Union chief defends MTA workers playing chess on job
Transit Reporter
Posted: 12:27 AM, January 4, 2012

Hey, lay off our board games!

The TWU’s chief said yesterday there’s a fat chance that the rule that allows dozens of bus drivers to sit around and play chess will ever get changed.

Transport Workers Union Local 100 boss John Samuelsen vowed to fight tooth-and-nail against the MTA’s demand to hire part-time employees under the new contract — a measure that could save money and prevent workers from getting paid to do zilch.

“It’s simple,” Samuelsen said. “We don’t have part-time families, we don’t have part-time mortgages and we don’t have part-time college tuition.”

Now the battle over part-time workers could derail ongoing contract talks between the MTA and its 35,000-member union. The contract expires on Jan. 15, but the TWU has voted to extend talks beyond that date.

As The Post reported yesterday, the MTA doled out paychecks to bus drivers for playing chess and watching TV when it slashed service in anticipation of fewer riders during the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

Making some drivers part-time — a key MTA demand in the labor talks — will give the agency the flexibility needed to adjust schedules and save money, officials said.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/twu_vows_you_ll_keep_paying_for_rIRyxZ7hIGchBTrHwSYgXM#ixzz1iXaBBong

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