The ranks’ rejection of the contract temporarily defeated the attempts to stick us with horrible concessions like the retiree healthcare paycheck deduction and the surrender of our December contract expiration date. The Local must now unite in a struggle for a contract that all members can support.
But we must act immediately to seize this opportunity. We must demand that Toussaint & Co. respect the membership’s decision. Local 100 must continue the fight for the contract’s gains and withdraw all concessions. And we must fight for Mass Membership Meetings to be held as soon as possible so the ranks can have their say and decide on the way forward.
We can do this, beginning at the meetings of four different Local 100 Divisions that are scheduled for Wednesday, January 25 at the union hall (80 West End Ave. at 64th Street) at 8am and again at 5pm. All Local 100 members have the right to attend these meetings. The meetings scheduled to take place include Track, Car Equipment and Tower Divisions. The last Train Operators’ Division meeting also decided by an overwhelming vote that an emergency meeting take place on Wednesday – TO’s should call their Division officers to make sure this meeting happens!
Every Local 100 member who wants to fight for a no-giveback contract should attend these meetings. You don’t have to be a member of one of the Divisions involved in order to attend. The rule that these meetings are open to all members is one that Toussaint even once fought to uphold. Don’t let any one tell you different! Because these meetings will likely make important decisions about our contract struggle, attendance by every militant Local 100 member will make a difference.
The first thing members should do at the Wednesday meetings is fight for the divisions to meet together, in a joint session. Votes by each division can be recorded separately, but a joint meeting will ensure the best discussion of the way forward.
RTW encourages all workers in attendance to support a motion like the following:
This Division directs the Executive Board to respect the membership’s contract vote and:
1. Withdraw all concessions (including the healthcare paycheck deduction and the surrender of the December contract expiration), reaffirm the Local’s commitment to its contract gains (including the 25/55 pension refund and retirement benefit improvements, the MLK day holiday and maternity leave stipend and its rejection of two-tier, pension and broadbanding attacks), reaffirm the Local’s original contract demands (including the Executive Board’s past call for 8% yearly raises) and add the demand for amnesty from all Taylor Law penalties.
2. Organize Mass Membership Meetings (in both the morning and evening) at the earliest possible date. At those meetings, the membership must have the right to speak, raise motions and vote. The Executive Board must also fully publicize these meetings with phone blasts, leaflets, e-mails and on the Local 100 website.
The January 18 TO Division meeting overwhelmingly approved the call for mass membership meetings. The passage of this motion at Wednesday’s meetings will create great momentum toward getting it passed in other divisions. As soon as a majority of the Local’s Divisions have passed such a motion, the EB will be bound by the Local’s by-laws to carry them out.
Let us know what you think of our views.
If you agree, let us know.
If you disagree, let’s discuss it.
Write to us:
P.O. Box 1936
Murray Hill Station
New York, NY 10156