Members rally in Jersey City in January 2020
July 7, 2020
Road to Nowhere
PATH Workers at TWU Local 2001 Without a Contract for Nine Years
Members at TWU Local 2001 working for PATH have been negotiating a contract for nearly nine years– and with no progress in sight, members are disgusted. The company is refusing to negotiate in good faith. For years, members have worked in deplorable conditions in tunnels with poor air quality. Adding insult to injury, PATH is now trying to decimate their healthcare plan.
“Our members have sat by patiently through years of contract delays because of PATH. Now that PATH is finally willing to even offer a contract, they have a ‘take it or else attitude,’” said TWU Local 2001 President Patrick Howard. “Normally I would say ‘take it or leave it,’ but they are now threatening my members with punitive action if they don’t sign their pre-negotiated contract that they had with the Port Authority. Well my members don’t work for the Port Authority; they are railroad workers and deserve to have the opportunity to actually negotiate their own contract. PATH is looking to force my members into an inferior healthcare plan that could potentially cost these workers thousands of dollars a year. This is not acceptable to the rank and file, and PATH is well aware that they need to come off their position if we can try to come to terms.”
TWU Local 2001 Vice President Kevin Campopiano explained, “I have personally been involved in these negotiations for over a year and a half, and in that time the offer from PATH has remained unchanged. PATH responded to a counter-offer from the Labor Coalition by refusing to recognize the coalition anymore and in one-on-one negotiations since, the only part of their offer that has changed has been the date at the top. I have heard the board say time and time again that they are working hard on reaching an agreement, but I have yet to see any outcome of that hard work.
“During the current pandemic, PATH instituted a more restrictive quarantine policy with a retroactive date that looked to take back compensation from members for previous paid time off by attempting to take away vacation days. PATH later reversed the retroactive date after an outcry by the various unions. Since July 1, they also instituted a more restrictive sick policy, forcing members to jump through more hoops to use their contracted sick leave.
“The members of TWU Local 2001 are Pump, Station, Structural, and Track maintainers who have sweated and bled together in these tunnels throughout the years. They work in brutally hot conditions in the tunnels and brutally cold conditions outside. They have continuously risen above and beyond the call of duty through all sorts of adversity and weather conditions including numerous snow storms, Hurricane Sandy, and have provided crucial support for several PATH projects including their on-time implementation of ATC, and the current tunnel rehabilitation project. And they did it all while being out of contract for going on a decade. They are not asking for anything extravagant. They do not seek glory or recognition, they simply ask for a fair contract offer, one that they have earned time and time again. It is time for PATH to step up to the plate.”
TWU International Railroad Division Director John Feltz concluded, “Enough is enough. It’s about time these dedicated workers get the contract they so rightly deserve. In today’s rapidly changing world, no one should have the same wages and benefits that they did nearly a decade ago – especially TWU members. It’s time PATH comes to the table and does the right thing.”
Interviews with TWU officers are available upon request. To schedule one, please contact Denise Romano, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO represents more than 151,000 workers across the airline, railroad, transit, universities, utilities, and services sectors