Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Truth About the Sale of TWU Local 100's Union Hall

What Are The Facts About The Building Sale?

The current leadership of this union attempted to sell the union hall two weeks before the expiration of our contract in 2005. Prior to their attempt to sell, Toussaint and Ed Watt were strongly advised by the Local 100 Executive Board committee established to look at the building sale issue, that the deal didn’t make sense.

On December 3rd, 2006, several elected Maintenance of Way officers, including John Samuelsen (at the time, he was the acting VP), issued a public statement to Toussaint urging him to delay the sale of the building until after the contract fight - and subsequent strike - was over. Samuelsen, and another elected Track Division officer were immediately fired for taking that position.

In the summer of 2008, John Samuelsen, exercising rights under federal law, demanded to review documents related to the sale and resale, of our Union Hall. Contrary to the current leadership's assertions that there was nothing wrong with the building sale, the deal was riddled with problems:

*Three dummy corporations were established for the purposes of purchasing our Union Hall. Still to this day, the names of the owners of those corporations have not been fully revealed. Why such secrecy?

*The whereabouts of the cash assets resulting from the union hall sale were never revealed to the union’s executive board, nor to the members of this union. As a result of the review it was revealed that the money from the sale was invested in a mysterious corporation called Land of America. It was not, as Tate and Toussaint allege, initially invested in Treasury Bonds.

*The investment in Land of America Corp was done in order to avoid Local 100 from having to pay the capital gains tax on the profit made from the building sale.

*Due to complete fiscal incompetence on the part of Ed Watt, (Toussaint’s right hand man and Tate’s Adviser) the Land of America scheme failed and WE had to pay 8 million dollars in capital gains tax to the federal government.*Toussaint claimed that he got top dollar for the building when he sold it for 60 million dollars. It was sold at the height of the Manhattan real estate market.

*A little more then a year later, the secret owners of the building "flipped " it for 90 million dollars, making a quick 30 million dollar profit on our Union Hall. The 90 million dollar sale was accomplished in a much weaker real estate market.

Today, we are paying rent on a building which we once owned. We went from earning millions of dollars in rent to paying millions dollars in rent. Yet,the current leadership insists that the sale of the building was great for Local 100. Vote the Take Back Our Union Slate for more info go to - Steve Downs Chair, T/O Division of TWU 100

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Update -Gains or Losses?‏ By Steve Downs

In his May 29 “Message”, Roger Toussaint sums up the accomplishments of his presidency and calls on members to support Curtis Tate and his slate to carry on that work. While Toussaint, Tate and UI have tried to deny the contribution that TBOU supporters have made to defending and strengthening our union, TBOU has never denied that our union won some gains during Toussaint’s presidency.There have been gains under every Local 100 president. Even Damaso Seda (winning a 25/55 pension) and Willie James (reducing the pension contribution) made some progress. But, what every transit worker must ask themselves, whether about Seda, James, or Toussaint, is -- which is greater, the gains or the losses?

Toussaint highlights the Childcare and Training and Upgrade Funds. These are gains for the membership. But in the same contract that won those funds, Toussaint gave up the no lay-off clause, increased medical co-pays, and accepted a one-year wage freeze. That is a recurring loss that Local 100 members will feel every hour they work. Which is greater, the gains or the losses?Toussaint claims there has been a rapid fall in the number of disciplinary cases. In 2002, he promised that new contract language would eliminate 70% of disciplinary cases. There were more write-ups in 2004 than there had been in 2002. While there has been a decrease in write-ups in the last two years, Toussaint gave the TA the right to discipline people for “chronic absenteeism” – even when they are covered by doctor’s lines. Which is greater, the gains or the losses?Since 2001, the Local has created a Safety Dept. that conducts regular safety inspections and provides Safety Reps at night. During the same time, Toussaint allowed the stewards’ program to wither, squandering the enthusiasm and commitment of almost 1000 trained stewards. Now, after over three years with no stewards’ classes, the Local is training 25 stewards. Running true to form, critics of Toussaint are excluded. Which is greater, the gains or the losses?

Toussaint’s claim that, “More than 10,000 members a year take part in Union events, at the Hall and elsewhere.” should be taken with a few grains of salt. It includes members at Family Day and a lot of double counting at other events. Members socializing at union-sponsored events is a good thing. But attendance at division meetings is down; thousands of members have been shown that their votes on contracts don’t matter; hundreds of stewards have stopped being active; members in Maintenance of Way and MTA Bus were denied the right to elect their VPs when the positions became vacant; and, close to half the membership is in bad-standing. Which is greater, the gains or the losses?

It’s true that the Local, “prevented the imposition of a new, inferior pension tier.” But a 30/62 pension for new hires was already off the table before Toussaint called the strike in 2005. Then, instead of striking for things the members were ready to fight for (higher wages, improved benefits, better schedules, better treatment, etc.), Toussaint allowed the TA to define the issues in the strike. The strike was poorly prepared and led. Based on comments he made to members at the contract meetings in the Bronx and Brooklyn, it’s clear that Toussaint called the strike primarily to make it easier to sell the givebacks in it to the membership. The result? The 1.5% deduction for basic healthcare; fines against the union and its members; giving up the Dec. 15 contract expiration date; and, the union agreeing not to strike in the future. Toussaint’s refusal to recognize the membership’s rejection of the contract increased the numbers who refused to pay their dues. Which is greater, the gains or the losses?

If you think the gains during Toussaint’s administration are greater than the losses, you’ll probably vote for the Toussaint/Tate/Watt UI slate. If you acknowledge the gains, but recognize that the losses have been greater, cast your vote for the Take Back Our Union slate.--
Steve Downs Chair, T/O Division of TWU 100 to stay informed visited daily

Saturday, May 30, 2009


TOP 10 Reasons to Vote for Take Back Our Union We believe with the right leadership Local 100 can be rebuilt into a strong, powerful union capable of getting good contracts and protecting our jobs, wages, benefits and condition:

1) Stop the Givebacks
2) Restore No Layoffs clause to the contract
3) Fully protect seniority
4) Members not arbitrators should decide our contracts
5) Full 10 % night shift differential
6) Free Healthcare - eliminate the 1.5 % Toussaint Tax, capping it is not enough
7) Improve the dental plan
8) A universal MTA pass including LIRR and Metro North
9) Get everybody to pay their dues arrears
10)Fully Represent the workers at MTA Bus, Mile Square, Royal Coach, Ardsley, First Transit and at every private company.

The Take Back Our Union slate believes the strength of the union is derived from an organized rank and file membership which stands together to defend their livelihoods, and a union leadership which is determined to lead and protect them.We believe Roger Toussaint and Curtis Tate's policy of being soft on management has failed Local 100.

They brought us the 1.5 % Toussaint Tax, the disappearance of an assertive union presence on our jobs, and attacks against our working conditions in every department.Their abandonment of real trade unionism has landed us in binding arbitration with the very real potential of massive givebacks including the expansion of One Person Train Operation and a seniority busting regional bus agreement.

Take Back Our Union believes in real trade unionism. We are dedicated to taking the steps necessary to rebuilding Local 100. We are determined to break the cycle of givebacks and win real gains at the bargaining table.

Vote for Change - Vote for Take Back Our Union (TBOU)You can visit our campaign website at

Thursday, May 28, 2009

TBOU Action Alert-Taking Back Public Transit Monday June 8, 2009

RightRides for Women's Safety is a founding member of New Yorkers for Safe Transit - the only coalition dedicated to eliminating sexual assault and hate violence, particularly gender- or discrimination-based, within NYC’s public transit system. The coalition is urging the MTA to take greater responsibility to increase riders' safety by implementing better protocols to address violence, by training employees to be appropriate first responders, by installing upgraded or repairing broken emergency equipment, and by pursuing related policy changes.Take Back Our Union (TBOU) is fully aware of the danger and violence that takes place on our mass transit system and looks forward to working with community groups and riders to make mass transit more safe.

Please join us for this important safety forum and help spread the word!

