The deadline for a deal between the MTA and the Transport Workers Union Local 100 is more than a week past, but TWU president John Samuelsen insists, “The union is not planning to strike.” While the MTA looks to cut costs by not offering raises and cutting vacation days for its employees, the union is holding out for more money from Albany — and neither side seems to be in much of a rush. “[MTA chief Joseph Lhota] has gone out of his way to distinguish himself from his predecessor, Jay Walder,” said Samuelsen. “The union recognizes that, and the union is looking to get back to the bargaining table.”
While the big money questions are still up for discussion, the two sides have so far agreed on a few points, like the need to improve bathrooms for female transit workers.
Talks were halted late last week by the union because of leaks in a Daily News article that revealed MTA proposals, which the union said amounted to bad-faith negotiating. But Samuelsen and co. are not pissed enough to let it stop progress, however slow it may be. Asked to comment for an article in the today’s New York Times, the MTA, perhaps having learned its lesson, said they did “not negotiate in the press.”