Monday, July 6, 2009

Action Alert-TBOU and NYfST Join Forces to Keep Subway Booths Open Wednesday July 8,2009 4:30PM to 6:00PM at the 14 Street Union Square Station

Transit Workers and Riders Come Together To Keep Subway Booths Open
On Wednesady July 8, 2009 At The 14 street Union Square Station 4:30PM to 6:00PM

In an effort to prevent the MTA from shutting down over 150 subway booths in this fall, Take Back Our Union (TBOU), a rank and file movement within the Transportation Workers Union (TWU) local 100, has become a member of New Yorkers for Safe Transit (NYfST) – the only NYC Coalition dedicated to eliminating harassment and assaults, particularly gender or discrimination based, on New York City's public transit system.

On Wednesday, July 8th, NYfST will kick off their Keep Booths Open campaign by leafleting and educating transit riders, at the Union Square Station, about the MTA's plan to shut down subway booths in the fall.

On March 25th, 2009, the MTA Board voted 12-1 to adopt a budget which increased fares, reduces service and lays off workers. .Part of the plan to reduce service includes laying off over 800 Station Agent in July, and closing down subway booths in September. Despite receiving bailout money from state officials to stem service cuts and fare increases, the MTA still plans to close down over 150 subway booth beginning this fall. Closures are expected to happen at the West Village, East Harlem, and numerous other subway stations city-wide. “Studies show that 10% of riders have been assaulted in the subways. Women, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people already experience violence on a daily basis. If these booths are closed who will step in when a rider is being attacked,” says Doyin Ola, coordinator of NYfST. “This will severely limit access for people living with disabilities and the elderly,” says Christine Williams, a station agent, “every day I provide assistance so that these folks are able get into the station. When there's no one in the booth, how will people who need assistance be able to access the subway?”

Take Back Our Union (TBOU) was founded in 2008 by small group of Station workers inside of TWU Local 100 and has grown into a union wide rank and file movement. In addition to building networks of activists in every division inside of the largest transportation union in the country – TWU Local 100, TBOU also led the fight against the MTA to stop fare hikes and service cuts. After winning a substantial number of slots in the recent delegates’ election, TBOU appears poised to take over the leadership role of Local 100 in 2010.

NYfST was founded in 2007 by several New York City groups working on and organizing around transportation safety issues, after working with Manhattan Borough President, Scott Stringer, to publish a report that indicated alarmingly high number of riders had been harassed or assaulted on the New York subways. The Coalition collaborated with the Manhattan Borough President office and got the MTA to put up 2,000 safety awareness posters in some 300 subway cars. In 2009, this program was replicated and now includes safety public service announcements throughout the subway system.

The Coalition, which consists of Girls for Gender Equity, Hollaback NYC, National Organization of Women – NYC, RightRides for Women's Safety, and Take Back Our Union, is calling for the MTA to re-open all previously closed token booth, and maintain current staffing especially on the off hours. They will be leafleting to educate riders at the Union Square station from 4:30pm to 6:30pm, on Wednesday, July 8th please come and join us as we build a coalition to keep subway booths. For this and all your labor news visit our website and our blog at

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