Taking Back Public Transit: Confronting Violence on Board
DATE: Monday, June 8th, 2009
TIME: 7 PM – 9PM LOCATION: Brecht Forum, 451 West St. (btwn. Bank & Bethune)
COST: Free, donations appreciated
View Map

Stella D'Oro March and Rally -Take Back Our Union(TBOU) & Healthcare-Now & Private Health Insurance Must Go! Saturday May 30 Bronx NY

Day of Action in New York City -May 30 , 2009

Healthcare-NOW! and Private Health Insurance Must Go! are marching in solidarity with the Stella D’Oro Factory Workers. Stella D’Oro workers have been on strike for over 9 months against the Wall St. private equity firm Brynwood Partners, which is now viciously trying to bust the union by slashing wages, pensions, holidays, and sick pay.

Brynwood is operating the plant with strikebreakers. The strikers are represented by Local 50 of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union. They are on the picket line every day in front of the Stella D’Oro plant, W. 237th St. & Broadway in the Bronx.

When: May 30th NOONWhere: MASS RALLY AT STELLA D’ORO FACTORY! 237 ST./BROADWAY12 noon–Assemble across from the Target Mall on West 225 St., east of Broadway (#1 train to 225 St.).1pm (approximately)
March up Broadway to the Factory (about 1/2 mile)2pm (approximately) MASS RALLY at the Stella D’Oro Factory on 237 St. & Broadway.(#1 TRAIN TO 238ST.)

Please join the Private Health Insurance Must Go! Coalition, Healthcare-NOW! and ACT-UP: 8pm at the south end of Union Square / 14th Street (”near the steps”)
Bring single payer signs and candles if you can, but most of all please bring yourself and a friend.
Contact: Katie Robbins - for more details

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Program for RTO

No lunches and inadequate breaks. Petty write-ups and excessive penalties. These are part of life on the road. And they are connected.

A few years ago, the Toussaint team proclaimed it had “smashed” the TA’s disciplinary machine. They promised a 70% reduction in write-ups. They lied. It didn’t happen.

With so many T/Os, C/Rs and TW/Os getting written up or held out of service, elected reps spend the bulk of their time in hearings or trying to get members back to work. Reps tied down at 2 Broadway or 130 Livingston can’t be at the terminals or on the tracks helping enforce adequate breaks or challenging petty supervisors. It’s a vicious circle. Workers who are pushed back down the road without sufficient breaks or time to eat lunch are more likely to have an incident or to book off rather than deal with the BS. This leads to more write-ups and more work at Labor Relations. This ties the officers down, leaving management a free hand on the road.

The Toussaint team could have addressed this problem by building a strong stewards network on the job. Instead, Toussaint pulled the plug on the Local’s stewards program. So, no matter how hard the reps work or how many hearings they win little changes on the job.

Take Back Our Union includes experienced and effective reps. We know that, no matter how many cases we win, the key to reducing write-ups and improving our working conditions is strong representation on the job. And that requires a commitment to training large numbers of union stewards AND educating the membership about their rights and how to enforce them.
Taking back our union from the Toussaint team is only the first step. We also have to take back the initiative from management. To do that, TBOU will:

• Train all officers and safety reps to aggressively enforce the contract and safety rules.

• Train and deploy stewards throughout the system to challenge supervisors who deny their crews adequate breaks and lunches.

• Develop education programs so that members know their rights and how to enforce them. There won’t always be a rep around when you need one. Improving schedules will require that all members in RTO know how to assert their rights.

• Revive the Flagging and Work Train committees to deal with the unique issues faced in Subdivision C.

For more information and to stay updated on all RTO and transit news read the blog at daily.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Labor Round Table Topic Health Care

This coming Wednesday June 3, 2009 the Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Movement will hold a Labor Round Table on "Rising Health Care Costs and the Privatization of Emblem Health "

WHEN : Wednesday June 3,2009 from 4:00 P.M. to 7: 00 P.M.
WHERE : North Star Fund 520 8th avenue 22nd floor (between 36 and 37street)
To Register for this or other Take Back Our Union workshops and seminars call (212) 631-5857 (24 hr Automated Reservation System) or send email to

Confirmed Guest Speakers : Judy S Gonzalez Single Payer NY
Ajamu K. Sankofa PHIMG Coalition
Billy Wharton Health Care Activist
Below is a press release on the work that health care activists led by Billy Wharton have been doing around the attempt to privatize Emblem Health.

NY State Department of Insurance Rejects Emblem Health Claim‏

***For Immediate Release*** NY State Department of Insurance Rejects Emblem Health Claim; Releases Documents to Activists Wednesday April 29, 2009 - On Tuesday April 28, 2009 Michelle Birnbaum, Legal Assistant to the General Counsel of NY State, notified activist Billy Wharton that the NY State Department of Insurance (DOI) would comply with his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Wharton requested that all documents related to the proposed conversion of Emblem Health (formerly GHI & HIP) to a for-profit corporation be made public.

Emblem Health attempted to counter this by claiming that their latest for-profit conversion application should be exempt from Freedom of Information Act laws. Emblem argued that their amended application contained trade secrets and proprietary information. The DOI rejected this claim and has transmitted the revised “draft” application to Mr. Wharton along with a full list of documents relating to the attempted for-profit conversion. “The release of these documents,” said Wharton,”should increase public debate over a healthcare privatization which could negatively impact more than 3 million New Yorkers.” There has been strong outcry from public health advocates about the proposed conversion since the application was filed by Emblem with the DOI in December 2007. Despite this, no impact analysis of the conversion has been conducted and only two public hearings have been organized by the DOI. Emblem claims that the conversion would provide it with the private capital needed to upgrade administration and increase their competitive advantage.

Activists see the for-profit conversation as a privatization attempt which would lead to higher premiums, denial of access to care and the possible elimination of coverage for less–profitable Medicaid recipients. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg also objected to the merger and conversion of the companies by citing violations of anti-trust laws. Faced with widespread opposition from all sectors of the healthcare rights community, Emblem withdrew its application for conversion in early 2008. A new “draft” proposal was filed the DOI on July 24, 2008. Since Emblem did not formally file an application, the document seemed to be exempt from Freedom of Information Laws. Activists expect the “draft” application to contain Emblem’s attempt to respond to public criticisms of the proposed conversion. Emblem has yet to file another official application with the DOI.

For Copies of the documents or interviews contact Billy Wharton, (718) 869-2279 or email you can also visit for more information and upcoming events.

Take Back Our Union(TBOU) MTA Safety Update- Problem at the Platform Edge

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) an Education and Advocacy Organization whose mission is to safe guard and improve transit workers quality of life as well as give them tools to plan better for there future.In order to keep TWU Local 100 members as well as the riding public better informed we will post MTA Safety Updates with reports for the members and riders of mass transit to read from time to time , remember brothers and sisters , Knowledge is Power. The Article below is from the via transitworkernews :

Problems at the Platform Edge A report by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority inspector general charges that New York City Transit does not adequately inspect and repair the rubbing boards designed to close the gap between subway station platforms and trains. The report found that inspectors at 16 out of 23 subway stations surveyed failed to correctly identify and report platform-edge defects. It also concluded the agency was slow to correct problems it did identify. According to the report, New York City Transit has said it will take steps to remedy the situation.
For the full report, visit here and to stay informed visit .

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Take Back Our Union(TBOU) Election Campaign Message -They said " Save Our Union "

Take Back Our Union (TBOU)Election Campaign Message – They said “Save our Union” and laughed all the way to the Bank.‏

We Don’t Need a Puppet
We need a Real President

After handpicking Tate as his “Acting President,” Toussaint says he will be the “International Officer responsible for Local 100.” It’s wrong for Toussaint to try to continue to run Local 100 through Tate from behind the scenes at the International. We don’t need Toussaint’s puppet as an acting president for the next three years.

They said “Save our Union,” & laughed all the way to the Bank
The Union’s by-laws say that officers are supposed to get the same raises as those negotiated for the members. Did you earn 10 % or 12 % more in 2008? A lot of them did.
The Union’s financial records, which are filed with the federal government, show many of them did a lot better than us in 2008 when compared to 2007:
Tate made 7% more
Clark made 11 % more
Thomas made 12 % more
N. Rivera made 10 % more
Ayala made 12 % more
Poor Watt - he only got a 4 % raise in 2008. But don’t feel too sorry for him. Watt’s allowances and disbursements from the Union increased $4,600; giving him $23,471 on top of his salary.
Tate, Watt & the rest of them told us we needed to “Save our Union” and then they went to the bank with our money. And they can’t even get us a contract!

