New York State Senator George Onorato
Chairman, Senate Committee on Labor
FOR RELEASE: March 26, 2010
CONTACT: Janet K. Kash (518)455-3486 firstname.lastname@example.org
SENATOR ONORATO URGES MTA CHAIRMAN TO FIND ALTERNATIVES TO
LAYOFFS OF 500 SUBWAY STATION EMPLOYEES
Says Station Attendants Are Vital to Ensuring Station Safety and Security, & Are First Line of Defense Against Farebeaters Who Cost the MTA $27 Million a Year
In a letter to Chairman Walder, Senator Onorato noted the serious economic challenges facing the MTA and New York State as a whole, but said, “Layoffs are a drastic response that rip apart the security of affected employees and their families. Job losses also have a direct ripple effect on the local economy and governments by taking away the ability of workers to support local businesses and provide tax revenues, while forcing many onto public assistance.”
As alternatives to layoffs, Senator Onorato suggested that the MTA consider the use of stimulus funds for its operations from the American Recovery and Revitalization Act (ARRA), and noted that new legislation being considered by Congress may provide the MTA with significant new operating funds. In addition, the Senator recommended that the MTA examine its use of expensive outside contractors, as the State of New York has been doing, in an effort to identify savings and provide job stability for MTA workers.
“The MTA’s plans to continue its construction projects signals to me that you expect to be able to expand MTA’s operations well into the future,” Senator Onorato wrote. “New York City’s mass transit system provides a vital public service which should not be compromised for the current fiscal period by eliminating the individuals who make MTA operations run so effectively for all of us.”
* A copy of Senator Onorato’s letter to MTA Chairman Walder is attached.