The MTA will have train crews investigate unsafe conditions such as unruly passengers or unattended packages, isolate cars with hazardous biological waste, and work all day without a lunch break just to keep service moving. By using the above definition, their priority lies with keeping service moving.
The MTA will have bus operators drive buses with absolutely no protection from an angry public who keeps assaulting employees in a misguided attempt at retaliation for poor service and high fares, yet they refuse to retrofit all of the buses like they do in other cities around the world with full partitions which provide sufficient protection against trouble-seeking individuals. Again, by using the definition above, their priority is NOT employee safety, but rather cost reduction.
In the midst of a worldwide medical crisis, the MTA tried to tell us that we could not wear N95 protective masks to guard ourselves against the Coronavirus. It took myself and Progressive Action to stand up against this heartless policy, guised as a “uniform violation.” https://gothamist.com/news/subway-train-operator-says-mta-wont-let-him-wear-respiratory-mask-because-public-perception Yet again, using the definition above, their priority was not our safety but “public perception.”
If you’re going to be the #worldsworstemployer, at least don’t lie about it. We’re in the middle of a global pandemic and the MTA has done absolutely NOTHING to protect the employees! They aren’t giving us any type of personal protective equipment, not sanitizing our operating cabs, and are forcing us to come to work despite fact that many of us live with people who are most at-risk of death if we bring home the virus.
I believe the ship has sailed on stopping the virus citywide. The decision to shut down the subways and buses should have come a week ago. I understand that first responders and healthcare workers must get to work, however many of them drive and those who don’t can take an Uber. Uber drivers are crying for business right now and sharing a small space with one other person will be much more helpful at “flattening the curve” than sharing a small space with 200 people. The number of cases are already multiplying. When I went to sleep Tuesday night the confirmed number of cases in NYC was 923 and as I write this Wednesday night that number has already doubled to 1,871!
However I believe they still have time to save their workforce from the virus by shutting the system down. We all congregate in very small quarters, such as crew rooms, dispatcher’s offices, bus depots, etc. so the idea of “social distancing” isn’t really feasible at this agency. So far the number of cases at the MTA is relatively low, but this is going to spread like wildfire unless they act immediately. That is, of course, if employee safety is indeed their number one priority.