Station agents receive layoff letters
Despite subway safety concerns because of recent high-profile crimes, hundreds of station agents will be yanked from their jobs next week, as confirmed by letters from the MTA that workers received Thursday, amNewYork has learned.
The workers, who help riders navigate the system, were instructed to surrender their uniforms, keys and any other MTA property on May 6.
“I wish to thank you for your service with New York City,” the five-page letter stated.
The cash-strapped agency is laying off 500 station agents to save $21 million a year. Transit officials had said that 150 workers could reapply to become station cleaners, but that estimate has since dropped “considerably,” said John Samuelsen, president of the Transport Workers Union Local 100, who has been lobbying for funding to save the workers.
The system will have about 2,650 station agents left after the downsizing.
With fewer clerks, the MTA will close 70 station booths across the system, including 48 in Manhattan, transit documents show.
“It’s not good for security. I’m afraid someone could get hurt,” said Andrew Albert, chair of the New York City Transit Riders Council.
All stations will have one clerk on duty at all times, transit officials said.
Meanwhile, the MTA is sending pink slips to an additional 700 workers, according to a notice filed earlier this week with the state. Most of those layoffs, taking effect this summer, will be from the bus division, along with track inspectors, mechanics and some car cleaners, union officials said.
The layoffs are unprecedented for the TWU, as transit only gained the right to issue pink slips to those workers in 2002.