Treat MBTA Mechanics with the Respect They Deserve

Massachusetts Rep. Michael Capuano joined IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro, Sr., IAM Local 264 members and their supporters at a rally with the INVEST NOW coalition to show support for the 450 members who keep the MBTA rolling.

The rally in Jamaica Plains, MA comes on the heels of the for-profit companies sneaking into MBTA garages under the cloak of night between midnight and 3:00 A.M. recently to survey the properties they will be bidding for control. Advocates and workers said the tactic lacked transparency, as did the closed back door meeting that occurred recently with vendors at the MBTA transportation building.

“These for-profit corporations appearing under cloak of night to begin seizing control of the MBTA demonstrates the lack of transparency surrounding this scheme that is being forced upon taxpayers, riders, and worker,” said District 15 Business Representative Mike Vartabedian, a former “T” Mechanic. “The public deserves open and transparent management at the MBTA. MBTA mechanics rank as the best in the nation, but thus far the negotiations have remained one-sided with the workers offering $29 million in savings and hearing only silence from management.”

“It’s about safety, it shouldn’t be about profits,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro, Sr.“Don’t be fooled, this is nothing more than corporate greed trying to lower wages for working families in Massachusetts, and we need everybody to stand up against this corporate takeover of Boston’s public transit system.”

Rep. Capuano said he hopes the MBTA does the right thing. “I can’t believe that before they finalize whatever road they want to travel down, that they don’t treat these people with the respect that they have earned and the respect they deserve,” he said.

Read: https://commonwealthmagazine.org/transportation/capuano-backs-t-workers-lays-off-baker/

Capuano’s scheduled appearance at the rally lends further momentum to the mechanics’ campaign that has also drawn recent high profile support from U.S. Senator Ed MarkeyCity of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and  Congressman Joseph Kennedy III.    

More than 450 mechanics, fuelers, and other skilled professionals united in IAM Local 264