Sunday, December 27, 2009

The People's Solidarity Concert Friday January 8 @ Local 32 BJ


Friday, January 8, 2010 – 7 pm till Midnight at Local 32-BJ

101 Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue)
between Watts and Grand St, in lower Manhattan

Donation: $15.00 (no one turned away)

Sponsored by the People's Organization for Progress and The Alliance for Progressive Media

Sick and tired of government transferring wealth from the workers to the bankers - well, you wouldn't know it from the mass and liberal media who ignore or distort our voices. So no matter what your issue is, the question is how do we get our
stories heard and who tells them in 2010? Begin the new year with a solidarity concert and eat, drink, and meet those who'll work to get the voices of the people heard.


Sonia Sanchez, nationally recognized poet

Heritage OP, percussion sensations
Fred Ho, jazz baritone saxophonist
Kinshasa and Friends

The Doo Wop Classics
and DJ Peace
Travel: #1, A, C, E trains to Canal Street, Manhattan
Information: 646-506-9422

As TWU Local 100 is in transition the MTA sinks to new low and puts NYC students at Risk!

Listen to Building Bridges on WBAI 99.5FM this Monday and every Monday at 7:00PM for all your community & labor news and updates on the MTA service cuts.

Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report
National Edition
Produced by Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg
Day of Outrage
NYC Student Rally at MTA Headquarters
Protesting Metrocard Cutbacks
New York City High School Students:
Jordan Orvam, Kyle Maer, Francine Prince, Sherana Woods

More than a thousand students from across NYC protested against a
proposal passed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)
Board in favor of serious budget cuts taking place next year. Among
the most critical effects of these budget cuts is the discontinuation
of a program which provides free subway and bus MetroCards for
more than 500,000 city students. This outrageous plan will hit poor
families the hardest and will affect many students ability to attend
school and obtain the free education that they deserve
NYS Governor’s Budget Attacks School Children
Alan B. Lubin , Exec. Vice Pres., NYS United Teachers
Geri D. Palast, Executive Director, Campaign for Fiscal Equity

Governor Paterson unilaterally withheld $750 million in scheduled
payments to schools and local governments. The impact of these cuts
on education statewide from kindergarten to college level will be
devastating, especially in the poorer districts. A coalition of teachers’
unions and local school officials countered with a lawsuit against
Paterson arguing that his decision violated New York’s Constitution.
Paterson argues cut back while a broad coalition urges among
other things tax the rich.
To Download or listen to this 27:46 minute program,

Pacifica Station only can go to Audioport - Menu Option
“Weekly Program Section" dated 12-26-09

all others go to

Please email Building Bridges if you are broadcasting our National Edition.
We'd like to have an accurate list of which stations are airing Building Bridges.
So please let us know! Email

Building Bridges is regularly broadcast live over WBAI,
99.5 FM in the N.Y.C Metropolitan area on Mondays from
7-8pm EST and is streamed, archived and pod cast at .
Our website is

Building Bridges National Edition is regularly broadcast over:

WERU Blue Hill and Bangor, Maine
WGOT - Gainesville, Florida.
WUOW - Oneonta, N.Y.
WWUH, - West Hartford, CT
WVJW- Benwood, WV
KRFP, Moscow, ID
KCSB, Santa Barbara, CA
WXOJ, Northampton, MA
KSOW,Cottage Grove, Oregon
WKNH ,Keene, NH
CKDU, Halifax, N.S., Canada
KRFC, Fort Collins, Colorado
WRPI, Troy, New York
WNRB, Wausau, WI
KRBS, Oroville, CA
WHLD, Buffalo, NY
Free Radio Olympia, Olympia,WA
KQRP Salida, California
East Hill Radio, Snoqualmie, WA
KSKQ, Ashland, Oregon
KWMD, Kasiloff-Anchorage, Alaska
WPRR, Grand Rapids, Michigan
WCRS, Columbus, Ohio
WSLU, St. Leo, Florida

as well as internet stations:

Radio Free Kansas
Radio Veronica, West Point, PA
The Journey Radio
Seattle Radical Radio
Radio for Peace International
Radio Labourstart
Grateful Dread Public Radio
For archived Building Bridges National Programs go to
For archives of all Building Bridges programs go to our website:

Monday, December 21, 2009

TBOU Member Tip of the Week -Why Unions do Politics

Member Tip

for the week of December 21, 2009

Influence Inside and Outside the Workplace

For every employee, both those in the public and private sector, what goes on in the world of politics has a direct connection to the union's ability to advance and protect the members' interests. Legislatures pass and enforce laws that can make it easier or harder for unions to organize, to protect members' health and safety, to bargain for reasonable health care coverage, and to improve countless other aspects of working life. What is won at a bargaining table can be taken away with a stroke of a pen by elected officials who are not worker-friendly, or by appointed or elected judges.

Adapted from The Union Members Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer


NYC Transit Workers Take Back Union prepare for battle with the MTA on Building Bridges:WBAI 99.5FM

NY Building Bridges Labor Report Interviews NYC TWU 100 New Leadership‏
This interveiw took place live Monday December 14 follow link below to hear the new leaders of TWU Local 100
NY Building Bridges Labor Report Interviews NYC TWU 100 New Leadership

Building Bridges: Your Community and Labor Report
National Edition
Produced by Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg
NYC Transit Workers Take Back Union After Bitter Election
. John Samuelsen, President-Elect ,TWU Local 100
. Israel Rivera. Secretary Treasurer-Elect
. Benita Johnson, Recording Secretary-Elect
. Angel Giboyeaux, Administrative VP Elect

Subway Track Inspector John Samuelsen & the Take Back Our Union
slate won the hotly contested TWU Local 100 elections Dec. 7 after a
multi-year campaign of criticizing the administration of Roger Toussaint
& Acting Pres. Curtis Tate over issues of union democracy & militancy.
Their first priorities will be getting the MTA to honor an arbitration award
granting union members 11% raises under a 3-year contract & fighting
cutbacks due to the reduced revenue to the MTA.
Brave New Films presents:
Where Was the Fed
Senator Bernie Sanders

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, in charge of the central bank since 2006,
could have demanded that Wall Street provide adequate credit to small
and medium-sized businesses to create decent-paying jobs in a
productive economy, but he did not. He could have insisted that large
bailed-out banks end the usurious practice of charging interest rates of
30 percent or more on credit cards, but he did not. He could have broken
up too-big-to-fail financial institutions that took Federal Reserve
assistance, but he did not.
To Download or listen to this 27:19 minute program,

Pacifica Station only can go to Audioport - Menu Option
“Weekly Program Section" dated 12-20-09

all others go to

Please email Building Bridges if you are broadcasting our National Edition.
We'd like to have an accurate list of which stations are airing Building Bridges.
So please let us know! Email

Building Bridges is regularly broadcast live over WBAI,
99.5 FM in the N.Y.C Metropolitan area on Mondays from
7-8pm EST and is streamed, archived and pod cast at .
Our website is

Building Bridges National Edition is regularly broadcast over:

WERU Blue Hill and Bangor, Maine
WGOT - Gainesville, Florida.
WUOW - Oneonta, N.Y.
WWUH, - West Hartford, CT
WVJW- Benwood, WV
KRFP, Moscow, ID
KCSB, Santa Barbara, CA
WXOJ, Northampton, MA
KSOW,Cottage Grove, Oregon
WKNH ,Keene, NH
CKDU, Halifax, N.S., Canada
KRFC, Fort Collins, Colorado
WRPI, Troy, New York
WNRB, Wausau, WI
KRBS, Oroville, CA
WHLD, Buffalo, NY
Free Radio Olympia, Olympia,WA
KQRP Salida, California
East Hill Radio, Snoqualmie, WA
KSKQ, Ashland, Oregon
KWMD, Kasiloff-Anchorage, Alaska
WPRR, Grand Rapids, Michigan
WCRS, Columbus, Ohio
WSLU, St. Leo, Florida

as well as internet stations:

Radio Free Kansas
Radio Veronica, West Point, PA
The Journey Radio
Seattle Radical Radio
Radio for Peace International
Radio Labourstart
Grateful Dread Public Radio
For archived Building Bridges National Programs go to our website at

always visit for latest labor news

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Women's Committee invites the TWU Local 100 Women's Committee to Brunch this Saturday December 19 , 2009

This Saturday December 19, the Take Back Our Union (TBOU) women's committee has invited the TWU Local 100 women's committee to a Solidarity Brunch Meeting . The purpose of this meeting is to put the recent bitter TWU elections behind us and to do what's best for all of the sisters in TWU Local 100. The meeting will take place this Saturday at the IAC located at 55 West 17 Street on the 5th floor (between 5th and 6th avenue in Manhattan)

WHAT : Solidarity Brunch to Rebuild TWU LOCAL 100 from a Women's Prospective
DATE : Saturday December 19
TIME : 10:00AM to 1:00PM
Where: 55 West 17 street 5th floor in Manhattan
Sorry Guys this is a Women's only meeting,To take part in the rebuilding of TWU Local 100 visit our blog often at

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The MTA Attacks TWU Local100 ,Transit Riders and Students



Wednesday, 8:30 AM at MTA Headquarters, 347 Madison Street , Bet 44th and 45th Street

As Wall Street prepares to lavish its bankers and traders with billions in year-end bonuses, the MTA is getting ready to worsen the economic crisis for millions of New Yorkers.

