Since the results of our contract vote were announced, Toussaint & Co. have spent most of their time attacking “NO” voters rather than uniting the Local against the MTA.With no leadership coming from the top, the first Division meetings following the vote were an important chance for the ranks to debate and decide the way forward. In the lead-up to those meetings, RTW circulated motions we thought would best advance our fight and we worked to bring workers from all Divisions.
Pro-Toussaint hacks disrupted meetings with lying attacks on opponents. They succeeded in derailing real discussion and decisions in many divisions, from Car Equipment to Stations.
In the Track morning meeting, the presiding Committee members, including Recording Secretary Jack Blazejewicz and EB Member Carlos Albert, allowed José Iglesias and some other pro-Toussaint hacks to dominate and disrupt the first part of the meeting. By the time order was restored, they had already made it impossible to raise and pass our motions.
But the Track Division evening meeting of January 25 overwhelmingly passed a motion raised by RTW and League for the Revolutionary Party supporter Eric Josephson with backing from both “NO” and “YES” contract voters. The motion read:
This Division directs the Executive Board to respect the membership’s contract vote and:
1. Withdraw all concessions (including the retiree 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 retiree healthcare benefits, the MLK Day holiday and maternity leave stipend; and the rejection of two-tier pensions and broadbanding), reaffirm our original demands (including the demand for 8% yearly raises); and add a demand for Amnesty from All Taylor Law penalties.
2. Organize Mass Membership Meetings in both the morning and evening at the earliest possible opportunity. At these meetings the membership must have the right to speak, raise motions and vote. The EB must also fully publicize these meetings with phone blasts, leaflets, e-mails and on the Local 100 website.
3. Mandate that the full negotiating Committee, including the VP’s and Division Chairs, participate completely in all contract talks.
This vote showed the way to unite the Local in the face of the MTA’s contract “proposal” attacks.
The Track Division also passed a motion in both morning and evening meetings to punish scabs by depriving them of their seniority and fining them an amount equal to any Taylor Law fines that strikers get. At the Jan. 31 EB meeting, however, Toussaint and his cronies refused to allow EB member Albert to even raise this motion. Toussaint instead imposed a motion taking away scabs’ “good standing” as members. This is not even a slap on the wrist.
It is no coincidence that the one division that has voted to take forward our contract struggle is the one where an RTW supporter raised a motion. RTW has been the only force with a clear plan to win a no-giveback contract, backed up with action.
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