Executive Vice President
John Samuelsen was elected the International Vice President at the 24th Constitutional Convention on September 24, 2013 and is also the President of the 39,000-member Transport Workers Union Local 100.
He was born, raised and still resides in Brooklyn, New York. But the indomitable spirit of the Catholic minority of Derry, Northern Ireland on his mother’s side, and his Norwegian ancestry on his father’s side, course through his veins.
John was hired by the New York City Transit Authority in 1993 and was assigned to a Track Gang working out of the crew room at 45th Street and 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. It didn’t take him long to see that something was not right on the job. He and his brother union members were working under difficult and unsafe conditions. Managers ignored safety regulations and routinely disciplined workers who stood up against their abuses. Disrespect for the workers and the union was rampant as well.
Before he was even off probation, his co-workers voted him a Shop Steward and he fought vigorously for their rights. Slowly but surely, by winning little battles against the abuses, he and his union brothers and sisters were able to turn the tide. That was the start of John’s life in the union.
From 2001 to 2006 he served as Chair, Track Safety Committee, and Chair of the Track Division. From 2002-2005 he worked as Acting Vice President of Local 100’s Maintenance of Way Department--7,100 workers providing essential services to the New York City Transit Authority in Track, Line Equipment and Signals, Power and Structure. During those years he also served as Lead Negotiator for all safety related issues in contractual bargaining between New York City Transit Authority and Local 100.
In 2004, he authored the Comprehensive Track Safety Bill, passed by both houses of the New York State Legislature. He was elected President of Local 100 in December 2009. He also served as the Administrative Vice President of the International Transport Workers Union of America.
John is guided in his union beliefs by the teachings of James Connelly and TWU Founder Michael J. Quill, and is an ardent believer in industrial trade unionism.
Since becoming president, he has used these core union values to help lead a blue-collar backlash against the banks and brokers who engineered one of America’s worst recessions, and have left the financial mess in the laps of our city’s working families.
John and his wife Lisa have three children and are raising their family in the Borough of Churches.