Why? To make sure bankers get their billion-dollar bonuses by paying off the monstrous debt service the MTA owes to the banks.

Don’t believe the media reports claiming that the raises – standard 3.5% and 4% annual increases – awarded to the transit workers on Friday are the cause of these outrageous cuts. To claim a crisis over $400 million – a pittance in comparison to the billions in bonuses going out to Wall Street even as we speak – is ridiculous. $30 billion in bonuses will be paid out among the top three banks alone. Trillions were handed out in bailout money.

In fact, it is the banks who are creating this crisis. The MTA is scrambling to pay its debt service to the long list of banks it owes money to, many of whom are collecting interest on loans whose principle was paid off long ago.

If anybody needs to “sacrifice,” it is these banks, who are bleeding public transportation and every other sector of society dry even as they kick people out of their homes and loot the treasury to cover their casino-gambling losses.

By re-introducing the “doomsday cuts” in a jobless recovery – cuts that were supposedly avoided mere months ago – the MTA has made it crystal clear that its role is to serve the rich at the expense of the riders. Its illegitimacy is obvious to all. The riders, transit workers, and all the people who make this city and its subway run are the only ones who can be trusted to make these decisions justly. Bail out the riders, not the banks!To stay informed about the MTA service cuts visit or

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Incoming TWU Local Officers to appear live on WBAI 99.5 tomorrow at 7:00PM

WBAI Radio's Building Bridges: Your Community & Labor Report
Produced & Hosted by Mimi Rosenberg & Ken Nash
Monday, December 14, 2009, 7 - 8 p.m. EST, over 99.5 FM
or streaming live at
Transit Workers Take Back Union After Bitter Election join the the newly elected leadership of TWU Local 100
. John Samuelsen, President-Elect ,TWU Local 100
. Israel Rivera, Secretary Treasurer-Elect
. Benita Johnson, Recording Secretary-Elect
. Angel Giboyeaux, Administrative VP -Elect
Tomorrow live at 7PM 99.5FM

the Take Back Our Union (TBOU)
slate won the hotly contested TWU Local 100 elections Dec. 7 after a
two-year campaign of working on the members issues and fighting with the community to stop the MTA from cutting service to the riding public.They defeated the administration of Roger Toussaint and his hand pick successor Curtis Tate and look to rebuild TWU Local 100 from the bottom up.

Their first priorities will be getting the MTA to honor an arbitration award
granting union members 11% raises under a 3-year contract that this pass Friday December 11, Judge Peter Sherwood ruled that the MTA was to give transit workers there pay increases. The new TWU leadership vows to increase the fighting of cutbacks due to the reduced revenue to the MTA.
Building Bridges and most WBAI Programs are now being archived
for 90 Days. They are also being PodCast. These links will be live.
15 minutes after the program ends. To listen, download or pod cast
archived shows go to
Visit our web site - and visit the take back our union website at and our blog at

Saturday, December 12, 2009

TWU Local 100 Defeats MTA in Court Battle Over Arbitraion Awarded Contract.

Judge Peter Sherwood of the supreme court of NY state has upheld TWU/MTA arbitration awards and the MTA’s petition to vacate the awards. This means the MTA is running of options in stopping transit workers from getting the fare increases they deserve.

The MTA and the Mayor went to court to hold up the arbitration award in order to continue to punish transit workers for the 2005 strike .The MTA's case was weak to begin with at the court hearings in November the MTA lawyers only attacked two provisions in the arbitration decision one was giving transit workers 3% in 2011 the last year of the contract and the other was the capping of the 1.5% health care payments. The reason the MTA did not attack the 4% raises in 2009 and 2010 is the arbitration agreement calls for these 4% raises in 2009 and 2010 to be staggered so that the MTA would have the ability within there budget to pay transit workers the same 4% raises as other public sector workers where given.This also means however , where as transit workers where given the same 4% raises as other NYC public sector workers actual take home pay for TWU members would only be around 2.5% for 2009 and 2010.

The ironic part is TWU Local 100 members would have gotten a 3.5% wage increase in 2011 but wages where cut by a half percent to pay for the capping of the 1.5% health care tax. The TBOU independent research team has obtain documents which show that TWU members paid almost 57 million dollars to the MTA in 2006 and 2007 due to the 1.5% health care tax. In 2008 alone the 1.5% health care tax cost transit workers $32,575,236.28. Records for 2009 are incomplete but for the first half of the 2009 transit workers have already given the MTA over 20 million dollars due the 1.5% health care tax. So where as capping the 1.5% is nice transit workers should keep in mind two things one is they paid for the capping of the 1.5% with a wage reduction and two the 1.5% was clearly stated to be for retirement health care benefits in the 2006 MOU. To stay informed visit daily.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Incoming TWU-Local 100 President John Samuelsen Scheduled to Appear on WWRL 1600AM's "Working New York" - Saturday, December 12th 2009

Incoming TWU-Local 100 President John Samuelsen is scheduled to appear on Working New York this weekend. The program, which is broadcast on WWRL 1600AM is hosted by longtime New York radio host and political commentator Mark Riley and airs Saturday afternoons from 2-5PM EST.

"Working New York" is a platform for people who are working, people looking for work, and people who have worked all their lives and are now retired. It's a show for unionized workers, workers fighting to maintain their jobs, and all those New Yorkers who work hard to keep this city alive and well.

Mark Riley talks to elected officials, union officials, labor experts, and more. "But most important," says Riley, "we talk to you, the hard working men and women of the New York City tri-state area."

WWRL proudly boasts the most progressive talk in the nation.WWRL 1600AM, is licensed to Access 1 Communications Corp., and is a 24-hour African American owned and operated radio station serving the New York metro area.

TBOU Action Alert - Tomorrow Saturday December 12 Join the Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Movement for Two Big Events

It's been a great year for the Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Movement and as the year comes to a close we will like to invite all of our co-workers in transit as well as all of our supporters from the social justice movement to two big end of the year TBOU events tomorrow Saturday December 12, 2009.

In the morning starting at 11:00 AM to 2:00PM there is a Solidarity Brunch hosted by the TBOU Women's committee at the International Action Center located at 55 West 17 street 5th floor all sisters in TWU Local 100 are invited in good or bad standing.

Also tomorrow Saturday December 12 starting at 8:00pm please join us for our first ever Holiday Extravaganza at the Blarney Stone Bar and Grill Located at 121 Fulton Street New York NY 10038. Tickets are $40 which includes open bar & buffet tickets may be purchase at door or online (see post below).

Thursday, December 10, 2009

TWU Local 100 Election - NYC Reformers Rise Again by Steve Early

NYC Reformers Rise Again—In Transit And Teamsterdom

Working In These Times
December 9

By Steve Early

The rise, fall, and rise again of union reformers is a familiar story line in American labor. To some observers, in fact, it's a source of much cynicism about the whole project of union democracy and reform.

The day-to-day demands of full-time elected office, combined with heavy pressure to conform to the norms of business unionism, has led more than a few rank-and-file heroes down the primrose path, sooner or later.

After reformers get elected, their "Si se puede" campaign rhetoric has been known to give way to a litany of excuses about why "we can't" -- empower members, fight the boss, or "build a new union," as promised during the campaign. There are, fortunately, always some committed activists ready to push the boulder of reform back up the hill again. But starting over is never easy. It requires winning support from fellow workers now angry, frustrated and/or disillusioned by the actual or perceived failure of previous insurgencies.

Two iconic New York City labor unions—TWU Local 100 and Teamsters Local 804--provide a recent case in point.

