As of yesterday, the MTA planned to lay off two bus drivers currently at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a humanitarian move, perhaps realizing that the stress of war need not be coupled with the stress of job loss — or that they would be getting some very bad publicity — the MTA changed its mind, the Daily News reported today. Now, the MTA plans to preserve the jobs of the two men at war, but to take away the jobs of two others as replacement. We know the budget gap is huge, but this just sounds mean.
“The union that represents Sergeants Anddy Moreno and Alvin Taylor refused to offer up two more senior drivers for unemployment, saying the agency should spare all workers,” the Daily News reports. With 270 MTA drivers’ jobs slated for elimination, sparing all workers is probably more of a pipe dream than a realistic wish, but the Transport Workers Union is not giving up easily.
“For the MTA to ‘offer’ to steal the livelihoods and futures of two other workers and their families to blunt public outrage over their actions makes it even more reprehensible,” Jim Gannon, Transport Workers Union spokesman, told the Daily News. “We are talking about people, about families.”
We said it yesterday, and we’ll say it again:
How is it possible that the MTA is still building the Second Avenue subway and forking out huge sums of money for displaced tenants’ rent when all of this is going on? This is about as rational as compulsive shoe-shopping. Don’t flaunt what you don’t have, MTA. Talk about bad publicity.