Attacks On Transit Workers Stir Fear And Frustration

An MTA train conductor keeps his head down at work. On April 21 at 10:30 a.m., while several New Yorkers were appreciating their Easter sweet, Denaul Jenkins II, 33, got on the job as an MTA train conductor, waiting to catch the 2nd train of his shift. As he rested on the southbound system at the 149th Street-Grand Concourse terminal in the Bronx, Walter Rivera, 20, presumably strolled up and slapped him. According to witnesses, Jenkins jumped to his feet. The dispute intensified when Rivera took out a knife and began stabbing the conductor, wounding him on his back, left shoulder, as well as abdomen, hardly missing his spleen. In spite of his injuries, Jenkins handled to suppress Rivera, holding him down until police showed up. The entire episode took much less than 2 minutes. In cellular phone video taken by an observer, Rivera can be seen laughing and talking right into the camera while pinned to the ground. Rivera’s assault was the 3rd unwarranted strike versus a uniformed MTA staff member in April.

A foe threw pee on conductor Lucina Doley, 43, and also bus motorist Trellis Robinson, 43, in separate events on April 12. One of the most current assaults occurred amid a public relationships situation for the MTA, as both passengers as well as staff members voice expanding issues regarding problems in the transit system. “It’s practically like a state of emergency situation for the metro,” Jenkins stated in a phone conversation following the experience. In his 5 years as a conductor, Jenkins claims this is the second time he has had to subdue a fierce straphanger. The last time, he claims, remained in Grand Central Station, where he held the individual down for 10 minutes till police arrived. The MTA appears to comprehend the seriousness of what’s happening. “We stand in uniformity with our staff members and also are doing whatever we perhaps can, along with the NYPD, to keep them and our consumers secure from people who present a risk,” said MTA spokesman Max Youthful in a statement to NYCityLens following the assault on Jenkins. However is the MTA really doing all it can to protect workers? Several metro workers and also bus chauffeurs aren’t encouraged.

Twelve days after the assault on Jenkins, lots of transportation workers collected around a closed casket in front of the MTA head office at 2 Broadway, over the Bowling Environment-friendly metro terminal. The coffin was vacant. The occasion was not a funeral service however a rally, arranged by Progressive Action, a transportation worker advocacy team that currently has over 11,000 members in its private Facebook team. The casket was a prop, indicated to highlight the serious nature of employees’ complaints. Jenkins was an invited speaker. Worn a mustard tinted sweater and camouflage trousers, his skin tone was anemic. Modern Activity features as an opposition event within the Transport Employees’ Union Resident 100. The union stands for 41,000 New York City transit workers. Its current president, Tony Utano was chosen last year on a platform called Stand United. Dynamic Activity’s founder Tramell Thompson additionally ran in the union election. According to the “About” area of its website, Progressive Action intends to address racism and also social justice in the workplace. In a declaration after his re-election, Utano guaranteed to focus on more concrete goals, like health benefits and job safety.

As audio speakers at the Progressive Action rally took turns at the bullhorn, they addressed a crowd lugging indicators that check out “We Demand Security” and also “Shield Ladies MTA Employees.” Each audio speaker applauded Jenkins’ nerve and criticized both the MTA and also Utano. Their problems were many, ranging from insufficient maternal leave for women transit workers to being rejected lunch breaks to being compelled to work near biohazards without safety equipment. In every case, audio speakers whined that their union had actually heard their problems for many years without acting. The union leadership, they assert, is in bed with the MTA, its adversary in a recurring contract settlement that will determine terms for most of New York City Transportation’s 49,000 workers. At one point, a speaker at the rally proclaimed, “If you check out the papers, they constantly talk about our wages. We are the most affordable paid city workers!” The group applauded. Recently, Governor Andrew Cuomo sparked outrage among transit employees by asking for authorities to keep an eye on MTA workers on the Long Island Rail Road who he believed were fraudulently appearing overtime hrs to boost their incomes.