Local 100 of the Transport Workers has 38,000 subway worker and bus driver members. In 2000, a Caribbean-born track worker--bearing the name of a great 18th century liberator--took office as the presidential candidate of the "New Directions" caucus. Roger Toussaint was a battle-tested militant, with a left-wing political background, previously fired by the Transit Authority. His New Directions comrades-in-arms had contested many earlier elections, less successfully. They had also spent two decades or more trying to strengthen the union, from the bottom up, through workplace agitation and organizing, a story well told in "Hell on Wheels," a Solidarity pamphlet by Steve Downs, the elected chairperson of Local 100's Train Operators Division. (See for ordering info).

In office, as Downs recounts, it didn't take Toussaint long to create a personal patronage machine, rather than "the democratic, member-run union that New Directions and thousands of the local's members had fought for." Reform of the local became "a top-down, staff-driven process...Officers and members who pushed for a more participatory approach were frozen out."

As a result, Local 100 was in weak organizational shape when it skimped on contract campaigning in 2005 and then plunged into a brave but bungled strike in violation of the draconian Taylor Act. The dispute ended with healthcare give-backs, deep internal discord, costly fines for members and their union, Roger in jail for a few days, and suspension of automatic dues deduction. This last penalty--still in effect--has left Local 100 with a very big and disgruntled "open shop."

Only 18,000 out 38,000 workers are still supporting TWU financially. The local's deeply eroded and demoralized stewards' network--long neglected by Toussaint -- has been unable to collect more voluntary dues or do much else to enforce the contract, except in remaining pockets of workplace self-activity.

By 2006, the increasingly unpopular Local 100 president had to rely on a divided field of challengers to win re-election with only 43% of the vote. As reported accurately by no less an authority than Wikipedia, Toussaint soon came under renewed factional "criticism as he began removing union officers who were elected on opposition slates and working more closely with New York City Transit management."

In Teamsters Local 804, based in Queens, the trajectory from militancy to complacency, demobilization, and de facto company unionism occurred in a better-known national context. 804 is the home local of Ron Carey, who died of lung cancer a year ago. In the 1970s and '80s, under his leadership, 804 was a formidable island of rank-and-file resistance to the largest Teamster employer in the country, United Parcel Service. In those days, Carey and his members were surrounded by a cesspool of Teamster corruption and gangsterism in New York City and New Jersey, plus union collaboration with UPS management just about everywhere else.

In 1989-91, Carey joined forces with Teamsters for a Democratic Union to wage a successful grassroots campaign to oust old guard officials at the national union level. Carey's six tumultuous but productive years as IBT president in Washington reached their peak with the Teamsters' 1997 strike victory over UPS; shortly, thereafter, he was forced to step down from office in a re-election campaign fund-raising scandal, that also led to his indictment. Acquitted of all charges in 2001, he remained painfully banned from having any contact with his former co-workers in 804.

Over time, Carey's successors in the leadership of this 7,000-member UPS local drifted into the camp of current Teamster President James Hoffa. Two years ago, they gladly went along with a Hoffa-engineered UPS contract settlement that was overturned, in 804 at least, by dissatisfied members. The TDU-backed rank-and-file campaign against concessions in the 804 local supplement to the UPS national contract forced management to put a better offer on the table.

The final deal reversed a 30 percent pension cut, stopped a proposed wage cut, and saved the "25 & Out" retirement option that was key legacy of the Carey years. In a fatal pique of annoyance over this political setback for them, Local 804 officials didn't even send flowers to the funeral home or attend the wake when Carey died a year ago. At a memorial service for Ron last February, hundreds of UPSers showed up, angry and determined to avenge this grievous slight -- and, more importantly, take back their union--at the polls this fall.

In Local 100, that's exactly what the anti-Toussaint forces called themselves -- Take Back Our Union (TBOU). Roger himself wasn't on the ballot this time because he now has a high-paid staff job with the TWU's tiny and not very helpful national organization, whose failings he once criticized harshly (during his previous incarnation as a rank-and-file militant and, for a few years, dissident local leader).

Instead, a candidate backed by Toussaint and favored by the national union squared off against John Samuelsen, a Local 100 vice-president from Brooklyn with a long history of activism around track safety issues and the fight against contracting out. On Monday, Dec. 7, Samuelsen's multi-racial TBOU team won all four local-wide officer positions, including the presidency and four out of seven V-P slots. In his own race for the top job, Samuelsen won by nearly 900 votes out of more than 10,000 cast. Just a few days earlier, on Dec. 3, there was a record turn-out (1,000 more voters than before) in the balloting for 804's officers and executive board members. The TDU-assisted "804 Members United Slate" won all 11 seats, turfing out the hapless Hoffa fans in their union hall by an even larger margin of two to one.

In both races, the challengers produced detailed campaign platforms that were strikingly similar. (See or for details.)TBOU's literature stressed the need for an "open, democratic union," "member-driven, clean of corruption," and "single-minded in its resolve to break the cycle of concessionary bargaining." As UPS worker and 804 president-elect Tim Sylvester explained last week, "We laid out ten changes we'll make to build a stronger Local 804. We're not going to be able to fix all the problems overnight. But we're committed to implementing a reform program and tapping the power of an informed and organized membership."

When they take office like Sylvester in January, Samuelsen and his running-mates--Izzy Rivera, Benita Johnson, and Angel Giboyeaux -- will face an Augean stable full of accumulated organizational and financial problems. High on their "to-do" list will be a systematic membership drive, to get delinquent dues payers back into the TWU fold, and a push to secure long overdue 2005 contract pay increases that are still tied up in a post-arbitration appeal by management. Unusual among U.S. trade unionists at the moment, Samuelsen has a singular focus on "building rank-and-file power and re-establishing union strength in the workplace." At a day-long transition planning discussion, held in Manhattan last month with ninety TBOU supporters, John kept returning to the theme that Local 100 wouldn't become a "powerhouse" in NY labor again until it first re-built "layers of density" on the shop-floor, fought to "control the pace of work," and tackled, rather than ignored, day-to-day problems like the "disgusting condition" of subway employee bathrooms.

At a time when unions like SEIU are downplaying the role of workplace representation and any fight over working conditions--and, in some cases, even replacing stewards with "call centers"--Samuelsen talks non-stop about the centrality of elected shop stewards, who can't easily be replaced with "loyal bums" at the whim of a local president. He believes stewards should be trained and encouraged to deal directly with management as "on-site dispute handlers" and key contract enforcers. In the legislative/political arena, he thinks Local 100 should rely less on high-priced lobbyists and consultants or union check-writing to politicians. He wants more rank-and-file members to run for office themselves and pressure public officials directly, in their own neighborhoods and communities.

The 42-year-old Samuelson is particularly concerned about the challenge of reaching younger, newly hired transit workers. In a pre-election message to them, he warned of a Transit Authority management that has "stepped up its abuse of our members and routinely violates our contract." The Toussaint regime's abandonment of "any real attempt to mobilize the membership to defend our jobs" has produced a union "in full retreat on safety, discipline, job picks, and seniority rights."

Now faced with the challenge of actually stopping that retreat and finding ways for Local 100 to go on the offensive again, Samuelsen and his slate will need all the help they can get from members, new and old, next year, as will those picking up Ron Carey's banner in Teamsters Local 804.

(Steve Early was a CWA organizer, contract negotiator, and strike strategist in the northeast for 27 years. He is a longtime supporter of Teamsters for a Democratic Union and

the author of "Embedded With Organized Labor: Journalistic Reflections on the Class War at Home," Monthly Review Press, 2009, a book that discusses TDU and other union reform efforts.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

TWU-Local 100 leadership cancels scheduled Saturday, December 12th Mass Membership meeting

This is a clear violation of the by-laws, as an annual mass membership meeting is required by charter.

*Flyers with a rescheduled date are being distributed, however, there is no indication that the new leadership has agreed to hold this rescheduled meeting.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

TWU Local 100 Election Results - Its Take Back Our Union (TBOU) in a Landslide

The Take Back Our Union (TBOU) slate wins in a landslide in the TWU Local 100 election as they sweep the Top offices and take 4 of 7 vice president spots and control of the TWU Local 100 executive board.

The newly elected officers will take office on Jan. 1, 2010.


John Samuelsen (TBOU) 5549
Curtis Tate (UI) 4681

Izzy Rivera (TBOU) 5296
Ed Watt (UI) 4855

Benita Johnson (TBOU) 5511
Andreeva Pinder (UI) 4560

Administrative VP
Angel Giboyeaux (TBOU) 5255
Barry Roberts (UI) 4866


Kevin Harrington (TBOU) 928
William Wyatt (UI) 465

Tony Utano (TBOU) 1505
Charles Ayala (UI) 782

Maurice Jenkins (TBOU) 550
Kendra Hill (UI) 434

Richard Rivera (TBOU) 527
Nelson Rivera (UI) 672

TA Surface
Harry Wills (TBOU) 430
Stephan Thomas (UI) 557
JP Patafio (Independent) 479

John Day (TBOU)746
Enzo Sinonna (UI) 661

Brian Clarke of the UI slate ran unopposed.

