Subway worker slowdown possible: Report

As the holiday season fast-approaches, some Metropolitan Transportation Authority union workers may be preparing for a subway slowdown. 

Contract negotiations between the MTA and its biggest union fell apart last week. TWU Local 100 says the transit authority has pushed rank-and-file employees to the brink. 

“NYC Transit workers have been slandered as criminals by their own employer, are assaulted nearly on a daily basis and now our wages and working conditions are under attack by the MTA,” said John Samuelsen, President of the Transit Workers Local 100 in a statement. “Is it any wonder that morale is at historic lows? Is anyone really surprised that rank and file transit workers are venting their frustration?”

Strikes and slowing down work are prohibited by state law, but according to the New York Post workers are thinking over their options. 

“Any effort to delay more than 8 million daily subway and bus customers from getting where they need to go — including work, school, doctors and hospitals — is wholly unacceptable.” 

— MTA spokeswoman Abbey Collins

One of those options could be sticking to the letter of the law on work rules so intensely that it would inevitably lead to delays on some of the city’s busiest travel days. 

Labor talks have been particularly contentious since it came to light that the MTA is facing a $1.4 billion bill just in worker’s overtime. 

MORE: MTA to hire independent monitor to investigate overtime abuse allegations.

The agency is also confronting a budget deficit which could reach $426 million by 2023.

In August, union reps rejected an MTA offer that would have increased wages, while requiring employees to pay more in healthcare costs. 

“Any effort to delay more than 8 million daily subway and bus customers from getting where they need to go — including work, school, doctors and hospitals — is wholly unacceptable,”  said MTA spokeswoman Abbey Collins. “We expect all of our employees to abide by all provisions of the Taylor Law, which expressly bars slowdowns and other types of interruptions impacting transit service.”

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