If you were on the zoom 1/29/21 with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, TWU International President John Samuelsen & Local 100 President Tony Utano, you would of heard for yourself that Hazard Pay isn’t a main priority anymore.
This is what Chuck Schumer said about Hazard Pay, “It’s not in this new Biden plan, but we are going to continue for fighting for it in the next big transportation bill”.
Back in April, NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo urged the federal government to implement a 50% hazard pay for frontline workers. Last summer hazard pay was introduced into the Hero’s Act, but it was shut down by Senate republicans. Now with President Biden being “pro labor”, why wouldn’t hazard pay be in Biden’s plan? You can also expect Cuomo not to push Biden for a hazard pay like he did Trump because they aren’t on opposing political parties.
Schumer also said, “We get the money for transit first and foremost so they won’t shut down anything, but priority #2 is for hazard pay” as both Samuelsen and Utano stayed quiet in their seat.
Schumer must don’t know that every contract outside of the pandemic the MTA has historically cried broke, moved money from the operational budget to the capital budget so they wouldn’t have to give us the raises we deserve.
Now with the pandemic here, the MTA legitimately have a reason to cry poverty with ridership significantly down and it probably will never return to what it was prior to the pandemic.
Transit workers have seen this same “priority” narrative with reforming Tier 6, which was shutdown and vetoed by Samuelsen & Utano’s friend Cuomo after passing the senate and assembly in 2018. Transit workers never heard about another bill again the last 3 years.
The truth of the matter is that as long as the MTA along with the Local 100 leadership pushed us to come to work unsafely during these unprecedented times and a vaccine surfaced, the rallying cry for hazard pay would become bleak as time went on.
You’re supposed to strike while the iron is hot — but what happens when that same iron becomes cold again combined with decrepit leadership?
Welcome to the 3 card monte show of TWU international President John Samuelsen and TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano— filled with theatre, con artistry, tricknology, smokescreen and mirrors.