Take Back Our Union thanks all of the members of TWU Local 100 for taking the time to vote in the election and supporting us.

To stay updated and for breaking TWU Local 100 election news visit our website :


Don't forget the 1st ever Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Movement Holiday Extravaganza is taking place this Saturday, December 12th at the Blarney Stone Bar and Grill located at 121 Fulton Street New York NY 10038.

Buy your tickets now online:

Or to call for tickets visit

Monday, December 7, 2009


Saturday, December 12


8:00 PM - Until

Blarney Stone
121 Fulton Street
New York, NY 10003


Open Bar for beer, wine, soft drinks and well drinks (8pm to midnight)

Hot Food all night buffet style

Music by Sin City Movement Productions

Buy tickets online:

Purchase tickets (in person)

Derick Echevarria
Paul Piazza 201-310-6030
Maurice Jenkins 347-768-6741
Christine Williams 718-781-3744
Marvin Holland 347-804-6982
Felicia Fields 696-591-7246


Travel via train: A/C Train to Broadway Nassau / 2,3,4,5, to Fulton Street

Monday, November 23, 2009

TBOU Education Alert- Friday December 4 2009 "The Great Recession and the Battle for Good Jobs in the Black Community "

Dear Friends and supporters of TBOU we would like to pass the word to you about the:

The CUNY Murphy Institute for worker education Fall 2009 series of Labor Breakfast Forums, we are pleased to announce a forum entitled “The Great Recession and the Battle for Good Jobs in the Black Community.” The speakers slated for this important discussion are:

Steven C. Pitts, author of Job Quality and Black Workers-A Multi-City Report and labor policy specialist at the Center for Labor Research and Education, University of California, Berkeley; and
David Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Service Society of New York (CSS).
The event will be held on Friday, December 4, 2009, from 8:30 to 10:15 AM, at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute, 25 West 43rd Street, 18th Floor.

While some economists have begun to discuss the formal end of the Great Recession, most also recognize that the economy will likely enter a jobless recovery worse than those following the recessions of 1990 and 2001. This situation promises to have particularly damaging impact on the Black community which entered this recession with disproportionately high level of unemployment and low-wage work. Racially stratified labor markets existed prior to the Great Recession; economic growth policies which ignore this reality will simply reinforce these racial hierarchies. What sort of legislative policies could help to remedy these problems? What new forms of organizing within the black community are needed to wield greater power locally and nationally to improve the quality of jobs held by Black workers? What role should organized labor and other allied movements play? Steven Pitts and David Jones will engage these and other crucial questions in what promises to be a timely and important conversation.

Please be sure to RSVP to Eloiza Morales at 212-642-2029 or by Monday, November 30, 2009.
We look forward to seeing you.
Paula Finn - Associate Director Editor, New Labor Forum
Rich Blint - Coordinator of Special Projects Center for
Labor,Community & Policy Studies

To Stay informed on all labor and community news visit daily

Friday, November 13, 2009

TBOU Education Alert- Thursday November 19 2009 "The New York State Taylor Law goes International "


What: discussion by distinguished panel of experts on labor law on New York State's Taylor Law pursuant to changes filed with the ILO by TWU Local 100
Where: Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall, Room 102
When: November 19 4:00pm-6:30pm

Transport Workers Union Local 100 today filed a Complaint with the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva. The ILO is a tripartite UN agency that brings together governments, employers and workers of its member states, which include the United States, "in common action to promote decent work throughout the world." The complaint, directed to the ILO's Committee on Freedom of Association, tests the legality and the chilling effects of New York State's Taylor Law in light of ILO standards which protect the freedom of association and collective bargaining as fundamental human rights. The Taylor Law bars all strikes in the public sector, and punishes strikes with extensive fines, imprisonment of union leaders and loss of automatic dues deduction. The complaint alleges that these restrictions on strikes by public sector employees under New York's Taylor Law constitute "a serious infringement on core trade union rights" protected by international law.

To stay informed on all Union and Labor news check daily

Friday, November 6, 2009

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Action Update- NYfST Meeting Thursday November 12 @ 5:00PM

TBOU Action Alert-Taking Back Public Transit Thursday November 12, 2009 New Yorkers for Safe Transit (NYfST)is the only coalition of transit riders and transit workers working together to change mass transit policy and to make our mass transit system more safe for everyone so join please us on :

Date: Thursday November 12, 2009
Time: 5:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.
Place: North Star Fund (Mid-Town Manhattan
520 8th avenue 22nd floor (Between 36 & 37) street

Why are crimes and assaults going unreported on our subways and buses ?
Why where over 100 Subway booths closed without a public hearing ?
What kinds of violence do you see on NYC’s public transit system?
How can communities intervene? Respond?
What should the MTA do to curb/eliminate sexual harassment, assaults and hate violence?
What should perpetrator accountability look like?
Why are booths being closed in some communities and not others ?
Why are some booths being re-opened ?
Why are some bus lines being cut and not others?

New Yorkers for Safe Transit invites you to join us as we begin to explore ways transit riders and workers can work together to change mass transit policy in NYC:

So please join NYfST this Thursday November 12 from 5:00PM to 7:00PM in Mid-Town Manhattan at the North Star Fund located 520 8th ave 22nd fl.(bet.36st and 37st)
This event is being hosted by the Take Back Our Union (TBOU) movement

Sunday, October 25, 2009

TBOU Action Alert - Protest against Mayor Bloomberg Friday October 30 , 2009

Billionaire Bloomberg Rots the Apple! PROTEST Take Back Our Union (TBOU)urges all transit workers and our supporters to come out and protest on:

Date: Friday, October 30, 2009
Time: 5:00pm - 6:30pm
Location: Bloomberg for Mayor Campaign Office
813 Broadway (between 11 & 12 sts.)

Mayor Bloomberg made billions from banking and vulture capitalism. He has used his mayoral powers to enrich the banks, corporations and real estate developers who are devouring our jobs, housing and education. A quarter of NYC's $50 billion budget -- $12.5 billion -- goes to tax-free debt service to banks. Join us to say that money needs to go to the people of NYC.

* Bloomberg says he's created jobs. Is this a joke? Unemployment is at record levels in NYC. The cost of living is up; wages are down. Homelessness is epidemic.

* Youth unemployment is over 50 percent. Youth need jobs and education, not repression and jails.

* Bloomberg did nothing to stop the closing of Stella D'oro, despite the company having received tax abatements. His planning board voted for the Bronx Armory developer, against community demands for decent jobs.

* Billionarie Bloomberg is running campaign ads promoting racism. He is in cahoots with former Mayor Giuliani, whose racist policies targeting Black and Latino/a communities are well-documented.

* Bloomberg rules over the public schools by fiat, preventing community control of schools that serve mostly people of color. He also forces educators to "teach to the test" for biased standardized tests.

* Bloomberg opposes a raise for Transit Workers. He's attacking the public service unions.

* Bloomberg has ignored the AIDS crisis completely. Health care in our communities has deteriorated.


Initiated by the Bail Out the People Movement. We urge unions, community groups and organizations to mobilize and work together for this important demonstration.

Call 212-633-6646 or 646-353-2708
Email for all your community and labor news visit

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Action Alert- TBOU Supports NYC Paid Sick Leave Campaign by Christine Williams

We all know how important it is to stay home from work when we're sick or to be able to stay at home and take care of a sick child. Many people take this for granted that you will get paid by your employer when you call out sick. Yet there are over a million workers in New York City who have no paid sick time. When workers can't afford to take off from work to recover from illnesses, this could become a health risk to co workers and the public.

The Take Back Our Union(TBOU) womens initiative committee has joined with the NYC paid sick leave coalition to get the NYC Paid Sick Time Act passed this year. Join TBOU and add your voice to the movement gaining momentum throughout the city and tell mayor Bloomberg that workers deserve paid sick days.

Important Upcoming dates
*october 26 2009* Launch of the paid sick days subway ad campaign Also public out reach and leaflet at the following subway station locations along the 4 5 and 6 line.
Time: 7:30-9 AM East at Lexington avenue 125th street
East 86th st and Lexington NW and SW corners on the downtown side
Union Square south end near 2 subway kiosks along East 14th street
Also at 10 am at Union Square there will be a demonstration and mass leafletting to the public.

