Transit Union Chides MTA Head for Living La Dolce Vita

Fake postcards feature Jay Walder frolicking on beach in southern France

By Jennifer Millman
|  Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010  |  Updated 11:51 AM EDT
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Transit Workers Union Local 100

TWU plans to distribute 10,000 of the postcards.

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Transit union workers sent out fake postcards featuring MTA CEO and Chairman Jay Walder frolicking on a beach in southern France in an assault on the agency head's apparent escalating wealth in the face of massive layoffs and service cuts for his organization. 

"Having a great time here in my summer getaway in St. Antonin Noble Val," the phony letter to city commuters reads from Walder. "Heard the weather's real hot and humid back in New York and that you're packed in like sardines on the trains and buses because of all the service cuts. I know there'll be a big spike in crime too because I fired all those station agents."

But, the fake card from Walder -- who is reportedly on vacation at the home he owns in the Pyrenees mountains in France -- pledges to straphangers, "I'll be back in plenty of time to push through the fare hikes."

Starting tomorrow, the Transport Workers Union Local 100 said that it would begin to distribute 10,000 of the fake cards in an effort to point out the disconnect between those at the top and those they were hired to serve, as well as rev up straphanger ire over service cuts. (The fake postcards include a P.S. with Walder's office telephone number for anyone who wants to follow up.)

Transit workers and commuters have slammed Walder for purchasing a $1.6 million condo on the upper West Side with his $350,000 MTA payday at the same time as he slashed 3,400 transit jobs, authorized massive service cuts and said fares would rise for the second time in as many years to help the MTA close a $900 million budget gap.

"We're trying to drive home a theme we believe in that there's a huge disconnect between people at the top and those they are supposedly serving," TWU Local 100 spokesman Jim Gannon told NBCNewYork. "There's a new class war, if you will, between the people like Walder ... and so many other extremely weathy people making decisions that impact the blue-collar workforce and regular New Yorkers who have to live with their decisions."

MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said the agency had "no comment" on the postcards.

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