Former MTA President Joe Lhota says TWU local 100 President John Samuelsen has never negotiated a contract in his life. Why local 100 members need to be worried!


“Im not sure that the leadership of the Transit Workers Union knows how to negotiate a contract”. 

Those were the words echoed from former MTA President Joe Lhota during the 2012 contract negotiations with TWU local 100 President John Samuelsen.




Samuelsen, a man who only comes out of hibernation when it is to his benefit for political gain or when the media is present, shouldn’t be hard to find. Housed on the 9th floor of the over priced $30 million dollar condos at 195 Montague street, his office has no semblance of a union President’s office or someone of importance within the local. One anonymous union rep stated, “When and if he does come to the union hall, he’s more than likely to be napping the day away, he always look like he is just waking up”.

It is no secret John Samuelsen has a problem staying awake in front of crowds, as pictures have surfaced of him falling asleep on stage during the international conventions in Vegas, embarrassing local 100.


1). During the 2014 contract negotiations according to former Chief of staff Harry Wills, Samuelsen purposely stalled on the MTA when they were ready, willing and able to sit down with TWU leadership. Why did Samuelsen stall? For his own selfish benefit of waiting to see what was going to happen in the international elections. Samuelsen wanted to make sure he won the vice president seat in the international first. If he would of delivered a bad contract before getting into the international, it would of hurt his chances of getting voted in.

2). After he won the international vice president seat, he then put his attention on getting re-elected as President of local 100. In combination with desperation and not knowing how to negotiate a contract, he ran to Gov. Cuomo to give us a contract (thats why its known as the cuomo contract). Samuelsen wanted the contract to be in place before the local 100 elections so members can feel content in voting him back in as President. Till this day Samuelsen says the contract was the best in the industry and he kept our pensions at 25/55, which is a total lie.

3). During his continued quest of selfishness and narcism, he consequently sold out Long Island Rail Road by delivering such a low ball contract in local 100. It gave Long Island Rail Road no leverage in their negotiations. This is all a result of him not knowing how to negotiate contracts, just like how Joe Lhota said.


It has been said by Joe Lhota quite clearly, “Samuelsen has never negotiated a contract in his life”, so who is?

One of Samuelsen’s closest pals/advisors, Educational Director of local 100 Nick Bedell plays more of a role than what his title says.

Just recently the union has chose to not go after the Uber drivers, but to add “Pedi Cabs” and “Citi Bike” to local 100. Why wouldn’t the union want Uber drivers in local 100? Wouldn’t that make the work force stronger vs pedicabs and citi bike?

It would’ve, but the deal didn’t get done with Uber simply because Nick Bedell didn’t want them. Bedell being an “energy conservationist” loves clean energy. He rides his bike almost everywhere and rarely use transportation that requires the burning of fuels. Also, not to be funny, but does it looks like Samuelsen have any interest in riding bikes?

Furthermore, monetarily Uber would have been better. During heavy rain, snow or other inclement conditions, bikes wouldn’t be your ideal mode of transportation, but on the other hand a vehicle will.

The bottom line is this, the person who is negotiating the deals on behalf of John Samuelsen is putting their self interests first and not thinking about making the union stronger and powerful. If so, Uber would have been a no brainer.

Additionally, pedicabs workers, mostly African immigrants would be perfect for the local 100 to deal with. These immigrants, whom mostly don’t have their paper work with the United States correct, wouldn’t make much of a fuss and will try to stay under the radar. Actually the union will be benefitting more than the pedicab members.

The move for the local to get pedicabs and citi bike are essentially for two reasons only, for more dues money and future votes.

– Tramell Thompson

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