*November 16 2009 *Press conference and rally on the steps of city hall! The city council will hold a hearing on the paid sick time bill.More details on this action at a later date.

*November 18 2009 *NYC paid sick time coalition. will sponsor a Forum
" Mobilizing women to speak out on paid sick days" Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM
NYU School of Law 245 Sullivan street, Furman hall-student lounge Featuring:
Gloria Steinem For more info on future actions go to for all your labor news always visit

Friday, October 23, 2009

TBOU Education Alert-Monday October 26,2009 " AT THE POINT OF PRODUCTION"

Author's Forum : 5:30 P.M., October 26th, 2009 at Brooklyn College Graduate Center for Worker Education,25 Broadway , 7 floor to RSVP call 212 -966-4014

At the Point of Production The Social Analysis of Occupational and Environmental Health A Collection of Essays Edited by Charles Levenstein.

This book locates workers' health and safety problems in the board political economy, arguing that without a deep understanding of the social/political/economic context of particular industrial hazards.The chapters report a series of case studies, all of which use the " point of production " as framework to investigate particular problems or industries.

The first section of the book focuses on globalization - the impact of privatization on health and safety of workers and communities in Brazil and Mexico. The Next section addresses environmental issues : the unintended effects of environmental regulation on workers, the situation of hazardous waste workers and emergency responders, the implementation of toxic use reduction and the role of workers in pollution prevention. The third section explores the intersection of labor relations with gender relations at the point of production.The last chapters addresses practical issues involved in conducting occupational health research in the contested terrain of the workplace.These chapters were previously published in New solutions Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health Policy.

Sponsors : CUNY/Brooklyn College Graduate Center for Worker Education
Worker USA : Journal of Labor & Society
New Solutions Journal Occupational and Environmental Health Policy

TBOU Education Alert-Monday October 26,2009 " WOMEN ON THE LINE"

On Monday October 26 Join Miriam Glucksmann for talk on her book and experiences:
Thirty Year Reflections on Women on the Line - Changes and Continuities in Women's Work with comments by Linda Gordon of New York University.October 26th From 5:00PM - 7:00PM at The Tamiment Library located at 70 Washington Square South NYU Bobst Library, 10th floor between La Guardia and Greene Street in lower Manhattan for more info contact Michael Nash by email to stay updated on all labor education news always visit

Things Are Falling Apart Inside TWU Local 100 from TA Surface

What is happening to TA Surface? The President, i.e., Roger Toussaint, talks about “accountability” but right here in TA Surface the Vice President, Stephan Thomas, continues to make a mockery of our Division.

We have elected Division Officers barred from dealing with the membership. The Division Chair is back on the bus, and the VP has told management not to deal with him (backed by an email from Toussaint to management). Yes, the Union Hall is using management to go against an elected officer of the union. What a travesty!

We have two Divisional officers, Willie Rivera and Armando Serrano,driving buses while there are two Depot vice-chairs, Keith Arrington and Carlos Clarke doing their work. We have the 1st Division Vice Chair, Lloyd Archer not doing any hearings while the ENY Depot Chair, Ron Carter, does disciplinary hearings in other depots and arbitration. Stephan Thomas and Toussaint give the discredited Grand Ave(appointed) Chair, Gale Lee, a job at the Union Hall and in the same week they fire John Farrington, a former officer and long time staffer who was the Coordinator at 2 Broadway. Competence gives way to cronyism.

Things are indeed falling apart. For Toussaint and Thomas“accountability” means one thing, listen to their orders or face retaliation. How can there be any “accountability” when the top officers see no reason to be accountable to the membership? Change is coming on December 8th, but we don't have to wait till then.We need to demand that the Union’s by-laws and the member’s rights be respected. Let the Division officers run the Division (as it always has been).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

TBOU Election Update - Ed Watt bails out on TWU Local 100 by Israel Rivera Jr

Local 100 Secretary Treasurer Ed Watt bails out on United Invincible and the members of TWU Local 100. As the most bizarre and controversial election in the history of TWU Local 100 heads into the home stretch .

Ed Watt goes and takes a full time paid position at TWU international of America just as president Toussaint did in November 2008. Seems his new position was to be brought up before an upcoming International Executive Board meeting. Details of the $160,000 a year position may have been leaked out by Mr. Watt himself. This is a major blow to the United Invincible slate. Sure sign of a fracture as Mr. Watt is Curtis Tates number two man. A sign that United Invincible's top people believe the current Local 100 election is unwinable? Local 100 President Roger Toussaint has already secured himself a position at TWU of America.Many Local 100 officers and UI candidates are already at the TWU of America, leaving most of their supporters to wonder about their own fate as the ballot count approaches later this year.

"Watt's departure from Local 100 is a sure sign that his Toussaint-supported United Invincible slate has lost the election,"

"There will be new leadership at [the] local come January 1." ... John Samuelsen,

Smack in the middle of a contract fight, United Invincible shows their true colors. They turn tail and run to the safety of TWU of America!
Begging Internationl Pres. James Little for protection from the on slaught of Take Back Our Union (TBOU). Israel Rivera Jr, for news story click on link below and for all your TWU Election news always visit


TBOU Supports The NYC Paid Sick Days Campaign

Message from :New York State Paid Family Leave Coalition

Dear Paid Sick Days Advocates:

There is so much happening on the campaign and so many significant dates approaching that the steering committee thought it was important to have an in-person meeting:

Friday, October 23 at 8:30 AM @ CWA~ 80 Pine St., 37 floor

We need you to join us as we:

Organize activities for the public release of our subway ads on Monday, October 26th
Plan for the bill's City Council hearing on Monday, November 16th
Expand on plans for a women's event on Wednesday, November 18th at NYU Law School
Report of the Coalition's October 19th meeting with Speaker Quinn

Please RSVP by responding to this e-mail or by calling 212-558-2276. Thanks!

We look forward to hearing from you ASAP.

The Take Back Our Union (TBOU) movement supports the efforts of The NYC Paid Sick Days Campaign to stay informed about this campaign and all workers issues visit

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TBOU Education Alert-Friday October 23 " Is Conventional Trade Union Obsolete"

As part of our fall 2009 series of Labor Breakfast Forums, we are pleased to announce a forum entitled “Is Conventional Trade Unionism Obsolete?” The speakers slated for this important discussion have considered these issues from crucial and distinct vantage points: Amy Dean, former Chief Executive Officer, South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, and author of A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement; Janice Fine, Assistant Professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations, Rutgers University, and author of Worker Centers: Organizing Communities at the Edge of the Dream; Gerry Hudson, Executive Vice President of the Service Employees International Union and co-founder of the Emerald Cities Project, committed to greening urban economies in equitable and democratically accountable ways; and Aijen Poo, Co-founder and Director, Domestic Workers United, an organization of nannies, housekeepers, and elderly caregivers fighting for power, respect, fair labor standards.

The event will be held on Friday, October 23, 2009, 8:30 – 10:15 AM, at the Murphy Institute, 25 West 43rd Street, 18th Floor.

Despite over a decade of renewed national commitment to organizing, the US labor movement has remained unable to significantly increase union membership. A legal framework that makes union recognition an uphill battle and huge job losses in heavily-unionized manufacturing sectors partly accounts for labor’s diminished size. Yet the fact that only a few unions have committed the resources necessary to support large-scale organizing also contributes to the fact that overall union density now hovers at 12.4%, and is a sobering 7.6% in the private sector. On the political front, organized labor helped to elect Barak Obama, but may be unable to secure the passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), its top legislative priority.

These conditions require the labor movement to grapple with some tough questions: How can labor adapt its organizing template of long-term stability in a single workplace to meet the contemporary realities of contingent and globalized labor? Can the structures and objectives of industrial unions meet the challenges workers face in a post-industrial economy? How might American labor make common cause with a diverse, international labor force increasingly vulnerable within a corporate-dominated global economy? Did it make sense for organized labor to have set EFCA its top legislative priority, rather than focusing on universal health care or financial reregulation, for example? Should organized labor refashion itself as a social movement, standing in for what has become an eviscerated Left? Or does that role unfairly burden unions and distract them from fighting the workplace battles of its members? Our speakers will engage these and other difficult questions in what promises to be a timely and important conversation.

