Updated 05/11/2010 07:07 PM
Hundreds Of Station Agents Turn In Their Badges
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More than 250 Metropolitan Transportation Authority station agents that are being laid off handed in their badges today.
The 266 layoffs are part of the cuts the MTA is making to deal with a nearly $800 million budget shortfall.
In all, more than 450 agents will be laid off and dozens of subway booths closed.
"It happened too soon, very rapidly," said Marta Ortiz, who lost her job with the MTA.
The Transportation Workers Union says it will continue to fight the pink slips.
"We've been petitioning our elected officials up in Albany to pass bills to get money," said Maurice Jenkins of the TWU. "We've reached out to Washington to get stimulus money and to put a provision in there that they can't do what they're doing now by not utilizing 10 percent but they have to use 10 percent of the stimulus money toward the operating budget. If they used it now, it would stem all the service cuts and stop these layoffs."
Last Thursday, a judge issued a temporary restraining order putting the closure of 42 booths on hold. Because of this, the MTA will not be laying off those employees at this time.
A hearing on the injunction is scheduled for tomorrow at 3 p.m.
The TWU has argued that if the MTA wants to close the station booths it needs to have public hearings before doing so. It charges that the agency only had public hearings to discuss the service cuts and changes.