Friday, May 15, 2009

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.
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