Court Injunction Suspends Planned MTA Layoffs

The layoffs of 750 MTA token booth clerks, scheduled to take place today, were put on hold by a middle of the night court injunction.

The injunction, issued at around 2 a.m., questions whether the MTA followed proper procedures in closing the station agent booths.

The station agents were supposed to attend a session at a training center in Brooklyn today to turn in their equipment and receive job placement services.

Now, their last day is unclear. 

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Alice Schlesinger signed an order late Wednesday barring the Transportation Authority from laying off 475 subway clerks. At a hearing Thursday, the stay was extended until a full hearing is held next Monday.

Late last month, the MTA filed an alert with the the Labor Department stating they would lay off hundreds of their employees. The cuts are the result of severe budget problems and are just the latest cuts planned by the massive transportation department.

Most of these employees will come from the department's bus division and will coincide with massive service cuts, including the elimination of buses and the V and W subway lines. These cuts are expected to save the MTA $93 million.

The agency needs to close an $800 million budget gap.

Transit Workers Union Local 100, who represent the majority of the city's transit employees, spoke out against the MTA's plan for
massive cuts

“I don’t think the layoffs are necessary,” John Samuelsen, president of the TWU, told The New York Times. He also added that he didn't feel the layoffs were needed, considering the service cuts being made by the authority.

“They are sitting on the money and causing New York’s working families great amounts of pain,” he said.

NYC Transit said once the legal matter was resolved it would "proceed with the planned layoffs of the station agents.'' In the meantime, it was notifying the agents to report to work.  

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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