Transit Politics

SpitzerToussaint Transit Politics

And now, news from another kind of campaign…

A reader familiar with transportation politics adds a little background to that story about Transport Workers Union Local 100 President Roger Toussaint’s re-election challenge.

Heading the opposition to Toussaint is Barry Roberts, a bus driver aligned with the former TWU president Sonny Hall.

Hall and Roberts were part of TWU Local 100′s old guard, which Toussaint’s political apparatus, New Directions, challenged. Joining the opposition to Toussaint is one of his former allies, John Samuelsen, who was once described as one of Toussaint’s “yes men” but was later fired for criticizing Toussaint’s handling of last year’s contract negotiations with the MTA.

This may be a sign of two opposing factions (Hall’s old guard and part of New Directions) coming together to oppose Toussaint, my source said.

But as the picture above shows, Toussaint still has some notable allies. Also, Chuck Bennett has emails from some Amalgamated Transit Union members who like how Toussaint handled the contract negotiations…they got raises and a pension refund.

The election takes place in December.

– Azi Paybarah