Please be sure to RSVP to Eloiza Morales at 212-642-2029 or by Monday, October 19, 2009. We look forward to seeing you.To stay informed on all labor and worker news always visit

Monday, October 19, 2009


On October 29th 2009 the Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Movement hosts two big events in Mid-Town Manhattan a Woman's Conference and a Fundraiser

TBOU would like to invite you to a woman's conference from 4:30PM until 7:00PM as we ask the question what role will women play in 2010 and beyond inside of TWU Local 100
This most important meeting will take place at the North Star Fund located at:

520 8th avenue 22nd floor between 36 and 37 street

And on the same day Thursday October 29 starting at 6:00PM Join the Take Back Our Union slate for a THE FINAL PUSH Fundraiser/Gathering at McQuaid's Pub on the corner of 11th avenue and 44 street
** Hot Food ** Cash Bar ** $20 donation **

So Please Join us for two great events on one day October 29

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Action Update- Keep Post Officies Open

The Take Back Our Union (TBOU) movement is calling on transit workers and all of our supporters to come out and help our sisters and brothers as :



President Clarice Torrence to give testimony against New York City Station closings







New York City Stations Possible Station Closures -As of October 9, 2009 these are the New York City Stations “under review for closure by the U.S. Postal Service:


Botanical 2963 Webster Avenue 10458-9998

Clason Point 829 Soundview Avenue 10473-9998

Crotona Park 1682 Boston Road 10460-9998

Hillside 3292 Boston Road 10469-9998

Melcourt 754 Melrose Ave 10451-9998

Oak Point 849 East 149 Street 10455-9998

Van Nest 715 Morris Park Ave. 10462-9998

Cherokee 1483 York Ave. 10021-8840

College 217 West 140th Street 10030-9998

Pitt 185 Clinton Street 10002-9991

Port Authority 76 Ninth Avenue 10011-9992

Port Authority

Convenience Center 625 8th Avenue 10129-9991

Tudor City 5 Tudor City Plaza 10017-9991

West Village 527 Hudson Street 10014-9992

QueensLaGuardia Airport 1 Main Terminal 11371-9998

LIC Parcel Post Annex 4310 10th Street 11101-9997

Chuck Zlatkin
Legislative and Political Director
New York Metro Area Postal Union
350 West 31st Street, 3rd floor
New York, NY 10001
212-563-7553, ext 113; Fax 212-643-9051
Cell: 917-693-9427 for all your union and labor news always go to

Wednesday, October 14, 2009







Tomorrow morning, Brynwood Partners, the Union busting company that brought Stella D’Oro, is sending trucks to the plant in the Bronx to remove machinery. The workers are asking supporters to join them in an emergency protest against the removal of the machinery.

Come to the plant at 8:30 am, or when ever you can tomorrow morning.

For more information call The Bail Out the People Movement at 212 – 633-6646

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Election Update- Message from Presidential Candidate John Samuelsen

A Campaign Message from TBOU Presidential Candidate John Samuelsen

Victory is within sight. The ballots will be counted in less than two months, and we are still gaining momentum. In a matter of weeks, the destructive era of Toussaint and Watt will come to an end. Now is the time to remain completely focused on our goal. "The future of TWU Local 100 is at stake. The membership is relying on us to ‘Take Back the Union’ from those who have nearly destroyed it.

Our Take Back Our Union slate has achieved great success in this campaign to rebuild TWU Local 100 by running a positive campaign based on our platform to restore the strength of our union. We have kept away from the negative, hate filled personal attacks which have characterized the campaign of our opponents –Toussaint’s and Watt’s United Invincible slate. As we come down to the wire, Watt and paid agitator Jim Mahoney are spending their final weeks at Local 100 attempting to cement into place an atmosphere of permanent in-fighting. Their goal is to pit member against member so that we are forever fighting each other rather than the bosses the MTA.

Now is the time to stay on message, not stray from it. We don’t need to get into counter-productive debates with Watt, Mahoney and others like them. Watt and Mahoney should be ignored. Leave them to their own devices.Every time they engage in their customarily idiotic behavior, their standing among the members is lowered even further. So leave these poisonous fools to their own internet folly. Time spent responding to their filth, is time we can spend winning more support for TBOU Let’s bring home this victory for the membership. The future of TWU Local 100 is at stake. The membership is relying on us to Take Back the Union from those who have nearly destroyed it. We are very close to achieving that goal. Let’s not get side tracked now. Take Ownership of Your Job, Your Future, Your Union Vote TBOU Support a Change in Local 100

Friday, October 9, 2009

TBOU Action Alert-Taking Back Public Transit Thursday October 15, 2009

NEW YORKERS FOR SAFE TRANSIT(NYfST) Invites you to a Policy Discussion on:
Date: Thursday October 15, 2009
Time: 5:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M.
Place: North Star Fund (Mid-Town Manhattan)
520 8th avenue 22nd floor (Between 36 & 37) street

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) is working with other organizations to keep Mass Transit Safe for all New Yorkers. One such organization that is raising the correct questions on behalf of the million of riders of our mass transit system is NYfST:

Why where over 100 Subway booths closed without a public hearing ?
What kinds of violence do you see on NYC’s public transit system?
How can communities intervene? Respond?
What should the MTA do to curb/eliminate sexual harassment, assaults and hate violence?
What should perpetrator accountability look like?
Why are booths being closed in some communities and not others ?
Why are some booths being re-opened ?

New Yorkers for Safe Transit invites you to join us as we begin to explore ways transit riders and workers can work together to change mass transit policy in NYC:

So please join NYfST this Thursday October 15 from 5:00PM to 7:00PM in Mid-Town Manhattan at the North Star Fund located 520 8th ave 22nd fl.(bet.36st and 37st)

This event is being hosted by the Take Back Our Union (TBOU) movement

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Fights To Keep Stella Dora In Bronx

Today, Thursday October 8 at 1pm.

Dear Comrade,

It's a story we've heard too many times before. Wall Street firm buys a family owned business, sells its assets and throws the employees onto the street.

Workers at the Stella D'oro cookie company have been fighting for months to keep their Bronx bakery open and save 136 jobs. After an 11 month strike and a court victory, work at the bakery was supposed to resume. Instead, the owners - private equity firm Brynwood Partners - announced their intention to sell the bakery and move the jobs to Ohio.

We're fighting back. Join Take Back Our Union and Stella D'oro workers in a rally at City Hall demanding that the bakery stay in New York.

Rally in support of Stella D'oro workers &demand that the bakery stay in the Bronx.
WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 8, 1pm
WHERE: City Hall
Subways: A, C, M, R, W, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Stella D'oro received more than $400,000 in tax breaks since 2006, meant to modernize the factory and keep jobs in the city. Goldman Sachs owns a significant chunk of Brynwood Partners, and it too has received millions of dollars from the city. It should be obvious: Companies that receive taxpayer dollars meant to sustain good jobs should not be allowed to destroy them while keeping the money.

Join the Stella D'oro workers and supporters from across the city in a rally at City Hall this Thursday at 1pm.

visit: for all your labor news


Sunday, October 4, 2009

TBOU Contract update from John Samuelsen in a letter to Chief-Leader Civil Service Newspaper

To the Editor:

Since the arbitration decision on the TWU Local 100 contract was issued, the incumbent Local 100 administration led by Roger Toussaint,Curtis Tate and Ed Watt has carried on a propaganda campaign toconvince transit workers that their arbitration “strategy” was abrilliant bargaining tactic. They also aggressively attack anyone who points out that the wage package in the arbitrated agreement is less than the citywide wage pattern established by District Council 37 and hurts transit workers in other substantial ways. No amount of Toussaint/ Tate/Watt spin can change those facts.

The current arbitration situation, with the MTA refusing to abide bythe award, demonstrates the dangerous variables involved with choosingto voluntarily submit to this process. Binding arbitration eliminatesthe membership from the process. There is no vote (Toussaint was theonly Local 100 member who voted), and no way to demonstrate how the strength of an informed, organized membership can deliver a good contract. Most significantly, the choice to go to binding arbitrationdoes not help build the union in any way, or prepare Local 100 membersto win future battles against these MTA bosses.

The decision to arbitrate by Toussaint/Tate/Watt was a cynical,coward’s way out of doing the job the membership needed them to do. Onwages, the DC 37-established Citywide wage pattern called for a 4-percent wage increase on the first day of each year of its agreement,with full retroactive pay. Those raises are compounded, which in the end yields an actual raise of 8.16 percent for city workers over a two-year period. For transit workers, the arbitrator eliminated full retroactive pay. Then, our increases do not take effect until three months after the old contract expired. Then, the arbitrator staggered our wage increases by granting transit workers 2-percent increases at six-month intervals. It doesn’t take a math teacher to see that whilethe numbers appear equal in the long run, the reality is that transit workers are losing millions of dollars in wages over the life of the contract.

