TWU Debate

Before we rush headfirst into 2008, there’s still at least on more race this year to get through: Transport Workers Union Local 100’s presidential election. Chuck Bennett unearthed this a video of the Nov. 16 debate between the union’s four presidential candidates.

The clip is more than an hour long — consider yourself warned — and the election results won’t be tallied until Dec. 15.

The vote is basically a referendum on incumbent Roger Toussaint’s handling of the contract negotiations which led to a Christmas-time transit strike last year, and single-digit raise for members (who came back to work before a contract was finalized).

Here are a few highlights:

Roger Toussaint: “Our entire operation has been a mobilizing machine.”

Michael Carrube: “We are looked upon in the public arena as weak.”

Anthony Staley: “The members over the years have been neglected by the current administration.”

Ansley Stewart: “[Toussaint] entered into a lot of secret deals…”

And before the debate, moderator Jean Carroll addressed the “Barry Roberts issue,” referring to another candidate who didn’t participate in the event.

“Mr. Roberts was informed about this debate. He was invited to this debate, he spoke directly to my colleague, Jeannette Gabriel, about the debate. He chose not to participate in the debate.”

He added, “I draw no conclusions.”

– Azi Paybarah