State Legislators Call on Governor and MTA to Give Transit Workers a Fair Contract

James Sanders Jr.

October 22, 2021

State Senator James Sanders Jr. has collaborated with his collegues in government to send a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul in support of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Locals 726, 1056, 1179 receiving a fair contract.

A passage from the letter includes:

We strongly urge you and the MTA Board to approve the same contract that Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 100 has received for Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) locals 726, 1056, and 1179 in the name of fairness and equity. ATU represents members classified as essential employees. ATU members support other essential workers, including doctors, nurses, police, clerks, and others, in getting to their jobs and returning home safely. ATU members go to work while facing threats to their health and safety with a high risk of exposure to the coronavirus. We applaud ATU members for their heroism.

"After the chaos and devastation of Superstorm Sandy, New Yorkers experienced how ATU Locals 726, 1056, 1179 and 1181 memberships and sister transit unions stepped up and helped New Yorkers get about on public buses while the MTA worked to resume subway service system-wide,” stated ATU NYS Legislative Conference chair Mark Henry, also president/business agent of ATU 1056 (Queens). "Fast forward to today, our bus operators and maintainers stood on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19; some – too many --losing their lives; and we stepped up despite our members working under an expired contract that the MTA REFUSES to update and treats our members as second-class workers without the same compensation afforded to our brothers and sisters at Local 100.” 

ATU Local 1179 (Queens) President/ Business Agent Jose DeJesus added, "Through ATU International, we strongly supported the inclusion of $32 billion in emergency operating aid for public transportation in the recent federal Coronavirus relief package. 

ATU Local 726 (Staten Island) President/Business Agent Danny Cassella stated, "We also supported the funding for state and localities knowing that funding shored  up the support we receive from the State and the City."

ATU thanked Senator Sanders and Assembly Member Cruz and their Senate and Assembly colleague co-signers for their staunch support for the dedicated public servants who operate as maintain MTA buses as members of ATU.
Statewide, the ATU represents more than 25,000 hard-working transit workers throughout ATU cities including Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo, New York City, Rochester, and Syracuse.

Combined, ATU Locals 726 (Staten Island), 1056 (Queens)1179 (Queens), and 1181 (Brooklyn) represent more than 5,000 workers working across the boroughs at MTA New York City Transit.