Transit workers will march to end subway and bus assaults

A conductor operates the A train in Breezy Point.  Eagle  photo by Jonathan Sperling.

A conductor operates the A train in Breezy Point. Eagle photo by Jonathan Sperling.

By Jonathan Sperling

Bus operators, train operators, train conductors, station agents and other MTA/NYCT workers will march to the MTA’s headquarters in Manhattan on May 3 to draw attention to a rising number of assaults on transit employees.

The annual Progressive Action NYCT/MTA Workers Assault March 2019 will depart from the headquarters of TWU Local 100 (195 Montague St., Brooklyn) at 9 a.m. and walk to NYCT/MTA Headquarters at 2 Broadway in Manhattan. There, speakers will draw attention to recent attacks on transit workers by the riding public.

Canella Gomez, a train operator and member of TWU Local 100, told the Eagle Friday that the number of assaults increases when MTA and NYC Transit management raise fares, upsetting straphangers.

“If you live in New York, us transit workers have been under attack by riding public. There’s always been assault on transit workers but this year it seems like it’s at an all time high,” Gomez said. “One of the reasons transit workers are attacked, it’s because of management. Everytime a contract is talked about, management talks about raising fares. The reality is that the MTA is a very management-heavy company. They all make 150 grand — a train operator bus operator only makes $80,000.”

An assault against a transit worker occurred as recently as Easter Sunday, when an MTA conductor was stabbed in the shoulder and torso on a Bronx subway platform. Gomez also highlighted the recent fatal shooting of a man on the No.7 train platform in Jackson Heights — though he wasn’t the target of the attack, an MTA employee was just steps away.

“At the end of the day, it’s hard to be mad at who you don’t see. It’s really easy to take out your frustration at the people you see,” Gomez said. “The people at 2 Broadway, you don’t see them. They don’t wear uniforms, they wear plainclothes.”