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Utano Calls for MTA Chairman Pat Foye to Step Aside from Contract Negotiations

MTA Chairman Pat Foye is a bigot and a liar.
 
After portraying transit workers as time and overtime cheats, and posting cops in the work place like jail guards, multi-millionaire Foye has used ugly anti-Italian stereotypes - and more lies  - to accuse Local 100 President Tony Utano of fraud. This latest attack came in an email that Foye sent to Utano over the Columbus Day weekend and was later leaked to the press.
 
It was a despicable attempt to weaken the union and dirty the reputations of the Local 100 president, the union and our membership during contract negotiations. Utano is calling on Foye to step aside and recuse himself from contract negotiations. His actions suggest he has become unhinged and is incapable of reaching a fair agreement for transit workers. TWU Local is now releasing Utano's email response to Foye:
 
Chairman Foye,
 
Have you completely lost your mind? I've been involved in contract negotiations with the MTA as a union officer for more than 30 years, and I've never - ever - seen anything like the email you sent me over the weekend. It's so packed with lies, so slanderous, so devoid of reality and so bizarre that it appears you have become unhinged and are cracking under pressure. I question your ability to negotiate a fair contract for transit workers. 
 
It's clearly no coincidence that you accuse me of somehow being involved in a corrupt "scam" in an email sent on Columbus Day weekend, and that you end your screed with the line, "Have a peaceful Columbus Day." I'm the proud son of Italian immigrants. I'm all too familiar with ugly, anti-Italian stereotypes. You should be ashamed of yourself for going down that road. I want to make it crystal clear to you that we will never agree to any proposal that undermines the health benefits transit workers are entitled to, and no amount of lies and distortions you come up with will change that.
 
As you well know, PayerMatrix came to MTA headquarters at your invitation to make an informational presentation. At the meeting you convened, the company explained how it could achieve significant prescription drug savings without diminishing the health benefits of transit workers. The concept is based on raw numbers and has nothing to do with race or immigration. The means test, as you well know, covers 100 percent of the hourly employees, based on 40 hours. The few who earn above that amount by grueling hours of overtime are automatically covered by the current plan.  There is nothing racist, or corrupt or anti-immigrant about it. It is math.You are simply lying when you describe the company as "highly compensated, out of town Local 100 consultants." And describing this routine informational presentation as "The Utano Specialty Drug Scam," is outrageous, despicable and bizarre. 
 
We remain committed to negotiating with management a fair contract for our members. You, however, should remove your self from the situation and send someone else to the negotiating table. You do not seem up to the task. By the way, you can send this letter to the Inspector General too.
 
Tony Utano, President, Transport Workers Union Local 100

 

Union Rocks Bronx Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness; Nearly $20K Raised

Breast Cancer Walk in the Bronx

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 20 -- TWU Local 100 leaders including President Tony Utano, Recording Secretary LaTonya Crisp, and Administrative VP Nelson Rivera turned out at Orchard Beach in the Bronx on Sunday to participate with rank and file members and hundreds of others to make strides against breast cancer. The event was emotional for many, with a survivor's tent set up to celebrate those who had successfully battled the disease. President Utano walked for his mother, Gina, and Nelson Rivera shared his cancer diagnosis. Our members have raised nearly $20,000 for the American Cancer Society. President Utano cut the ribbon to start the march. You can see all the photos by scrolling using the handles at right and left.

Introducing our New Website: www.trashtrain.net

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NYCT has cut 79 Cleaner positions -- not by layoff, but by attrition. The result? Subway cars are getting dirtier as ridership increases. So we have started a contest, to get New Yorkers involved, and to tell the MTA to reverse course. Visitors to the site can upload their photos of the worst trash that they have seen subway cars -- and we'll put the photos to a vote. The winner gets $500 on November 30. Read the contest rules here.

If the MTA wants to save money, they should cut consultants, not service.

Union Expands Contract Campaign to ESPN Radio

Local 100 began running 60-second spots on ESPN radio, 98.7 FM on October 3rd, blasting the MTA for its do-nothing attitude toward worker assaults; its plans to cut jobs and service, and its bloated outside consultants spending. The spot also urges transit workers to turn out for the union's October 30th rally outside 2 Broadway at 5:00pm. The spots are running throughout the day on all ESPN's popular shows, including Golic & Wingo; Chris Canty and Rick DiPietro; the Stephen A. Smith Show, and the Michael Kay show. Here is an aircheck of the spot from yesterday. The union's media campaign also includes spots on 1010 WINS, 880 CBS, WBLS, and cable news television stations.

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