You can see the Union’s last two year’s of financial reports here:

Thousands of Signatures of Support for Take Back Our Union- TBOU Candidates Run for 175 Positions

Because thousands of Local 100 members have signed petitions for Take Back Our Union, TBOU candidates are running for 175 spots in the Officer and Delegate's elections. They deserve your support.

In the last election, Toussaint's slate only won because multiple slates split the vote. This time is different - there is only one choice to make if you want change: Vote Take Back Our Union.
They talk big, but the truth is they don't know how to negotiate a good contract, how to unite the membership and how to even win a strike. We now have a Union with no headquarters building, no money and no contract for most of the members.

In private lines some shops have worked without a contract for years. They are still in arbitration over the 2006 MTA bus contract. They took away our right to vote and put the 2009 TA, OA and MTA bus contract into binding arbitration. They play politics with peoples' lives. Regional bus and the loss of seniority rights are threatened, but they won't tell anyone what is in the new contract until after the election. You know why.

Our jobs are under attack. In stations, booths are being closed. In subways, we face trains without conductors. Our benefits are under attack. First they gave up the union's health fund, and then they agreed we have to pay the 1.5 % for health insurance.
Our wages are under attack. The newspapers say we might not even get a wage increase in the next contract.

Its time we had real leadership at Local 100. We need to bring everyone together. We have to stop the corruption at the Union and start respecting every member for who they are. We must rebuild Local 100 and again make it a strong, powerful Union that can get good contracts.
Vote for Change - Vote Take Back Our Union (TBOU)

For more information, please check out our website at

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Update-Dues deadline is June 1

Monday, June 1, is the deadline to have your dues paid up if you want to vote in the upcoming TWU Local 100 election.

Any member whose dues were paid up by May 15 is supposed to have their name on the master list being used to mail the ballots. These members should automatically mailed to their address.

Any member who pays their back dues between May 15 and June 1 is entitled to a ballot, but will have to call the Election Committee to make sure it is mailed.

If you're planning on paying your dues by June 1, don't wait until the last minute. Pay as soon as possible to make sure it's credited in time.For more information go to

Take Back Our Union (TA Surface) FundRaising Party Friday May 29 2009

This Friday night May 29 Take Back Our Union (TBOU) TA Surface Division hosts a fundraiser
At the ST LUCIEN PARADISE located at 1272 Broadway In Brooklyn Between Lexington And Greene Avenue from : 8pm --- Until
Donation -$10 Dollars
Food- Dancing- Raffle- Prizes
Music By DJ BOB
For Info Contact :
William Rhodes -Grand Avenue Depot
Barbara Byrd -ENY Depot
George Sales -Jackie Gleason Depot
Robert Keith -Grand Avenue Depot
Harry Wills -Ulmer Park Depot
Come out and meet the entire Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Slate for more info go to:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Action Alert-City Wide March and Rally to‏ Support Stella D'oro strike

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Supports the Stella D’oro Strikers City-Wide March & Rally Saturday May 30, 2009 and we are calling on all trade unionists and social activists to come out and show solidarity. For more information please check out this article on the strike at Stella D'oro by Stewart Acuff and published in Huffington Post.
Our next strike support rally will be this Saturday at 12PM. We will assemble outside the Target shopping center at 225th Street just east of Broadway and march from there to the factory at 237th Street. With the strikers' unemployment benefits set to expire in August, we need to push hard to win this fight now. I hope to see many of you at the rally on Saturday!
What: Stella Doro Strike Support Rally
When: Saturday, May 30th @ 12PM
Where: Assemble at Target -- 225th Street just east of Broadway (#1 train to 225th)
Why: Because 9 months forced out on strike is 9 months too long! For more information visit
It's time to win this fight once and for all! For all the latest labor news in NYC go to

Friday, May 22, 2009

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) ACTION UPDATE - Sunday May 31 2009- Peoples Economic Summit

Sunday May 31, 2009 - People's Economic Summit‏

The Bail Out the People Movement invites you to a People's Economic Summit New York City Sunday, May 31 In conjunction with the June 1 -3 UN Summit on the World Economic Crisis And organizing for protests at the G20Starting Time 11 a.m.Main Session 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.Dag Hammerskjold Plaza, 47th & 1st Avenue

Proposed Agenda11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 47th St. & 1st Ave.Special focus panels & breakouts, including:
Defending Immigrant/Worker RightsWhy do migrants leave their homelands? What is behind the anit-immigrant climate? How can we build a workers’ rights movement that includes legalization, EFCA, etc?

This and more will be discussed in a panel by members of May 1st Coalition, Bayan-USA, La Pena del Bronx, Pakistan-USA Freedom Forum, Million Worker March and others.
Building a Struggle of Youth & Students Hear youth from member organizations – Anakbayan, FiRE, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and FIST, along with students from Hunter College, BMCC, and others – join forces to deliver a perspective on combating not only the crisis of the capitalist system, but also the struggles against national, women and LGBT oppression, imperialism, etc. Communities of Faith for Peace with Justice As people of faith and conscience, we will discuss the failed economic system and its impact on our poor and oppressed communities, and how we can change it by denouncing the social sins of male supremacy, hetero-sexism/homophobia, classism, racism, ethnocentrism and xenophobia (to just mention a few).

Participation of San Romero Church and others.Capitalist Crisis, Racism, Political Repression & the Prisons The lack of jobs or a future has resulted in the U.S. having the largest prison population in the world with majority Black, Latino/a and Native prisoners, and growing repression against youth, immigrant workers, and Arab and Muslim peoples. With participation of: NY Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, Millions for Mumia, Lynne Stewart, N.Y. Committee to Free the Cuba Five, N.Y. Friends of MOVE (9).People’s Speakout in Two Parts:

A discussion of strategy and tactics from those who have lost jobs, homes, healthcare, and their future.Workers’ Struggles in the U.S. – The fight for jobs; the EFCA and against layoffs; growing unemployment; foreclosures; evictions – with Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Million Worker March Movement, NYC Labor Against the War, Picture the Homeless, Take Back Our Union(TBOU) Members.Struggles Against U.S. Corporate Power Around the World –

The impact of the capitalist crisis, militarism, environmental destruction and imperialist policies in Africa, Asia, Middle East, Caribbean and Latin America.Full Plenary Sessions
Starts at 1 p.m.Invited Speakers to Include: UN Delegates, Cynthia McKinney, Ramsey Clark, Howard Zinn, Nawa El Saadawi, Medea Benjamin, Ajamu Sankofa, Vinie Burrows, Nellie Bailey, City Councilperson Charles Barron, Chris Silvera, Brenda Stokely, Larry Hamm, Lynne Stewart, Rev. Lucius Walker, Sonny Africa, Paul Quintos, Dulphing Ogan, Marvin Holland,Curtis Doebbler

First Plenary – 1 to 2:30 p.m.A NEW WORLD IS URGENTLY NEEDED…Panelists examine the roots of the economic meltdown and present the case for alternatives to capitalism and imperialism.

Second Plenary – 2:30 to 4 p.m.But We Must Fight for it!Panelists discuss building the mass movement; formulating programs and strategies to force a struggle for jobs, an end to foreclosures and evictions, and new rights and powers for working and poor people.

Third Plenary – 4 to 6 p.m.RESISTANCE!Special session on preparing for the G20 Summit in September in NYC and plans for the Detroit People’s Summit and Tent City..

Protest the G20 Summit in New York City!Sept. 19 & 20Another world is urgently necessary –BUT WE MUST FIGHT FOR IT! Bail Out People–Not BanksMoney for Social Needs–Not War & Greed Jobs, Housing, Healthcare & Education are a Right Organize-Mobilize-Resist-Unite-Fight Back!

The third G20 summit is going to be in NYC on or around September 20, 2009. The G20 summits are held in response to the greatest worldwide economic crisis since the 1930s. But these high-level meetings of governments and bankers are not held to rescue the people of the world from depression level unemployment, evictions, homelessness, poverty, social and economic inequality and war. These summits are about fixing the economic and financial order that puts profits before people – and fixing that system by creating more poverty, misery and suffering.

