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Latest News - October 2013

October 11, 2013
New York City bus drivers cause delays after 371 operators disciplined by MTA
Source: Ny Daily News
Joseph Stepanansky

The transit workers union in New York delayed the departure of about 200 buses from seven depots Wednesday morning, apparently to protest disciplinary action against drivers in a recent crackdown.

The Daily News last week revealed that Metropolitan Transportation Authority dispatchers posing as passengers had cited 371 drivers over five weeks for alleged infractions, including failing to signal before turning. About 60 drivers were taken off the road immediately for allegedly using cellphones or running red lights, The News reported.

The MTA said the enforcement — along with refresher training — was prompted by an uptick in accidents.

But Transport Workers Union Local 100 called the dispatchers “spies” and said the authority was just harassing workers with mostly petty rule violations.

According to TWU Local 100, MTA managers harassed bus drivers with mostly petty rule violations.

Before dawn Wednesday, Local 100 officers began conducting surprise bus inspections at seven depots in Brooklyn and Queens, union officials said.

Drivers were instructed not to head out to their routes until any defects discovered were fixed. About 200 buses were late leaving the depots, according to the union. The MTA said only about 40 buses were delayed.

Local 100 has used the tactic in the past to show anger or frustration at management without calling it a job action as that would be illegal under the state’s Taylor Law.

“We’re looking to show the authority that when it comes to safety, Local 100 is unified, organized and able to face whatever challenges arise,” J.P. Patafio, a Local 100 vice president, said Wednesday.

MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz insisted MTA management wasn’t miffed by the inspections.

“We’re glad the union takes the safety of our employees and customers as seriously as we do and we’re happy to work with them on any potential safety issues with our fleet as was the case this morning.”



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