May 20, 2014
By Stephanie West
Brooklyn NY–Transport Workers Union Local 100 approved a contract negotiated between the TWU and the MTA in landslide fashion. The percentage voting yes was 82 percent. In all, 12,458 union members voted for, and 2,681 were against.
TWU Local 100 President John Samuelsen, who led the union's negotiating team, said that the contract marked the successful conclusion of a tough fight that lasted more than two years. The union's last agreement expired on January 15, 2012.
"At a time when few workers see their paychecks growing, with a recovery that fails to take hold for so many, transit workers can hold their heads high by having won raises in every year of the five-year deal, resulting in an immediate 4 percent wage increase, full retroactive pay, and new benefits that reverse the trend of givebacks in health care that are all-too-familiar across our country," he said.
He noted that the TWU contract broke a bargaining pattern that was set in 2011 and had held New York State workers to three years of zero wage increases and major health care givebacks.
Transit workers at the MTA now will not see any of that pain. Partly responsible, he said, was the universal acknowledgement of the outstanding job the workers did in restoring system-wide service just days after the devastation inflicted on New York by Hurricane Sandy.
"I want to thank the members of TWU Local 100 for recognizing that we achieved an excellent contract in trying times. I also want to thank Governor Cuomo for his intervention, at the union's request, that resulted in an acceptable contract."