The last G20 Summit held in London in early April was met with massive protests both in London and throughout Europe.Now that the G20 is coming to the U.S., it is up to activists and organizations here to take up the challenge of uniting and working together to organize the biggest protests possible. BOPM urges activists and organizations to endorse the call for protest at the G20 Summit in the fall, and to begin organizing for it. The potential for mass mobilization in September is truly infinite.

So let’s begin the work required to realize that powerful potential. Email: BailoutPeople@safewebmail.com55 W. 17th St, #5C, NY, NY 10011 212-633-6646NYC meetings every Wed at 6:30 Call or email for information, table reservations or to volunteer. To Stay informed on all peoples movements visit

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Update on - One City/One Future Forum

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) members attended the One City/One Future Forum on May 14, 2009 below is an email Take Back Our Union (TBOU) founder Marvin Holland received that will bring you up to date on the One City/ One Future Blueprint for New York City.

Dear Marvin,
Thank you to everyone who attended the One City/One Future Forum on New York City's Economic Recovery and Development last week! You helped make this a great event, with more than 300participants representing hundreds of activists and organizations, including community organizations, advocates and policy experts, labor, environmental organizations, and government officials. Your ideas and voices contributed to dynamic and thoughtful discussions throughout the day on ways to make economic development policies work for all New Yorkers.

This forum is just the beginning. In the coming months, One City/One Future partner organizations will lead a series of neighborhood-based events, including an upcoming town hall forum in June promoting good jobs and affordable housing for the Coney Island redevelopment, actions statewide demanding reform of the state?s Industrial Development Agency subsidy program to ensure our public dollars are supporting responsible development, and several local forums promoting the Building Blocks: Good Food,Good Jobs, Strong Communities initiative in neighborhoods across the City later this summer. We hope you'll join us to ensure that our elected officials follow through on the One City/One Future Blueprint's - - recommendations to raise the standards, invest for shared growth, and reform the development process. Thanks again to everyone for making the forum a success! We hope this spirit of collaboration continues as we build together toward solutions for our city's economic recovery. Take Back Our Union (TBOU) will continue to lead the way for rank and file activists to get information and be involved in our city's and word's future.To stay informed visit daily.

Take a look at photographs from the One city/One Future event from May 14!

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) RTO-How T/Os and C/Rs can protect their jobs

How Train Operator's ( T/Os) and Conductor's (C/Rs) can protect their jobs :

Toussaint claimed that the 2002 contract “smashed” the TA’s disciplinary machine. It didn’t
happen. Now the Toussaint/Tate/Watt team claims that discipline is way down. If it is, we’re
not feeling it in RTO.

The TA’s new technology means that if you make a mistake while operating, you’re more likely
to get caught. If you get caught, the TA’s going to come down on you.
For years we’ve told you not to rush. The TA wants you to rush to make their schedules work.
But if rushing leads you to hit a signal or close the doors on someone, all those trains you
brought in on time aren’t going to matter.

Based on our experience as officers, here are some ideas to help you hang onto your job:

• T/Os, don’t pass a yellow signal. The surest way to avoid hitting a red signal is to stay
behind the yellow ones.

• If you do hit a signal, don’t even think about backing the train up. That’s a sure way to
lose your handles.

• If you’re on the “L” operating in “Restricted Mode” under CBTC, don’t go above 5 mph.
The computer is putting trains in emergency at 13 mph and the T/Os are being charged
with speeding. Go 5 mph, not 10, in Restricted Mode.

• C/Rs, don’t rush to close your doors. Make your full announcement and don’t close down if
there’s any chance of someone being hit by the doors.

• If you’re delayed, let the RCC know.

Flaggers, be sure to put the yellows out first and pick them up last.
Want to avoid days in the street? Want to survive as a T/O or C/R? Then don’t rush.

This message is from Take Back Our Union (RTO) Division for more information go to

Take Back Our Union (TBOU)-Update-In the Transit and Transport unions
From the March-April 2009 issue of Union Democracy Review #178
In the Transit and Transport unions :

New York City's Local 100, the big union of subway and bus workers is about to hold elections wrapped in confusion, complex and contrived. Votes are to be cast in July and then sequestered in storage until December when they will be counted. This odd system was concocted by incumbent president Roger Toussaint and confirmed in a local referendum. He had a rationale for proposing this odd system, but this reporter forgets what it was and finds it not worthwhile to research it.

The local lost its dues checkoff rights after an unlawful strike, and so the good standing of potential voters will be subject to challenge. Half of the 38,000 membership is now in bad standing so many will be ineligible to vote. Apart from that, in the years since the strike, Toussaint has removed elected division representatives and declared them ineligible for falling behind in dues. Some claim that union records would show that they had in fact actually paid. But who's looking?

Meanwhile, Toussaint has taken a job with the international and will not run for reelection. His heir apparent and candidate for president is Curtis Tate, who has a more amiable reputation than the heavy-handed Toussaint. The leading opposition candidate for president, John Samuelsen, had once been in the Toussaint camp until he was cast out for mildly criticizing the president. His candidacy got a big boost when it was endorsed by Steve Downs, a founder and leader of the now defunct New Directions caucus. Toussaint was originally elected president as the New Direction reform candidate, but the group fell apart after he turned out to be more authoritarian than his predecessor. For more information on the TWU Local 100 Election visit

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Take Back Our Union (RTO) Solving Problems for Members-Causing Problems for Management

RTO needs officers who can help members if they get written up or when other
problems arise. We've got that. TBOU includes experienced, knowledgeable, and
effective reps.

We also need officers who look beyond individual problems and find ways to
challenge the TA's practices. We've got that, too.

* When the TA told him he couldn't wear his turban on the job, Kevin Harrington
fought back. He forced the TA to back off and won a victory for every T/O and C/R
whose faith calls for them to wear specific head coverings. He has also used Federal
FMLA Law and Americans with Disability Act in new ways to save and protect jobs.

* For years, T/Os and C/Rs who were restricted to the platform by Labor Relations
were treated as if they were on the Extra List. They had to take whatever job the
crew office gave them, at any time, anywhere in the system. No matter what their
picked job paid, they got only 8 hrs/day. Now, as a result of grievances filed and won
by Steve Downs, T/Os and C/Rs restricted on codes 126, 127 or 128 report to their
pick location, work their regular hours, and receive their penalty pay.

* Josh Fraidstern and Brian Burke filed grievances that changed the way the TA
schedules training and refresher courses. If they send you to a class on your picked
RDO, they have to pay you a minimum of 12 hours -- even if they give you a
different day off that week.

* The department recently issued a new notice (39-09) with guidelines for jury duty.
You don't have to take the summons to 130 Livingston on your own time any more.
That's thanks to another grievance filed and won by Josh Fraidstern.
That other slate? From top to bottom, from nominees for VP to convention delegate,
they have not filed a single grievance that challenged the TA and forced it to change
the way it does business or improved the job for all of us.
Vote the Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Slate for more info : www.tbou2009.0rg

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Action Alert-This is it! Let's mobilize for the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights‏

WE CAN'T STOP NOW! MARCH TO THE END, WE CAN DO IT.With less than 5 weeks left in the legislative session, every moment counts.
Please save the following dates in your calendars for respect and recognition.

Which events can you attend? How many friends can you bring?

