Brothers and Sisters,
The last few months have been challenging, disappointing at times, and quite simply – hard. Through it all, you have kept working, kept showing up every day and serving the public. Your courage is heroic and has not gone unnoticed. For our riders who rely on us to get to work or home at the end of the day – you are appreciated. You have made it possible for frontline workers and essential personnel to get to work, you have helped make it possible to keep the economy open, even if at times things were bleak. Throughout all of this, you have put the health and safety of you and your families at risk, and we know that has been increasingly difficult.
Over 160 MBTA employees have tested positive for coronavirus, and one of our brothers lost his life. The risk is real. And, while Massachusetts continues to reopen and find a way back to a new “normal,” the risk is still here. With reopening will come more passengers and social distancing will become more and more difficult to establish and enforce on our buses and trains, especially with front door boarding now in place. Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have asked, demanded, and worked with MBTA management to do whatever we could to protect you. Now, we are asking you to do everything you can to protect yourselves. Wear a Mask. It’s for your health and safety, the health and safety of your families, and our riders.
We have asked the MBTA to make masks mandatory for passengers on buses and trains, rather than a request, we have stated publicly that riders should have to wear a mask, and we continue to ask them to do so – so we are asking that you do the same. The MBTA is essential to the Boston economy which means you are all essential to the City – and the Commonwealth. Let’s set an example for how people can utilize public transportation safely.
The past few months have brought incredible stories of heroic acts, kindness, and dedication to the job. We thank you all for showing up and working hard even amidst the most difficult circumstances.
Green Line operators Richard Flynn and David Woodbury became heroes earlier this month when they found – and helped – a lost child at Riverside station.
Delegate Scott Page worked with Delegate John Mersereau and the safety, engineering, light rail instruction department, and the car house to stop the implementation of a dangerous lexon shield on the Type 8 streetcars. Working together, the group redesigned a much safer and more improved version of the shield for use.
Vice President Bill Berardino and Delegate Page toured the North Station turnback with district management, safety, and the engineering department to check in on the ongoing progress to make this temporary pullout location more hospitable. Since using the turnback in May, the track department has dug out much of the groundwater sludge in the track area, wooden platforms have been constructed to make egress from vehicles easier, and walkways have been painted for better visibility. In the coming weeks, more wooden platforms and lighting will be added to improve safety and the removal of groundwater sludge will be revisited. If anyone has concerns regarding conditions in the turnback, please contact Delegate Scott Page, directly.
Management has secured 25 parking spaces at North Station for Huntington Avenue operators to use. 190 access passes have been given out to operators and officials to use these spaces. There is currently a 25-vehicle limit at any given time, so please be considerate when parking at North Station. If alternatives are available (Reservoir for pullouts/pullbacks, or Hynes and Kenmore for officials) please use them when you can.
Keep up the good work and thanks again for all you do.
Boston Carmen’s Union, Local 589