Just think… How can NYC get the Coronavirus virus under control if mass transit is still moving a considerable amount of people? NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo has stated the transportation system is remaining open to transport “essential workers” to their locations, but is this really true?￼
There’s absolutely no check and balance in the MTA system on who’s essential and who isn’t essential, everyone is allowed to ride as they please. I’m a NYCT Train Conductor and I have seen teenagers, people with children and seniors all on the trains going about their day as if nothing is going on. Us workers understand the need of the service, but if this curve doesn’t flatten, in which it hasn’t, drastic measures would need to be taken. That includes stopping all subway and bus service for a minimum of 2 weeks, in order to save lives.
On March 26, 2020 two MTA workers died Peter Petrassi who was a subway conductor and Oliver Cyrus who was a bus operator, both because of the Coronavirus. The MTA Leadership nor TWU Local 100 is taking workers safety serious. The union has rubber stamped the MTA’s narrative on safety, which has been completely wrong.
According to the NYCT Pandemic Plan Policy Instruction all front line employees are supposed to receive N95 masks, gloves, sanitizing gel & sanitizing wipes. The MTA were to also keep a 6 week stockpile supply of these items. Two weeks into this global pandemic and we can all see they weren’t doing their job. None of these items were provided to front line employees. The same employees who coincidentally have the most interaction with the riding public.
MTA workers are calling out in droves because the MTA Leadership and Union are failing us big time. We are scared. We don’t feel protected. The information isn’t timely or transparent. We don’t feel like we have support from our agency. Phone lines are down. Front line Managers are going home themselves. Other managers are hiding out in their offices and not checking on workers. Our union TWU Local 100 is gone in the wind. Yes the MTA and Union both go in front of the media and say what sounds good, they are experts at that. But the truth and reality is they aren’t doing a damn thing about work safety.
Everyday workers are confirming they are testing positive for the Coronavirus. The only way other workers are finding out is because members are honestly coming forward and posting their status on Facebook. These infected workers are telling others what tour they worked and what facilities they were at– this is a commendable act. The MTA is alerting people 5+ days later who may have had contact with an infected person. By the time this happens, hundreds of more workers are being exposed to the virus and getting sick.
Don’t think for one second this virus is exclusive to worker to worker contact. The riding public, including the essential workers the Governor talks about are possibly being exposed to this virus through MTA workers. People ask Bus Operators, Conductors, Train Operators, Cleaner’s, Train Service Supervisors, Station Agents, Traffic Checkers and whomever else they can find with a uniform on for directions or assistance. The mere fact the MTA don’t give workers any type of PPE to not only protect themselves, but the riding public from possible infection from a worker is disgraceful.
TWU Local 100 have been very complicit in the MTA negligence in the handling of this pandemic. The lack of action taken by these two entities are not only killing workers, but also killing the riding public minute by minute. Please all, be safe, stay home and protect yourself. Stay off the Metropolitan Transmission Authority in NYC at all cost. The decision to ride may be your last!
Checkout this video below