public transportation to the economic vitality of New York.”