Conspiracy Theory: MTA Is Making You Late

With a high amount of slow train traffic across New York City on October 14, some news outlets including The Daily News, Huffington Post, and Gothamist have speculated that the Transportation Workers Union Local 100 has instuted a “day of outrage” as part of a protest stemming from the contract dispute they have had with the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

On their website TWU announced that they would unleash on the city the “day of outrage,” but didn’t specify what that would be.

In an article published on October 9, The Daily News reported that at several bus depots around the city, drivers had been sent a text message that told them to slow down their routes. “Do everything by the book,” the message read. “Slow it down. Pass it on.”

The New York Times said that although some protests at street level on Wednesday, the slow train commutes were not part of any broad conspiracy to halt the system. “Subway and bus riders in New York City called it something else: Wednesday,” wrote Michael Grynbaum. He attributed train delays on two trains stuck in a tunnel, an ill passenger stopping an entire line, and other common reasons.

In August, after the TWU failed to reach an agreement with MTA through direct negotiations, a contract arbitration panel granted them an 11% pay increase over three years. According to The New York Times, officials close to the MTA said that the pay raise would cost the Authority $350 million spread over the three year period. The MTA was unhappy with the result of the arbitration and said that it wouldn’t adhere to the decision.

Transportation Workers Union Local 100 acting president Curtis Tate was angry that even when the union followed the rules, they were still treated poorly. “Because [the MTA] didn’t like the way it turned out, they want a do over,” he said in a later interview with CBS 2. “You don’t get do overs.”

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