TWU mobilizes

NEW YORK – Local 100 Transport Workers Union (TWU) called a membership meeting Dec. 8, the first since its historic election victory one year ago. Over 4,000 members heard contract perspectives and discussed their ideas in 10 workshops where they were also solicited to join membership labor contract committees.

In his address, Roger Toussaint called on the local’s membership to join these committees, study the current contract, remember the disaster that the previous contract represented and to then recommend changes for the new contract.

Toussaint pointed to major victories in their first year, starting with the one-day strike and successful negotiations for a labor contract in the private bus lines in Westchester.

Toussaint spent a considerable amount of time on the crisis in the Health Benefit Trust, the labor-management benefit trust fund. He cited the two major demonstrations held by the union earlier in the year – the march of 10,000 on March 28 and the follow-up march across the Brooklyn Bridge in June. These actions put the bosses on notice that any cutbacks would not be tolerated. And, in fact, as of this date, no benefits have been cut.

As part of the meeting, there was a stirring tribute to the victims and heroes of the World Trade Center. Over 2,500 transit workers joined with fire, police and emergency service workers to rescue people in the WTC. A stirring tribute to these workers was made at the conclusion of the membership meeting. Over 300 Local 100 members still work in the immediate WTC clean-up area.

– A Local 100 member