Join domestic workers, faith leaders, legislators and the Harlem community for a dinner to recognize and honor the many women in our families who have done domestic work and supported New York communities through the generations. Bring photos, stories and memories of the domestic workers in your family tree.
7:00pm - 9:00 pm
St. Philips Episcopal Church, Harlem, NY
204 W. 134th St. @ 7th Ave. - Take the B Train to 135th Street.
RSVP - or (212) 481-5747

Join domestic workers for a day of culture, testimony, truth-telling, legislative visits, a rally and march at a critical time in the legislative session
Buses Leaving 6:30 am from Union Square Barnes and Nobles - North side of the park
Returning by 8:00 pm the same day
Take the N/R/4/5/6/L to Union Square
RSVP -, or (212) 481-5747

Many domestic workers, particularly live-in workers, work around the clock without rest. We're asking all New Yorkers who support domestic workers rights, to stand together for 24 hours straight in a symbolic show of support for the passage of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights - so that domestic workers can receive overtime, job security, basic respect and recognition.
8:00 am - 8:00 am
City Hall - across from 250 Broadway
Take the N/R to City Hall, or the 4/5/6 to Brooklyn Bridge
RSVP, and sign up for a shift,, or (212) 481-5747

Bring your entire family, community and congregations to this Sunday afternoon, after-church, "march for peace and justice in the home" to show how many people of faith support and are connected to domestic workers. With children leading the march, many generations will march together with one common message and theme. Let's send a strong message to the NY State Legislature and the Governor that we won't stop until they honor, respect and protect the work that makes all other work possible in New York.
City Hall - across from 250 Broadway
Take the N/R to City Hall, or the 4/5/6 to Brooklyn Bridge
RSVP, particularly with groups to or (212) 481-5747

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Take Back Our Union President Candidate Challenges Toussanit Candidate Curtis Tate to Debate

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) President Candidate John Samuelsen challenges Curtis Tate ,Roger Toussanit's hand pick President candidate to a debate. The members have been asking Who is John Samuelsen ? Who is Curtis Tate ? What better way for members of TWU Local 100 to find out about the only two men running for president of TWU Local 100 ? Well the challenge has been issued by Take Back Our Union (TBOU) candidate John Samuelsen and now the only question is will Curtis Tate accept the challenge. The open letter from Mr. Samuelsen is below :

Open letter to Curtis Tate to Debate
May 19, 2009

Curtis Tate
Acting President
TWU Local 100
80 West End Avenue
New York, New York
Dear Brother Tate:
I have accepted the offer of NY 1 to participate in a debate between us .The debate is take place at NY1's studios in Manhattan. Two dates have been set aside, May 28 or 29 . I am told it will be moderated by NY 1’s Transit Reporter Bobby Cuza and Daily News Transit Reporter Pete Donohue.

I think this would be an exciting opportunity for the two of us to debate our respective vision for TWU Local 100 and the membership. Because it will be aired on TV, I understand many transit workers will get the benefit of hearing us before they vote in the election. Just the two of us ,Curits, face to face, discussing the many issues confronting TWU Local 100.
I urge you to accept.

Fraternally yours,
John Samuelsen
For more information on the debate challenge and the upcoming TWU Local 100 election go to our election website at and vote the Take Back Our Union(TBOU) Slate

Take Back Our Union (PBL) FundRaising Party this Saturday May 23


Please Come out and join the Take Back Our Union Slate for a fundraiser gathering.
Meet the Candidates and Support
Angel Giboyeaux as Local Wide Administrative Vice-President of TWU Local 100

Where: Conga Nights Bar
14 Warburton Ave. Yonkers, NY
When: Saturday, May 23rd from 8 P.M. until 3 AM
Donation: $20.00 includes Hot Food and DJ. There will be a Cash bar.For more information on the Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Slate go to

Compare Toussaint and Friends Raises to Yours‏ by Steve Downs

Toussaint got us a 3% raise for 2006. For the same year, he gave himself a 17% increase. In 2007, when our wages went up 4%, Toussaint gave himself a 7% boost. He went from $91,920 in 2006 to $115,475 ($141,928 after expenses) in 2008. (Don’t take our word for it, go to and click on the link to the Union’s financial report.)

Toussaint was generous to his friends, too. Ed Watt was up 22% from 2006 to 2008. Curtis Tate got an 8.2% boost from 2007 to 2008. And Brian Clarke got an 11% bump for the same year.

All of this happened despite layoffs of clerical staff and Toussaint supposedly imposing a 10% pay cut on the officers and staff in 2007 when the dues check-off was lost. And it happened despite the Local by-laws limiting raises for officers and staff to the same percentage increase negotiated for members at the TA.It's time for them to go ,vote the entire Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Slate.

Steve Downs Chair, T/O Division of TWU Local 100

Monday, May 18, 2009

TBOU ACTION UPDATE : Single Payer Healthcare Rally Wednesday May27 and TBOU Healthcare Roundtable on Wednesday June 3 in NYC

Single Payer Healthcare Advocates to Rally at State Capitol on May 27th
Politicians Need to Protect the People, Not Health Insurance Companies

Supporters of a single payer Medicare for All universal health care program will rally at the State Capitol on Wednesday May 27th at noon.

Representatives of groups supporting single payer will also meet with individual state legislators throughout the day and have requested a meeting with Governor Paterson.

The groups want New York State to pass legislation to create its own single payer universal health care system. The California state legislature has twice voted to create a single payer system but it has been vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger. Governor Paterson, in contrast, has been a long time supporter of single payer health care. The long-delayed state study by the Urban Institute on what type of universal health system New York should adopt is due out in the next few months.

The single payer groups are also supporting the resolution introduced by Senator Neil Breslin to have the State Senate urge Congress to pass HR 676 (Conyors – D MI), the federal single payer bill. HR 676 is currently co-sponsored by more than 70 Representatives, including many from New York.

Single payer supporters are also upset that the U.S. Senate Finance Committee and the White House have so far refused to consider a single payer health care system while instead insisting that private for-profit health insurance must continue to play a role in any universal health care system. Thirteen single payer advocates have been arrested in recent weeks for protesting the exclusion of single payer supporters at the Senate Finance Committee hearings on universal health care.
It is estimated that as much as 35 cents of every health care dollar goes to pay for the administration of private health insurance that provides nothing of value to the health care system. The practices of insurance companies contribute to the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans annually. Eliminating private health insurance through a single payer system could save $350 to $400 billion annually.

Even though the US spends almost twice as much money per capita on health care compared to other industrial countries, the performance of the American health care system consistently ranks among the worse of the industrial countries (e.g., 37th by the World Health Organization), while leaving as many as 75 million Americans without insurance during part of any year.

Sponsors of the event include Single Payer New York (, Capital District Alliance for Universal Health Care, Capital District Area Labor Federation; Faith and Hunger Network; Hunger Action Network of NYS: New York State Nurses Association; Physicians for a National Health Program; Students for a National Health Program; Tompkins County Health Care Task Force; and Troy Area Labor Council.

On Wednesday June 3, 2009 the Take Back Our Union (TBOU) will sponsor a Labor Round Table on Healthcare in NYC at the North Star Fund located at 52o 8th avenue 22nd floor mid-town Manhattan (between 36 and 37street) from 4-7PM.Topics for Labor Round table-How do we stop the privatization of Emblem Health (formerly GHI/HIP) and how do we get more rank and file labor activist involved in the single payer movement? To stay updated on healthcare and all labor news visit the blog at :

Sunday, May 17, 2009

There Is No Democracy Without Choice‏ by Steve Downs

Can you believe that Toussaint’s handpicked Elections Committee disqualified a candidate for being 18 cents in arrears on his dues? Or that another candidate was knocked off the ballot after he received a written decision explicitly accepting his evidence and qualifying him for the ballot? Believe it!

The Toussaint/Tate/Watt team is going after members in good-standing -- people who paid their dues throughout the months when there was not dues check-off -- and treating them as if they never paid. These members, who faithfully paid their dues, are being treated worse than those who scabbed during the strike.

This isn’t really about how they’re treating potential candidates, though. It’s about how they’re treating the members. Afraid that they might lose, the Toussaint/Tate/Watt team is doing everything they can to deny the members a choice when it comes time to vote.But what can you expect from the people who ignored your vote on the contract and prevent the officers you choose from representing you?

Steve Downs Chair, T/O Division of TWU 100 for the latest news and updates on the upcoming TWU election go to

TBOU Contract Update - No Arbitrator's Decision Before We Vote‏ by Steve Downs

When Toussaint announced in January that he was sending the contract to binding arbitration, some of us warned that this was a sign that he had agreed to concessions in the contract and that he was afraid to present them to the membership. He feared that, even if we approved the contract, the members would vote against him and his slate at election time.

The Local recently issued a leaflet that heightens our concerns. The leaflet makes it clear that there will not be a decision by the arbitrator before the ballots are mailed out. Why not? The Toussaint/Tate/Watt crew has been telling the members for months that the MTA and Toussaint had reached agreement on everything last fall but that Bloomberg blocked the deal. Then what's the hold-up at arbitration? Maybe they've been lying to us about reaching an agreement with last fall. Or maybe they don't want the arbitrator's decision to become public before we vote because it contains major givebacks -- givebacks that Toussaint agreed to last fall.

