New York, NY — Anthony “Tony” Utano is President of Transport Workers Union Local 100, the flagship of the Transport Workers Union of America. TWU Local 100 has 46,000 members in the New York metropolitan area, predominantly working for New York City Transit but also representing school bus, tour bus, and Liberty Lines Transit employees.
Utano was appointed to lead Local 100 on the resignation of former President John Samuelsen, who left the Local to lead the TWU of America in September of 2017. He was elected to full 3-year terms in 2018 and 2021.
Prior to becoming Local 100 President, Utano was Vice President of the Maintenance of Way Division of TWU Local 100, the largest Department of the Local with more than 8,000 workers. He is the longest-serving official of TWU Local 100, having been elected for 35 years to represent his fellow transit workers. He has been a delegate to the TWU International Convention for eight consecutive terms.
LP: What are the varying jobs of your members?
TU: The vast majority of Local 100 members operate and maintain the MTA’s bus and subway system. Titles include Bus Operators, Bus Mechanics, Train Operators, Conductors, Track Workers, Station Agents, Cleaners, and Signal Maintainers.
LP: What were the biggest challenges for your union during the height of the pandemic and what continues to be a challenge?
TU: The biggest challenges were getting management to secure and distribute PPE, enact staggered work schedules, increase social distance opportunities in the workplace, getting management to treat fatalities like line-of-duty deaths with suitable financial payments to families.
LP: What is your strategy to continue moving forward in ’23 and ’24?
To ramp up internal organizing, education, and engagement to establish an even stronger united front to secure a fair contract next year and face other challenges ahead.