Gratis OV in NY
Woensdagochtend in New York. Een samenwerking tussen occupy-activisten en basisleden van transportbonden van arbeiders werkzaam in het openbaar vervoer hebben meer dan 20 metro-ingangen opgengesteld, zodat gratis vervoer met de metro mogelijk werd. De actie was een georganiseerd antwoord op de slechte arbeidsomstandigheden en stijgende tarieven. Engelstalig verslag hieronder.
3 min leestijd
This morning before rush hour, teams of activists, many from Occupy
Wall Street, in conjunction with rank and file workers from the
Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the Amalgamated Transit Union,
opened up more than 20 stations across the city for free entry. As of
10:30 AM, the majority remain open. No property was damaged. Teams have
chained open service gates and taped up turnstiles in a coordinated
response to escalating service cuts, fare hikes, racist policing,
assaults on transit workers’ working conditions and livelihoods — and
the profiteering of the super-rich by way of a system they’ve rigged in
For the last several years, riders of public transit have been under
attack. The cost of our Metrocards has been increasing, while train and
bus service has been steadily reduced. Budget cuts have precipitated
station closings and staff/safety reductions. Police routinely single
out young black and Latino men for searches at the turnstile. Layoffs
and attrition means cutting staff levels to the bare minimum, reducing
services for seniors and disabled riders. At the same time, MTA workers
have been laid off and have had their benefits drastically reduced.
Contract negotiations are completely stalled.
Working people of all occupations, colors and backgrounds are
expected to sacrifice to cover the budget cut by paying more for less
service. But here’s the real cause of the problem: the rich are
massively profiting from our transit system. Despite the fact that buses
and subways are supposed to be a public service, the government and the
MTA have turned the system backwards—into a virtual ATM for the
super-rich. Instead of using our tax money to properly fund transit,
Albany and City Hall have intentionally starved transit of public funds
for over twenty years; the MTA must resort to bonds (loans from Wall
Street) to pay for projects and costs. The MTA is legally required to
funnel tax dollars and fares away from transportation costs and towards
interest on these bonds, called "debt service." This means Wall Street
bondholders receive a huge share of what we put into the system through
the Metrocards we buy and the taxes we pay: more than $2 billion a year
goes to debt service, and this number is expected to rise every year. If
trends continue, by 2018 more than one out of every five dollars of MTA
revenue will head to a banker’s pockets.
This much is clear: the MTA’s priorities are all out of whack. This
fare strike is a means for workers and riders to fight for shared
interests together — but this is just a first step. All of us — the 99% —
have an interest in full-service public transportation system that
treats its ridership and employees with dignity.
The MTA is a shared, public service — fund it with tax revenues.
Eliminate free money for bondholders at the expense of taxpayers.
End the assault on worker's livelihoods.