Last Tuesday, our union brother Marcus Taylor was sworn in by President O’Brien as Local 589’s new assistant secretary. Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with Marcus for a quick interview. Below are the five questions we asked him and his answers.
1) Where are you from and how did you get interested in working for the T?
I was born in Montgomery, AL, but raised in Boston, MA. I became interested in working for the MBTA because of all the benefits and the opportunities for growth within the company.
2) How long have you been with the T and what did you love most about being a transit professional?
I’ve worked for the MBTA for over eight years: three years out of the Charlestown garage, and the other five years out of the Cabot garage. Working in these garages you meet a lot of people of all different colors, creeds, cultures, and backgrounds ─ with different personalities, ideas, and knowledge. But this diversity, which mirrors our union, makes us stronger.
Apart from the workplace, I love helping people and that is what being a transportation professional is all about. Whether someone is on their way to work, going to the grocery store, or visiting a friend, every day is about helping people get where they need to go. I also loved the different communities I traveled through and the people I would meet along my route. Of course the best was the amazement young children had for the bus. That was really priceless.
3) What do you think is the biggest threat to the T?
The biggest threat to the MBTA, the public’s transportation system, is privatization. We need to continue to educate the public and the legislature about privatization’s false promises. It is not an easy fight, friends have let us down in the past and will again, but we cannot give up because those who seek to privatize the T for their own greed, at the expense of working families the T employs and affordable transportation, will never stop.
4) Why did you run for office and what do you hope to accomplish as a member of the E-board?
I ran to bring new ideas to the table as well as pick up the torch of those who have come before me to fight for the rights and benefits this union has enjoyed for over 100 years. I also feel, as the youngest member of the executive board, I can be a bridge to our younger union brothers and sisters who might not understand the need to get more involved (e.g., attend meetings, show up at rallies, etc.). Nothing can stop us when all of members are driving in the same direction. That said, I look forward to working with the other members of the executive board to re-structure, re-organize, and re-mobilize our membership.
5) What do you love most about local 589 and are unions still important today?
I love that our union is large and a diversified workforce. I believe in strength in numbers and that’s what we have. Unions are very important to have because it creates fair wages and protects employee rights. Unions across the globe are under attack and it’s up to us to keep the fight up and never give up or give in.