Toussaint wants you to re-elect the officers who let him negotiate in secret and who raised no objection when he went to binding arbitration -- and took away your right to vote on the contract. If the arbitrator's decision was good, Toussaint, Tate, and Watt would make sure it came out before the election because it would help them win votes. The fact that the arbitrator's decision is not out should tell you something.
Steve Downs Chair, T/O Division of TWU 100

Friday, May 15, 2009

10,000 Signatures in Support of Take Back Our Union

Almost 10,000 Local 100 petition signatures were submitted for Take Back Our Union(TBOU). That’s a lot of support. Members will have the right to vote for TBOU candidates running for 175 spots in the Officer and Delegate’s elections.

Last time, Toussaint’s slate won with less than a majority because multiple slates split the vote. This time is different. There are only two slates. It’s us or them.There is a clear choice. Keep them in office or vote for positive change. Let’s all work together to rebuild Local 100 and make it a strong, powerful union that can win us good contracts.

Toussaint Admits: No MTA Contract before Election in January, Toussaint said it would only be a few weeks before we got our contract. This week, he said the arbitration was only half done. That means no contract before the election. You also know what that means – Toussaint’s contract will be bad news for the membership.The newspapers say we may get zeros ($0.00s). It could be even worse.Tate, Watt and Roberts just stood there and let Roger Toussaint decide to go to binding arbitration and make Toussaint the Union’s arbitrator. The only Local 100 member with a vote on the contract is now Roger Toussaint. We believe every member should have the right to vote on their contract.Take Back Our UnionTake Back Our Union will win good contracts and protect our job security.

We will rebuild Local 100 by organizing, mobilizing and uniting all the members in a Union that has real power in the subways, busses and in the halls of government to get us good contracts.

Vote : John Samuelsen for President Israel Rivera for Secretary-Treasurer Angel Giboyeaux for Administrative Vice President & Benita Johnson for Recording Secretary
For More Information:

TBOU-Update on the Attempted Murder and Robbery of Transit Employees

In response to the attempted murder and robbery of two transit workers at the Winthrop street station on the 2 line at around 2:30AM on Saturday May 9,2009.On Tuesday May 12 Pete Foley sent the below E-mail to Howard Roberts the President of the Transit Authority ,Pete Foley is the Vice Chair of Line Equipment Signals and the 1# senior Revenue Equipment Maintainer (REM).

Dear President Roberts, I'm writing you concerning the shooting of Revenue Equipment Maintainer (REM) and the attempt on his Collecting Agent on May 9th at the Winthrop St. subway station. The REM should be given a job in the Central Electronic Shop in compensation for this terrible experience. He has previous experience doing this type of work and this will take him out of the field. Many of the workers at CES were previously REMs.

Now the REMs that are working on the road would like their safety concerns taken seriously by management. Our warnings about an incident like this have been totally ignored indeed laughed at by upper management. There is no reason for so many of our men and women to be working the odd shifts with the weekday RDOs that we currently work. We fix turnstiles, gates and related equipment. Currently we have more Metrocard Vending Machine repair jobs which are paired up with a collecting agent on the 10pm to 6am shift than on the 6am-2pm, the 8am-4pm and the noon-8pm shift combined, at the main 14th St. shop. A lot of those jobs have T/W or W/T RDOs. There is no business reason for so many on this shift. The machines break down during the day when people use them. They should be fixed then. No one in the riding public cares if an MVM is fixed at 2am when it went out of service at 2pm. They want that MVM available when most of the people are traveling especially with so many token booths closed. There is also no reason to do any preventative maintenance at these hours.

The teams have to travel by truck to get around and you have to pay them night differential. We have had 3 maintainers assaulted in the last 3 years. Two on the night shift. All concerns about safety and workers morale problems over the weird shifts and lousy RDOs are ignored. Our department runs to serve the Monday morning availability snapshot that is reported to the MTA board. We have the least amount of maintainers on Wed. and the most equipment out because of the usage of those machines. We think that a F/S, S/S and S/M RdOs would cover our equipment adequately and help our workers have some semblance of family life. There should only be a skeleton emergency crew working late at night. We have to stop work on machines midway and leave it for the next shift or sometimes 2 shifts later if it may go into overtime so It's pretty obvious we don't have many emergencies that can't wait a few hours. As it is a new maintainer or collecting agent could work for 8-10 years before they get a part of the weekend off.

With the new fare of $2.25 there will be twice the number of MVM trouble calls because of the coin chute problems. Currently the biggest problems are bill jams but now coin problems will double the calls and put more machines out of service when people need them. We would like a safety stand down in all shops and tours with REMs and Collecting Agents to go over together all procedures and operating instructions particularly in regards to MVMs. REMs and CAs have different responsibilities and some are conflicting. We also have long standing safety issues with carrying bill boxes on the train and who is responsible for what keys. We would like these discussed and resolved. A rep from the CAs should be at the monthly AFC Maintenance meeting to share their concerns and hear our safety concerns. These are the same concerns I wrote to you about 6 months ago and they are still not resolved. I hope this time after this terrible incident we could make our workers life safer and better for their family life as well as improve our equipment availability for the customer when they need it.Thank You, Pete Foley TWU Local 100 Line Equipment /Signals Division Vice-Chair.
To stay updated on all transit related news visit daily.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Take Back Our Union (TBOU)-Update TWU Revenue Equipment Maintainer (REM) Shot At Work

On Saturday May 9th at around 2:30AM at the Winthrop Street Station ,on the 2 Line brazen robbers put a gun to the head of a TWU Revenue Equipment Maintainer (REM) threatening his life and also the life of his escort the Collecting Agent(CA).The gunmen must have been after the money inside the Metrocard Vending Machine (MVM) the REM was coming to repair or they the gunman mistakenly thought they where going to replace or remove cash from the MVM.

What ever the case one of the gunman opened fire on the CA and the REM who was grazed by a bullet near his neck and spine.The REM also broke his ankle getting out the line of fire.The CA thinking quickly returned fire and this stop the robbery attempt and perhaps saved their lives as the gunman ran off.The REM is home recovering and the CA is out on vacation as we will keep them and there families in our thoughts and prayers.

Hopefully MTA management will see the light and stop routine maintenance and cleaning during early morning hours making transit workers the target for the criminal element.Just last week during the Station Cleaner's pick no concerns where shown for Station Cleaners safety as to increase productivity on the 2 line in the Bronx new Station Cleaner jobs start at 7:00PM and end at 3:00 AM.I hope both the union and management will take a serious look at all sections and titles when it comes to safety and security issues.Once again our hearts go out to the REM, and CA and there families.To stay informed on all transit worker news go to the blog at .

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Action Update-Upcoming Forums on Bus Rapid Transit(BRT)

Take Back Our Union Action Update :

Over the next several weeks, MTA New York City Transit and the New York City Department of Transportation will be holding forums on Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The first BRT route in the Bronx - with pre-boarding fare payment and a better separated exclusive lane – has been very successful, with faster trips and high levels of customer satisfaction.

The agencies are now looking at ways to dramatically improve transit service through a comprehensive BRT network across New York City -- complete with links to subways, ferries and major destinations.

A total of seven workshops will be held throughout the five boroughs to gather New Yorkers' feedback on where new BRT routes should be established and how they should operate. The dates and locations of the workshops, as well as more information, can be found at: to stay informed about all transit news go to daily .

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

TWU Local 100 Election has become an all out Circus by Christine Williams

The new bylaw changes have turned this union election into an all-out circus. In the past, the votes were counted as soon as they were cast. Now, although the votes are cast in June, the results aren't released until December -- six months later. This bylaw change was supposedly needed to save money, but will still cost money, for storing the ballots and protecting them from being tampered with. And if the union is trying so hard to save money, why create a administrative VP position paying $100,000? How does that save money? I know what they''re going to say: the members voted for it. But only 5000 members voted out of 38,000, and it took a whole week just to count that. Do you think this amendment to the bylaws helps build the trust in this union? In all these years this union has never had an administrative VP in the top 4. Why now?

