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A union town


To the editor:

If every city had a superpower, New York City’s would be its unionized workers. We have people running the nation’s largest hospital network from the doctors, nurses and technicians. We have the schools from the principals to the teachers to the janitors.

Every building in the city that is run by union labor makes the city stronger and the economy more vibrant. Many people say New York is the business capital of the world but we are also the nation’s union capital.

Increasing wages and benefits help the working class. They also boost the economy. Making the city healthy and distributing the wealth is an important facet of improving everyday lives. Allowing retirees to keep their health care and to remain part of organized labor is essential to ensure we keep our promise to past and present union workers.

Making the workplace a safer place benefits the workers and the riding public. Happier and healthier employees benefit the public and union workers alike.

But as a member of Transport Workers Union local 100, I look forward to the days that unions are run more democratically, where employees have increased say in the important issues affecting transit riders and workers. Where we can all work together to make this city a better place.

Celso Garcia

The writer is a bus operator. 


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  • Local 100 is one of the better unions than most.100 providing a contract with real health benefits. We are provided with representation in all phases is there room for improvement of course but to continue to attempt to drag TWU down for some is more of a personal matter and lack real solutions except to create chaos and say see I told you they fail to do this or that. No system so far has ever been perfect but TWU has improved over the last decade. Over all it made great strides for the workers as a whole. I hope more quality involvement and dedication is coming up the ranks not taking it down!!!!!

    Wednesday, January 31 Report this


    I agree with Celso in this sentiment. For example, the MLC consists of about 102 union who pay a dues to belong to this umbrella organization whose job was to unite labor unions in solidarity in collective bargaining. To form "one big union" to set a standard and not pit one union against the other but creating a wall of unionists moving forward. Instead, they pit the few largest unions against the others, and unions vote on issues that do not even affect them. If union members voices were allowed to be heard more, could Michael Mulgrew or Henry Garrido really cast the full weighted vote of their membership in these meetings? at one vote for every 250 members, if half the UFT dissented with Mulgrew, he could not cast the full weighted vote. And for that matter, why doesn't the MLC reveal publicly WHO are the unions in the MLC and what the weighted vote of each is? I mean, isn't that how its supposed to be done under Robert's Rules of Order? "ROLLCALL! UFT - 480 Votes. How do you Vote - Aye or Nay?" But they NEVER do that. And of course, they never poll their members for their position on the issue. Actually, most aren't even aware. But Mulgrew casts the full vote. Oh, and is his vote really 480? (for the 119,955 active workers, or is he including his 70,000 retirees? Asking for a friend...

    Member engagement matters. It is critical to union survival. If you don't properly strengthen your union, NY will start to look like Florida where the unions are being decimated by anti-union companies and politicians. NY used to be a strong union town - let's remember why.

    Sunday, February 18 Report this