Transport Workers Union Local 100 bus operators and maintainers in Queens, NY have been working over 15 months without a contract. Two weeks ago the union conducted a two-day work stoppage. Prior to that, there was a two-day work safety slowdown. In early January, a half-day work shut down was conducted.
The strike of 1,500 workers made over 125,000 Queens bus riders seek other means of getting to work.
“Our goal is a labor contract that has job security and dignity,” Local 100 President Roger Toussaint has said. “To do this we must have the public’s support. Our strategies are paying off. Every member of the City Council from Queens, the City’s comptroller and Public Advocate support the job security demands of the workers. A series of City Council hearings will be conducted this week to further gather evidence and support.”
The private bus lines in Queens operate off of a strong financial subsidy from New York City. “The hand of the new City administration is clearly behind these negotiations. We are using every pressure method to convince Mayor Michael Bloomberg of the need for job security for these drivers,” Toussaint said.
The success of the Westchester bus contract last year and the growing successes behind the Queens actions are serving notice to the Transit Authority that this year’s contract negotiations, which formally start three months prior to the Dec. 15 deadline, are already well underway.