Another obstacle in this circus -- I mean union election -- dues payment. This issue is a weird one, because TBOU candidates are getting DQ letters left and right. If you paid your dues by check, look out; just because you sent your check in before the 15th doesn't mean it was credited to your account on time. And even if you pay every month by check and sent the amounts on the payment schedule set up by the union you might have gotten a letter. In my case I paid a year in advance and have been in good standing since 2007, even receiving a refund for overpayment. And I got a DQ letter. After further review by the" impartial" TWU election committee, which has at least two people on the local 100 payroll, it was determined that my letter was sent as an "oversight." I wonder how many UI candidates were a couple days late on payments, and how many actually received DQ letters? How can the election committee be truly impartial if they don't have a representative of both slates running in this election on the committee? One of many questions that will remain a mystery, but the worst part of this dirty tactic of sending members on the TBOU slate DQ letters is you only have 48 hours to respond so had I not responded to the letter I would have been out as a candidate even after paying my dues in advance.

It's not only TBOU candidates who are getting caught up with the dues issue but also rank and file members who want to get back in good standing. Recently, letters went out to the membership on how much back dues was owed to get back in good standing. Only members in good standing will be able to vote in union elections. That makes sense: pay your dues, get a ballot. But if you pay by check, look out! Now they are holding onto checks for weeks without crediting them to the accounts. In some cases the checks were mailed back. Some members even got letters informing them that they would not get a ballot to vote in the election. It looks like they don't want some members to vote in the upcoming TWU local 100 election.

The next act in their circus is the weird survey. 1st, someone calls your house and asks of you would like to take a quick survey. Then, they ask you lots of questions on how you feel about Take Back Our Union(TBOU.) The next set of questions are about UI and what your opinions are on the UI candidates. I'm not making this up. Actual members are calling me about this wacky survey. What is the purpose of this? If UI really wants to know how the members feel about UI candidates, they should give the members a fair chance to vote for TBOU after all almost 10,000 TWU Local 100 members signed TBOU petitions to get us on the ballot. If you are contacted by the union or have any questions give us a call at (646) 321-5213 or send us an e-mail to .

Please visit our website daily to stay informed on breaking news inside local 100 and all labor news. By Christine Williams Stations Department Candidate for Executive Board on the Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Slate.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rigged Elections by Israel Rivera Jr

Rigged Elections? by Israel Rivera Jr

Did you ever think Local 100 elections might be rigged? The thought has occurred to many of us. Lets look at the facts:Local 100 wont release the list of paid dues members. Because many currently elected officers running on the United invisible did not pay their dues themselves! Ask any of them to show you their dues statement. They wont.

Toussaint and his hand picked crew removed many democratically elected officers you the membership elected! Do you think things will be different with his handpicked successor and most of Rogers own staff still in place? Dictators never give up power freely, history has proven this time and time again.

How often did you wonder quietly about what really happened to our contract negotiations? Why did the Toussaint/Watt/Tate team again violate the membership by excluding every officer we elected to represent us? Local 100 officers cower in fear as local 100 continues to hopelessly slide into draconian rule.

For three terms we have hoped and prayed for 20-50 to no avail. Then we were lead on a catastrophic strike that further drained every member of his hard earned money as we were hit with massive penalties and Local 100 was severely crippled financially for years to come.

Our Union Hall is sold for 60 million dollars. Then resold by the buyer to the tune of 90 million! Making some very lucky person a 30 million dollar profit within 18 months during the worst real estate slump in nearly a 100 years. This alone cries out for a criminal investigation. But your officers are fear full of raising any questions and facing the dictators wrath.

Roger Toussaint negotiates himself a very nice cushy job at the TWU of America, our parent Union for a $160,000 a year. Then appoints his successor Curtis Tate to run our Union as he misleads the membership into believing we are finally rid of this parasitic embolism. So why then does non-president Toussaint change the locks to Recording Secretary Darlene Lawson's office and confiscate the section and division meeting records Darlene Lawson is lawfully the guardian of?. Is he now planning on altering the monthly meeting records? Perhaps some one on the United Invincible slate missed a few meetings and didn't qualify for re-election? One thing is for certain, he has violated another elected officers authority.Our union is as corrupt as many other unions were under organized crime decades ago. Yet, we the membership do absolutely nothing about it. The list goes on and on. I can sit here for a day or two and go on endlessly. We know the stories, we live them every day. The enemy might have started out being the MTA, but Toussaint/Watt/Tate have changed the map. They are definitely not our saviors.

What options short of armed revolution do we have? Well, a powerful weapon is at your fingertips. Your Vote! Soon as the ballots start arriving at your homes the United Invincible team may ask if you have received your ballot in the mail. Innocent enough right? No, not at all. That's just a pitch to the followup question when they now ask you to bring your ballot in should you have any questions. They will ask you to turn it over to them. They will tell you something along the lines of " relax I'll send it in for you just leave it blank" Dont do it! Do not give away your voice or your vote.Stand tall, vote them out. Lets clean out 80 West End. Send them packing once and for all.

Saturday, May 9, 2009


**** Please circulate widely ****UNDO THE COUP AT WBAI!**** Whose Station? Our Station!Pacifica National Removes General Manager - Program Director Next? Gag Rule Imposed on Programmers Who Dissent from National Takeover :

Attend a Public Forum on the WBAI Crisis - Tues., May 12, 7:00 PM at Dist. 1707, 75 Varick St. (n. of Canal St.), 14th Fl., Manhattan (A or 1 train to Canal St.) Sponsor: Ad Hoc Community Activist Coalition on WBAI - for info on this event & those below, call 212-561-7231.

Attend CEMOTAP's Great Debate: Is the Bloomberg Administration Good for Black People? - Sun., May 17, 6 - 9 PM- Bernard White speaks re WBAI, 7:30 PM - Salem United Methodist Church, 129th & Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., Harlem
Speak out at the WBAI Local Station Board mtg., Wed., May 20, 7 PM - place TBA.*******
Send an email to the Pacifica National Board at - which reaches each board member individually, including Grace Aaron. Please send a cc to Demand Hands Off WBAI Management! Maintain local control of programming!

Also call Grace Aaron at (310) 286-1011 or (310) 402-4087 with the same message.
Sign a petition to RECALL Local Station Board members Steve Brown, Mitch Cohen, James Ross, and Carolyn Birden, leaders of the attack on WBAI management.

At this point, IT IS URGENT THAT YOU JOIN THE STATION (by donating $25 or more or 3 hours of volunteer work) so that you have the right to vote for Justice & Unity board candidates and to recall destructive board members.

Call the station's pledge line at (212) 209-2950 - ask them to note on the card that you oppose removal of local management. Or pledge at
Copy and distribute the "Undo the Coup" flyer to get the word out.
Stay updated with: THE WBAI JUSTICE & UNITY CAMPAIGN(212) 591-2111

* (join our email list there) *For More TBOU ACTION UPDATES visit our website at :

Take Back Our Union (RTO) FundRaising Party Saturday,May 16,2009

Please join us one week from today Saturday May 16, 2009 from 10:30P.M. until 4:00AM for a
Take Back Our Union (TBOU) Fundraising Party hosted by the TBOU (RTO) Division ,at the Sugar Hill Night Club Located at 615 DeKalb Avenue (corner of Nostrand Ave), Brooklyn, NY. By Subway take G Train to Bedford Nostrand Avenue station if coming from Manhattan make sure to ride the front of the train.

Contribution only $20 which includes a Free Buffet for advance tickets holders.There will also be Door Prizes and a cash bar .Music will be provided by D.J. Madd Marv playing everything from Old School, to Today's R&B, as well as Latin & Reggae music.

Also there will be a Live Performance by Songstress Extraordinaire Benita Johnson starting at 10:45 P.M.For tickets, or more info please contact Lee Ireland at 718-415 9283 and

for more information on other Take Back Our Union (TBOU): Fundraisers, Events , Workshops and Seminars please visit our website

Friday, May 8, 2009

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) calls on all Trade Unionists to support the Stella D'Oro Strike

To All Trade Unionists and Stella D'Oro Strike Supporters:
Get on the Bus!

After nine months on strike against vicious concessions, BCTGM Local 50 and the 136 strikers at Stella D'Oro have had enough -- and on Monday are taking the fight directly to Stella D'Oro's owners, the private equity firm Brynwood Partners, in Greenwich, Connecticut!

We'll be leaving on buses from the picket line at 237th Street and Broadway promptly at 10AM. This is a full day excursion to leaflet, demonstrate, and otherwise make a scene and pressure Brynwood Partners to settle the strike now. We will be returning in the afternoon. All are welcome; please join us!