Tragically, we lost something incredibly important in the arbitrator’s award—transit worker jobs. The award creates a new title—Station Maintainer Helper—which allows management to save money by combining responsibilities and eliminating positions. The potential loss is at least 100 jobs. But it could have been much worse. According to the written decision, the arbitrator was informed that Toussaint/Tate/Watt and the MTA had agreed to expand the One Person Train Operation program (OPTO) on the “L” and “7” lines prior to arbitration in exchange for a minor easing of our 1.5-percent health-care contribution. In other words, the Toussaint/Tate leadership team did their best to give away our Conductor jobs, but the MTA wouldn’t take them! The only thing that prevented this staggering loss of Conductors’ jobs was a tactical error by the Authority in withdrawingits OPTO proposal, believing that the arbitrator would not cap the health-care contribution without the cost savings of expanded OPTO.The arbitrator capped the health-care contribution anyway, but it was done in exchange for broadbanding our Maintenance of Way skilled trade titles instead of OPTO. The health care-cap is an improvement, but certainly not a“tremendous victory” as hailed by Toussaint/Tate/ Watt. Transitworkers still must pay for health insurance while thousands of MTA employees at LIRR pay nothing, as it should be. The fact is that if Toussaint didn’t fold during our 2005 strike, we still wouldn’t bepaying anything for health-care.

Yet the farce continues. The MTA, no doubt annoyed that it will not be reaping even greater health-care contributions from transit workers,is trying to overturn the award in court. Certainly, if the union tried to reverse the award in court, the MTA would be screaming bloodymurder. The latest Toussaint/Tate/Watt tactic of asking transitworkers to “Get Ready to Rock “N? Roll” to “fight back BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY” smacks of a leadership that relies on after-the-fact phony militancy, rather than entering into the contract fight backed up by an organized, informed membership ready to defend their interests. Where were these strategies months ago in advance of negotiations and prior to arbitration, instead of today when the damage has already been done? An effective union prepares for contract negotiations by uniting themembership and organizing the ranks to achieve a good contract. What is achieved at the table affects all aspects of our jobs, our ability to support our families, and our future security. A fully informed and involved membership is essential to the progress and success of negotiations. As far as this contract and this arbitration are concerned, we need to move on. The last thing transit workers can afford now is the bargaining process to be thrown back into the inept hands of the Toussaint/Tate/Watt administration. They have already done far too much damage to our union to risk giving them any more chances. Certainly, Roger Toussaint and Ed Watt have assumed a docile position in their labor/management dealings far too many times already. It is time for TWU Local 100members to join come together and collectively fight these bosses to release our wage increases. Historically, the MTA has only ceded ground when angry rankand-file transit workers take the fight to them direcetly. Come Jan. 1, 2010 that is exactly what is going to happen. TWU Local 100’s new leadership is determined to lead that fight. We are determined to rebalance the scales.

JOHN SAMUELSEN Presient canidate for Take Back Our Union (TBOU)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

TBOU Action Update:Labor Notes School Saturday October 3rd

Still Time to Sign Up! Labor Notes Troublemakers Workshops, Saturday October 3, 1-5pm‏

This Saturday, October 3rd: More Troublemaking!Join us Saturday afternoon, October 3 for an afternoon of education and solidarity. There is still time to sign up so spread the word!

Download the flyer and spread the word!

Labor Notes is sponsoring several in-depth workshops for union activists in the New York area, including:

Defending our Jobs: Employers are on the warpath. Find out how to protect you and your co-workers from harassment, layoffs, and attacks on our standards. This workshop will cover everything from strategies for bargaining in tough times to conducting strikes and other job actions. You will also learn how to build community and political allies in order to fight back and win.
Internal Organizing - Key to a Strong Union: Powerful unions depend on active members. Whether you're an elected leader or thinking about running for office, taking over is just the first step. Learn proven strategies to beat apathy and get your co-workers moving. We'll also discuss why building a democratic union is more important than ever.

Secrets of a Successful Organizer Where ever you work there are secrets to organizing a strong, effective, collective voice on the job. These "secrets" of successful organizing can be learned and practiced in almost any situation. This workshop will help turn you into a better organizer. Using real life examples you'll learn how to map a workplace, pick good issues, build momentum, and turn campaign victories into durable power on the job.
Workshops will run between 1 and 5 p.m. at Murry Bergtraum High School, located at 411 Pearl St.

The school is located beside a tall white building with vertical black windows and a Verizon logo, at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Take the 2/3 to Park Place, the 4/5/6 or R/W to Brooklyn Bridge-City Hall. Following city streets from the 2/3 and R/W you turn exit on Broadway. Walk north to Chambers and turn right. Then turn left on Centre St and right on Pearl St. From the 4/5/6 you exit on Centre St., go north and turn right on Pearl St.

Alternatively you can walk through the breezeway underneath the municipal building on Centre St. at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. Turn left towards a large red sculpture. Turn right at the red sculpture and continue until the plaza dead ends. Go down the stairs and continue left onto Avenue of the Finest. Turn left on Madison and right onto Pearl St.

Please call the Labor Notes New York office to register, 718-284-4144 or email Childcare available, please contact Labor Notes for more details.

Suggested Donation $5/$10/$15 sliding scale.

Like what you see? Join the Labor Notes email update list.

Labor Notes - 7435 Michigan Ave., Detroit, MI 48210

Monday, September 28, 2009


Keep Stella D'oro in the Bronx! Rally with Workers and Supporters at the Stella D'oro Plant Friday, October 2, 3PM-7PM 237th Street & Broadway

It is crunch time at Stella D'oro! Brynwood Partners, the company's private equity owners, intend to shut down the Bronx facility as early as the first days of October. They have a deal in principle with North Carolina-based manufacturing and marketing firm Lance, Inc. to buy the brand and relocate production to a non-union plant in Ashland, Ohio. But the deal still hasn't closed -- and we can stop it!

Please join the courageous women and men of Stella D'oro -- who have stood up for themselves and for the entire labor movement in New York -- as they rally to keep their plant open -- and their jobs -- this Friday, October 2nd, outside the plant gates at 237th Street and Broadway. Take the 1 train to 238th Street and walk one block south.

WHO: Stella D'oro Workers and Supporters
WHAT: Rally to Keep Stella D'oro in the Bronx
WHEN: Friday, October 2nd @ 3PM TO 7PM

Thursday, September 3, 2009

TBOU Action Wednesday September 9, @ 4:00PM Informational Picket Justice For Joe Sexton College Point Depot

At 4:00 pm on Wednesday, September 9th, the Take Back Our Union(TBOU) movement is going to the College Point Depot in Queens(12815 28th Ave, Flushing, NY 11345).We Will Sit Up An informational Picket Out Side the College Point Depot starting at 4:00PM Please Pass and Post Widely.

TBOU comes to Queens in support of Joe Sexton, an officer not being supported by the current union leadership. Mr Sexton is currently suspended and facing dismissal charges as MTA Management accuses him of posting "an unauthorized notice" regarding a change in pick procedures. Even if he did post a notice that was unauthorized, it would be an internal union matter and should have been handled as such. The Local 100leadership should have been firm and told the management at MTA Bus that they would not tolerate suspending a union officer acting in that capacity, and to return Mr. Sexton back to work immediately. If the MTA still refused to put Sexton back to work, he should have been put on the union payroll until his case was resolved with MTA Bus. Every officer in this union should be outraged that the union is not coming out in full support of Mr. Sexton -- Mr. Sexton is the Division Chair(Queens division)of MTA Bus and has been out of work for several weeks with no end in sight. The College Point Depot is part of MTA Bus which, in the spring 2008, became part of the MTA Regional Bus Operations.

MTA Regional Bus Operations (RBO) is the surface transit division of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), and was created in 2008 to consolidate all bus operations operated by the MTA. The MTA then moved to streamline its operations through consolidation of management's functions. To that effect, RBO was officially created in May 2008. The president of what was then New York City Transit's Department of Buses, Joseph A. Smith, was named to lead the consolidated Regional Bus Operations which includes:

** MTA Bus (previously seven Private Bus Lines)(PBL)**
**** New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA)****
**Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority**
** MTA Long Island Bus the Metropolitan Suburban Bus Authority**

Around the same time, the MTA began to move towards RBO, a small band of members in the Stations Department began to build a rank and file movement called Take Back Our Union(TBOU). Since its formation in May 2008, TBOU has grown into a union-wide movement with networks of activists in every department of TWU Local 100 (the largest transportation union in the country). After winning a substantial number of slots in the TWU 2009 International Delegates election, TBOU is poised to take over the leadership of TWU Local 100 in 2010. Highly controversial for its outspokenness and complete rejection of the current partnership between the TWU and the MTA, TBOU is often at odds with the current TWU leadership. TBOU wants to break apart the cozy relationship between the TWU and the MTA, a relationship created by former MTA boss Elliot Sander(who was recently fired by Governor Patterson) and outgoing TWU President Roger Toussaint(who has deserted Local 100 for a job with the TWU international). Rather than fostering a partnership with the MTA, TBOU instead prefers to educate and organize the members to stand up and fight the MTA. TBOU also calls for solidarity among all titles of workers in Local 100 -- partnership with each other, not management. TBOU sets out to end infighting in our union once and for all and to stand behind all union officers regardless of their political affiliations, before, during, and after union elections.

