John Samuelsen was responsible for the 2010 bus layoffs and Bus Drivers don’t be surprised if it comes down the pipeline again.


TWU local President John Samuelsen and his crew seems to falsely blame all of their short comings on former TWU local President Roger Toussaint.

Current TWU local 100 President John Samuelsen and his administration seem to blame former TWU local 100 President Roger Toussaint for all their mishaps. One of their latest attacks on the retired local 100 president is he took the no layoff clause out of the contract, which gave Samuelsen no leverage in stoping the layoffs in 2010. That is completely untrue.

The no layoff clause was put in the contract in 1999 by former President Willie James, which had a “sunset provision” attached. That specific provision was set to expire in 2002. Toussaint for the next 7 years until 2009 successfully fought off management attempts to lay off bus drivers. It wasn’t until 2010 under John Samuelsen’s leadership that layoffs actually took place. The MTA had seen a super weak link in Samuelsen and took full advantage, as a result members were laid off.


How in God’s name has the conversation in June 2016 been turned to Roger and the No layoff clause from 14 years ago? The reason is that Samuelsen and his flunkies always need to change any conversation that focuses on THEIR performance and which hold them accountable for their performance, or lack thereof. The evidence of 7 yrs from ’02 to the end of 2009 is that thyere were NO layoffs until John Samuelsen appears in 2010.

There have always been threats of layoffs, before 1999 and after. In 2005 they threatened. They backed down and instead “excessed” 178 Structure Maintainers, making them cleaners, while continuing to receive the maintainer’s pay! The TA did that for political leverage in the approaching ’05 contract negotiations. Why no layoffs? Because we made it clear to them that we would go to war and were prepared to shut them down, is why! Because the Union and its leadership were strong. They threatened layoffs after the strike too and in 2008 and we stopped them.

The reason why layoffs occurred in 2010 is that contract negotiation were again approaching and the TA saw the Union leadership as weak and in its pocket. Samuelsen had sent them so mannnny signals, they were sure of it. The layoffs were entirely political, all about leverage. The MTA fervently supported regime change in Local 100, as did the Daily news and the NY Post.

They supported Samuelsen efforts to weaken Local 100. Having used him, they then turned on him and moved in to deliver death blows for us shutting down the City of NY in a strike which he had worked hard to undermine and sabotage. For those interested, I can walk you through all the specific signals Samuelsen gave the MTA before the 2010 layoffs were announced, almost inviting their attack. But let me turn to the so called “no-layoff” clause, itself.

Here is the clause in its entirety and exactly as it appears in the TWU Local 100 contract:: CONTRACT: SECTION 1.22 – JOB SECURITY/NO LAYOFF CLAUSE – “During the period between December 15,1999 and December 15,2002 the Authorities shall not layoff or furlough any employees represented by the union , consistent with the original no layoff agreement reached between New York City and DC 37 . Cooperative efforts between the parties regarding redeployment , reassignment , etc. , of employees shall continue where necessary.”

So actually, the so called “No layoff” clause itself had an explicit expiration date of Dec’2002, (or “sunset provision” as it is referred to in the industry). So it was “taken out” from the moment it was put in, in 1999. That occurred in a contract with significant concessions in order to say to the members that we got this “no Layoff” clause in exchange.

So, this clause in our contract explicitly said that the clause was exactly similar to the No layoff clause in the DC 37 contract (there’s absolutely no other description in the contract of what that clause means) …. where multiple layoffs had in fact taken place while the same clause was in effect there. Because, all that clause in the DC 37 contract did, was outline the steps an agency/employer had to undertake BEFORE initiating layoffs in a “financial emergency”.

That is what they called a “No Layoff” clause!!! It gave fancy words to obligations (transfers, reassignments, redeployment, inverse seniority etc etc) that already existed both in the contract and under NY State Civil Service Law. It was a con job whereby the union “negotiated” away stuff for language that was utterly meaningless.

Also, Station Agent, Artie Clements is 100% correct. The reason why “the original no layoff Agreement reached between New York City and DC 37” could not, did not and never have prevented layoffs is that a real “no layoff” prohibition in any public sector contract in NY State would be illegal and unenforceable because it would supersede the authority granted exclusively to the NY State legislature when it adopts the state budget which drives manpower/staffing levels.

Now, if you want to play games with members minds, continue to hoodwink them and take them as fools (which apparently some individuals prefer) , you could put empty feel-good provisions in the contract and trade away real benefits for such provisions to boot. Some people like that kind of dishonest, cynical Union leadership. They want that, they demand that! – Roger Toussaint


no lay off


One thought on “John Samuelsen was responsible for the 2010 bus layoffs and Bus Drivers don’t be surprised if it comes down the pipeline again.

  1. Before the 2010 layoffs, the MTA put out feelers to test Samuelsen’s resolve. He failed 100%. Mr Samuelsen actually first proposed that Transit workers create and pay into a fund that would contribute $40M to TO THE MTA, to offset the MTA’s claimed budget shortfall. This proposal made the news. Next he also actually proposed and in fact filed and obtained a permit for Local 100 to start its own ‘Dollar Van’ company to compete with TA route work being done by our own members! I swear, I do not know what he was smoking! And there was more. But these moves told the MTA that they had the Local on the ropes. Faced with a fight, Samuelsen came up with nothing but schemes that would tax the members and pit members against each other – while the MTA was let off the hook. Obviously they then moved in for the kill and went ahead with layoffs. TA President Pendergast later admonished Samuelsen in front of a room full of officers for not even attempting to negotiate. Samuelsen was mostly M.I.A, busy hiding under his bed at home, making excuses about sick relatives and crying to Jim Little that – had he known what being President entailed – he might not have taken the job. For real, for real!!! See, they used him to disrupt Local 100 and he thought they were his friends and wouldn’t do him dirty, but he quickly found himself in over his head, way over! There’s allot more to be told,


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