City Council Candidate Anthony Beckford, has been a long-time ally of transit workers and has been vocal on the issues they have been facing, as he is when it comes to all instances of injustice. Recently the MTA released it's budget proposal, that has led Anthony Beckford to not only condemn their proposal, but has led him to call for an investigation into the mistreatment, hazards and retaliation against transit workers by the MTA.
"The MTA's budget proposal is disrespectful to transit workers and to the people of New York. The proposal to cut service and layoff workers is completely unacceptable and will not be accepted by the people. There are over 40,000 transit workers who have risked their lives everyday to keep New York moving and to provide for their families. Many have lost their lives to Covid, while doing their jobs and staying committed to their duties. One of those who lost their lives was a dear friend of mine, Ben Schaeffer. Ben, just like every transit worker, was dedicated to his job. He was a hero and this proposal is a slap in the face to him and every transit worker past and present. We are already facing mass evictions, job losses, food insecurities and are losing more lives because of this pandemic. The MTA must not add onto the already trying times. Laying off workers and cutting service to areas that we know are predominantly Black and Brown is unfair, unethical and bias.
The MTA needs to go back into their meeting room and start from scratch. This time, bring in the voices of the workers and the people to reach a proposal that is beneficial for everyone and not just investor and political interest. There are ways to obtain funding and ways to bring about solutions. Cut out high priced consultants and contractors, save funds by making the sanitizing of the trains and buses a hireable job within transit and not outside contractors who offer their employees no benefits, low wages and no job security. Offer lucrative early retirement packages to transit workers. On top of all of this, let us also put a stop to the mistreatment, bullying and harassment of transit workers and the retaliatory investigations against workers who have gotten sick, the lack of light duty accommodations for pregnant transit workers and those with limited abilities. Let us talk about the lack of diversity on the MTA Board and high ranking positions. Let us put an end to the lack of protections for our transit workers during this pandemic and the financial insecurities that they face. I am calling for an immediate investigation of MTA Board Members and all of those involved in the mistreatment, harassment and workforce intimidation of transit workers. I have always and will continue to stand with those who move New York, the Transit Workers." - Anthony Beckford
*Anthony Beckford is a Disabled Veteran, Organizer, Community Leader, Elected Democratic County Committee Member and 2021 City Council Candidate for the 45th Council District.