The MTA even enlisted deep-pocketed powerbrokers ­– Wall Street investors, real estate magnates, and corporate CEOs – to push its contract agenda in the media. That included an opinion piece in City and State magazine that said workers should “step up” and help the MTA save money by agreeing to the MTA’s demands.

In terms of wages, the MTA sought to impose on us the municipal worker pattern. We defeated that effort, exceeded the pattern, and made many other economic gains. We gave them hell at the bargaining table – while members demonstrated solidarity with spirited rallies at work locations across the bus and subway system. Hundreds of members chanted and marched at these rallies with signs with slogans like, “Respect and Recognition – $$$ – Put it in the Contract.”

Your voices were definitely heard by all, and that improved our position at the bargaining table. We attacked the MTA on social media, and told the Authority it should try managing the place better before trying to squeeze transit workers. We told the MTA it could start by collecting the nearly $700 million lost every year to farebeating and toll cheats! 

As a result of our efforts, and previous COPE activities, members of the U.S. Congress, the New York State Legislature, and the City Council broadcast their own declarations of support, which we appreciate. We also received the backing of many leading labor organizations, like the NYC Central Labor Council; ATU Locals 726, 1056, 1181 and 1189; the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, and the International Transport Workers Federation.

I want to again thank everyone for their support. I can’t overestimate the importance of member participation and solidarity in these fights. I want to thank our union officers for helping bring about this agreement, along with TWU International President John Samuelsen, who was a powerful voice and ally in our struggle.

For the contract highlights, click here.

For the MOU, click here