In order to determine how many buses we'll need, we are collecting names and phone numbers of those supporters who think they might want to come with us.
If you are interested in joining us on Monday, May 11, to bring the fight to the boss in Greenwich, please e-mail your name and number to as soon as possible.
You can also reserve seats for friends or for your organization -- but please try your best to fill them.

Depending on costs, the union may ask supporters to make a donation to defray the costs of the trip -- but bus seats are free, courtesy of Local 50, for the time being.
We hope to see many of you there. Please feel free to call Micah Landau at 917 572 8684 with any questions you may have -- and remember to forward this e-mail widely!

See you on the bus!

For those who have not heard about the strike:

The 136 workers at biscuit- and cookie-producer Stella D'Oro have been on strike since August 13, 2008. Now, almost nine months later, they are still going strong -- to this day not a single striker has crossed the union's picket line.

Strikers walked off the job in August in response to draconian concessions demanded by the company's owner, Connecticut-based private equity firm Brynwood Partners. Brynwood has refused to negotiate in good faith and is demanding enormous concessions from the workers in an attempt to break their union. Concessions demanded by the company include:

- a 25 percent reduction in wages from $18 to $13 per hour;
- elimination of Saturday overtime;
- a new 20 percent employee contribution to health care; and
- elimination of four holidays, one week of vacation, and all 12 paid sick days workers currently receive.

We are fighting back, but we need your help! Tell your friends, family, neighbors, coworkers, and union brothers and sisters: Get on the bus! Support the Stella D'Oro strikers!You can read more about the strike here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

MTA gets Bailout but not Stations Department

The State Legislature passed a series of new fees and taxes yesterday to stop service cuts, avert layoffs and to keep NY Transit base fare from rising above $2.25 this year. But according to officials from both the MTA and TWU Local 100 this new bail out plan for the MTA will not stop the booth closings.The MTA appears to still plan to close over 150 booths in July even after getting this bail out money from Albany.The closing of so many subway booths also means that members of Station's Department should still be concerned with the possibility of layoffs.

Therefore Take Back Our Union (TBOU) will continue to lead the fight to stop booth closings and to avert layoffs and we are asking for all members to get involved.TBOU will be sitting up a series of protests and rallies at various Stations all over the city to inform the public that the MTA is still planning on closing booths.In addition we will be visiting various elected officials at there offices in there communities.TBOU also has many allies in the community prepared and willing to fight this issue with us. So check daily to stay updated on breaking news and further developments on this and all transit worker related issues.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Thursday May 7th forum on National Health Care Reform

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) supports and endorses tomorrow's health care forum as

LEO GERARD SPEAKS ON NATIONAL HEALTH CARE REFORM – Thursday, May 7, 2009, 5:30-8pm at SEIU Local 32BJ Auditorium, 101 Avenue of the Americas.

Leo Gerard, International President, United Steel Workers of America and Co-Chair of the AFL-CIO Health Care Policy Committee, will be in NYC on Thursday, May 7, 2009 to speak on labor’s stake in the current fight for health care reform. The event will take place from 5:30-8pm at SEIU Local 32 BJ Auditorium (101 Avenue of the Americas, one block north of Canal). Subway: A, C, E, 1, 2, or 3 to Canal. for more information and to stay informed visit

Monday, May 4, 2009

We Can't Wait Until After the Election-by Steve Downs

We Can’t Wait Until After the Election bySteve Downs Division Chair, T/O Division

Hundreds of transit workers are under the threat of lay-offs. Local 100 is still without contracts at the TA, MaBSTOA, and MTA Bus. Service cuts and a fare hike are on the horizon. And the best Local 100’s leadership can do in response is to call for hearings in Albany and threaten to hold some anemic demonstrations outside the MTA offices. But Albany is part of the problem and the demonstration on April 24 was a show of weakness, not strength.

It’s clear that the current Local 100 leadership does not have a viable strategy for protecting our jobs or achieving a good contract. But we cannot wait until after the elections to address the problems our union faces. As a member of the Local and the elected chair of the T/O division, I propose the following immediate steps toward securing our jobs, a good contract, and a stronger union:

1. Convene a Joint Executive Board meeting Bring the Local officers, Executive Board members, division officers and section chairs together to discuss how best to stop lay-offs and service cuts and how to win a good contract. Forget the speeches from politicians and the posturing by Local officers. Let’s have an honest and open discussion about where we are and then take steps to get what we need. Better yet, hold a summit meeting of the current Local officers, Board members and Division officers along with all the candidates for those positions. Put all of our heads together for the benefit of the union and the membership.

2. Enforce all safety and operating rulesThe MTA wants to get more work out of fewer people. The truth is that we need more workers to have a safe, clean, and efficient bus and subway system. We need to strictly enforce all safety and operating rules. The Local needs to lead this effort and provide staff and resources to help make it happen. But the union reps can’t do this on their own. Every member needs to step up, coordinate with their co-workers, and work in strict accordance with all safety and operating rules.

3. Fight to suspend the payments on MTA bondsFor over 20 years, whether Democrats or Republicans were in office, the city, state and federal governments cut operating subsidies for mass transit. Under Pataki Albany refused to provide funds for the capital spending needed to maintain and improve the system. The MTA had to borrow money to buy subway cars and buses and rebuild tracks and stations. The bonds the MTA issued provided fat commissions to bankers, safe returns to investors – and drain off money from the farebox. Now, although the MTA is threatening layoffs, service cuts, a fare increase, and a wage freeze, the interest payments that are at the root of the MTA’s budget crisis are not being questioned. Local 100 should lead the coalition of MTA union’s in demanding that the interest payments on the MTA’s debt be suspended as a first step toward resolving the MTA’s budget crisis.--

Steve DownsChair, T/O Division of TWU 100 for more information and updates go to

Big Healthcare win for workers, but Toussaint still silent

***For Immediate Release*** NY State Department of Insurance Rejects Emblem Health Claim; Releases Documents to Activists Wednesday April 29, 2009 -

On Tuesday April 28, 2009 Michelle Birnbaum, Legal Assistant to the General Counsel of NY State, notified activist Billy Wharton that the NY State Department of Insurance (DOI) would comply with his Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Wharton requested that all documents related to the proposed conversion of Emblem Health (formerly GHI & HIP) to a for-profit corporation be made public.

Emblem Health attempted to counter this by claiming that their latest for-profit conversion application should be exempt from Freedom of Information Act laws. Emblem argued that their amended application contained trade secrets and proprietary information. The DOI rejected this claim and has transmitted the revised “draft” application to Mr. Wharton along with a full list of documents relating to the attempted for-profit conversion. “The release of these documents,” said Wharton,”should increase public debate over a health care privatization which could negatively impact more than 3 million New Yorkers.” There has been strong outcry from public health advocates about the proposed conversion since the application was filed by Emblem with the DOI in December 2007. Despite this, no impact analysis of the conversion has been conducted and only two public hearings have been organized by the DOI.

Emblem claims that the conversion would provide it with the private capital needed to upgrade administration and increase their competitive advantage. Activists see the for-profit conversation as a privatization attempt which would lead to higher premiums, denial of access to care and the possible elimination of coverage for less–profitable Medicaid recipients. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg also objected to the merger and conversion of the companies by citing violations of anti-trust laws. Faced with widespread opposition from all sectors of the health care rights community, Emblem withdrew its application for conversion in early 2008. A new “draft” proposal was filed the DOI on July 24, 2008. Since Emblem did not formally file an application, the document seemed to be exempt from Freedom of Information Laws. Activists expect the “draft” application to contain Emblem’s attempt to respond to public criticisms of the proposed conversion. Emblem has yet to file another official application with the DOI.

TWU Local 100 president Roger Toussaint who sits on GHI Corporate Board of Directors yet still remains silent on the subject of the merger and, the conversion of transit workers health care benefits. Mr. Toussaint has been silent on the privatization of our health care just as the slate he endorses has been invisible on fighting for our health care to stay non profit.Take Back Our Union (TBOU) will continue to work with other activists and organizations to fight back these attacks on our health care benefits . Take Back Our Union(TBOU)looks to focus on real issues that impact the lives of Transit Workers and not politics .For more information visit