That's why this Wednesday September 9 is such an important date for all officers and members to come out to College Point Depot to help get Justice For Joe Sexton !
Already confirmed to appear from TBOU's Surface and Subway Departments:

#Israel Rivera Jr.#(MABSOTA)#Candidate Secretary Treasurer#
*Benita Johnson **(RTO) **Candidate Recording Secretary**
*Angel Giboyeaux ** (PBL) **Candidate Administrative VP **
*Christine Williams **(STATIONS)Candidate Executive Board**
*Derrick Echevarria **(STATIONS)Candidate Executive Board **
*Charles Jenkins VP CBTU **(MOW)Candidate Vice Chair L/ES **
**Denotes Delegate for 23rd TWU International Constitutional Convention **
For more information call the TBOU Hot line (646)321-5213, send an email to or visit our blog at *

Thursday, August 27, 2009

TBOU Action Alert-Wednesday September 2,2009 at MTA Headquarters

On Wednesday September 2 ,2009 at 4:30PM the MTA will be holding its Capital Budget Hearing at its Headquarters located at 347 Madison avenue (between 44 & 45 street) in Manhattan.The Take Back Our Union(TBOU)Movement is organizing scores of rank and file transit workers to appear and speak out about the subway booth closings.

Over 100 subway booths will be closings on Sunday September 20 making our mass transit system less safe and secure.The Capital Budget Hearing offers our last and best chance to keep our subway system safe. We are calling on anyone and everyone who rides the NY transit system to not only come out to the MTA HQ Wednesday September 2 but to speak out on keeping subway booths open registration to speak closes at 6:00PM and everyone is allow to sign up and speak. So join TBOU and community activists on Wednesday September 2 as we Take Back the New York Transit System.For more info contact Marvin Holland at 347-804-6982.Please pass the word and post widely.Thank for your support from Take Back Our Union(TBOU).

Saturday, August 15, 2009



Celebrate One Year of Struggle at Stella D'oro! Rally with Workers and Supporters at the Stella D'oro Plant Saturday, August 15, 12PM-2PM 237th Street & Broadway
(#1 Train to 238 St)
IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE RALLY !Live Music, Poetry, Food, Drink & Conversation
Kingsbridge Heights Community Center
3101 Kingsbridge Terrace
(#3 Bus to Heath Ave & Ft. Independence OR a short walk from the factory--cars also available for transport)

It's one year since Stella D'Oro workers walked off the job against unfair concessions and launched a now internationally famous struggle for the labor movement.

Let's celebrate the victories achieved so far, but also send a message to Brynwood Partners that we are united behind the workers at Stella D'oro and will not rest until their jobs -- good union jobs -- have been secured.

Community & Labor support
helped sustain the workers during the bitter strike
successfully fought off a bid by Lance, Inc. to buy the company and relocate production
is critical for the battles ahead to:

Monday, August 10, 2009

TBOU Action Wednesday-Help Keep Subway Booths Open August 12 at Franklin Avenue on the C train

On Wednesday August 12 from 4:15 PM to 5:45 PM at the Franklin Avenue stop on the C train the Take Back Our Union (TBOU) movement continues the struggle to keep subway booths open.This Wednesday August 12 we come to Brooklyn to leaflet the public and educate them on the dangers to their safety and security if the MTA gets its way and closes subway booths. So please join the only organize fight of transit riders and workers to stop the MTA service cuts 'the MTA is going the wrong way charging you more money but giving you less service.Next Wednesday August 19 2009 TBOU will be in Queens at the 74 Street Station on 7 line at 5:00PM.

After the leafleting on Wednesday August 12 many members of the TBOU movement will be going to 16 East 34 street in Manhattan for the Cornell open house see information below.

You are invited to an OPEN HOUSE for the Cornell ILR/CUNY Undergraduate Joint Certificate in Labor Relations on Wednesday, August 12th, 6pm, at the Cornell Conference Center,
16 East 34th Street, 6th floor, Room A.

This 16-credit Undergraduate Certificate Program is offered through an educational partnership between two of the nation's leading institutions for the study of labor: Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations and CUNY's Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Workers Education and Labor Studies. The program is designed to provide students with an understanding of employment relations, labor law, and unions.

The weekday evening classes begin the first week in September and include Collective Bargaining (4 credits), Labor and Employment Law (4 credits), Unions and Labor Relations (4 credits), Work, Culture and Politics in New York City (4 credits) and Labor History (4 credits).
To find out more about the program, please call 212-340-2847 or visit our website:
I hope you can join us!
In solidarity,
Pam Whitefield Cornell ILR/CUNY Murphy Institute Joint Certificate in Labor Relations

Sunday, August 9, 2009

TWU Contract Update :Where is Our Contract by Christine Willimas

As most of us know TWU has a stations message board on Yahoo called station-to-station: this message board is supposed to be about stations members discussing issues and asking questions.

Here is a recent exchange between some members and either Div. Chair Chisolm or VP Andreeva Pinder. All the members want to know is where is our contract? A good frigging question if you ask me.

This is directly from the Station-to-Station message board:
The member asks this question: WHERE IS OUR NEW CONTRACT?
It's now Friday, July 31, 2009. I would like to know why we still haven't seen or heard anything about the arbitrator's decision on our contract, someone please tell me what are they waiting for? Are they holding this announcement until December when they open up the ballots to see who the new president will be? I hope not, I just read in the Chief that a group is trying to have the ballots opened and counted in September rather than in December. This is a great idea and I hope it's done. A question from a concerned station agent. And this is the response from our union elected officials,- Why are you asking ? If it had been up to you and the rest of the dead beats there would have been no union to negotiate a contract. (A.G. PINDER)

This is word for word. And it has Pinder's name on it, but it was posted by Jamel..
Nice right? This is what we have come to expect from this group in the Union Hall now.
Thank God they will be leaving in December.
Ask a simple question, A question you as a member have every right to ask and get shouted down...and called names....This is not Unionism.

The discussion goes into high gear:

Re: WHERE IS OUR NEW CONTRACT? From:( hhay637694 3b. )
Re: WHERE IS OUR NEW CONTRACT? From:(sauceyrose2000)

Here are 3 replies from our members: -
How about answering the question. Not everybody is a dead beat.

(The member opens the second round with a stinging jab) Who is writing this? Is this AG Pinder or Chisholm. Every member has a right to ask this question, May I remind you that you are on the union payroll, which the members pay into which pays your salary so stop the name calling which is disrespectful and try to answer the question. I can only imagine how you were in the booth towards customers if you treat your union brothers and sisters this way you should not hold a position in the union.

(the member bangs to the body with powerful, devastating blows) This revenue collecting agent spent two cold day/nights on the picket line in 2005, she paid her dues on time each and every month when she was asked to by her union and when election time came around, she made sure she marked her two ballots in complete support of TAKE BACK OUR UNION. Now Andreeva Pinder you're referring to me and others as deadbeats? I know my obligations to the union are and were fulfilled, what about YOURS? It sounds like you're upset at your defeat, maybe we can sum it up by saying it looks like you're just a sore loser !

(left hook to the head, right hand to the jaw, it's over ladies and gentlemen...... a knockout.)

All joking aside, this group on the Union Hall now still must work for the members, they still must respect the members, they still have to remember to do their jobs.
These people do not realize that the reason they lost the delegate election (and most likely the general election) is they no longer have the confidence & respect of the membership.

If you have the time contact station to station I think it's at and ask to join: then ask them a simple question: WHERE IS OUR CONTRACT?
Also why did TWU spend all kinds of money on a TV & radio ad and NOT mention 1 thing about booth closings?
Why is Kendra Hill (united invisible VP candidate) on the TV ad and NOT talking about the 100 booths that will be closing in a few weeks and the over 200 jobs we lost ?

Stations is now on rise again....and we'll remember who helped us and who didn't the time is now for change inside of TWU Local 100 join the movement and take back our union.