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Reading about the MTA’s decisions is often like swallowing a cactus, especially when news of truly unfortunate cutbacks comes in quick succession with news of huge spending. Earlier this morning, we reported that the MTA is shelling out big bucks for tenants temporarily displaced by Second Avenue subway construction. Today, the Daily News also reported that the MTA is laying off two city bus drivers who are at war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As if Sergeants Alvin Taylor and Anddy (Angel) Moreno don’t have enough to worry about overseas, now they’ll have to figure out how to earn a living when they get back.
“Federal law guarantees most non-fulltime members of the military are entitled to return to their civilian jobs after deployment. The law is meant to protect workers from being punished for military absences,” the Daily News article read. “But the law doesn’t offer protection to workers whose jobs are eliminated when a company downsizes, according to Matthew Tully, an Albany-based lawyer and expert on the law.”
The hundreds of MTA layoffs that include the two men at war are part of an effort to close budget gaps that are more like bottomless fissures. But since this is what the MTA is dealing with, why all the hoopla about the Second Avenue subway? The city can’t miss what it never had, but people do miss things like employment and getting to work on time (for those lucky enough to have jobs).