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NYC Transit subway, bus workers back NY Senate bill that would give them right to strike

New York bus and subway staff need the fitting to strike — they usually’re searching for legislative help for the thought on the similar time they’re gearing as much as negotiate a brand new contract with the MTA.

The Transport Staff Union — whose Native 100 represents subway staff, bus drivers and different MTA workers — introduced Thursday that it was supporting a invoice launched at its request by state Sen. Jessica Ramos to amend the legislation that makes it unlawful for MTA workers and different public sector staff to strike.

TWU 100 transit employees rally outside 2 Broadway over their ongoing contract dispute with the MTA in 2019.

The union’s present contract with the MTA expires in mid-Could.

After 2005′s citywide transit strike, the Transport Staff Union was slapped with a $2.5 million nice — and union chief Roger Toussaint served a number of days in jail — beneath the state’s Taylor Regulation, which limits the fitting of public staff to strike in return for contract protections throughout negotiations.

MTA workers engaged on the Lengthy Island Rail Highway and Metro North are ruled by the federal Railway Labor Act, which allows strikes in spite of everything makes an attempt at negotiation have failed.

“LIRR staff and Metro North staff, they’ve the fitting to strike,” mentioned John Samuelsen, president of TWU Worldwide. “We do the identical work. We’re all employed by the MTA.”

Transport Workers Union Local 100 president John Samuelsen

“There’s an fairness concern right here — inner-city New York transit staff are largely staff of colour,” Samuelsen added.

Ramos’ invoice would put subway and bus staff on largely the identical footing as these on the commuter railroads, with required mediation for any contract disputes and the choice of binding arbitration.

Ought to arbitration be refused by both celebration — and subsequent intervention by the governor fail to achieve an settlement — any strike by staff wouldn’t be deemed unlawful beneath Ramos’ proposal.

“The employees got here to me and requested for a greater instrument. When staff come to me, I pay attention,” Ramos advised the Each day Information Thursday.

State Sen. Jessica Ramos

The laws would have an effect on staff past the 5 boroughs, offering authorized strike choices for folks employed on the state’s numerous regional transit authorities.

“It is a democracy,” mentioned Richard Davis, Native 100′s president. “Working women and men ought to have the fitting to withhold their labor to allow them to safe good wages and supply for his or her households as finest they will.”

Union leaders advised The Information that the laws has been within the works since earlier than the pandemic as a response to the U.S. Supreme Court docket’s 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME, which discovered that non-union staff didn’t must pay dues in union retailers. The ruling was broadly seen as a blow to organized labor.

The 2005 transit strike, town’s most up-to-date, introduced New York to a standstill for two-and-a-half days within the run-up to the Christmas vacation.

“Absent the authorized proper to strike, there have been strikes,” mentioned Samuelsen. “If we had the fitting to strike, the employers could be compelled to discount in good religion.”


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