T Union Reverses Course, Promises To Obstruct MBTA Fixes

BOSTON — The union that once pledged on radio spots that it is “here to help. We want to help” in the aftermath of last winter’s crippling storms, is now promising to obstruct efforts to fix the MBTA. The reversal of position from pledging “to help” to pledging to ensure the effort “isn’t going to be easy” comes after the Democratic-controlled legislature passed Governor Charlie Baker’s plan to increase efficiencies at the MBTA and pave the way for more public-private partnerships at the agency.

“For the union to break its promise and now openly obstruct fixing the T after crippling storms left people stranded in the dead of winter is disappointing,” said MassGOP spokesman Terry MacCormack.  “The Governor’s team is adding buses to the busiest of routes so people can get to work. Given the holiday the union plans to celebrate this weekend, they should be joining, not opposing efforts to fix the T.”

During the debate over MBTA reform this summer, the Carmen’s Union ran a major media campaign to improve its image with the public. “It’s been a surprise on the radio airwaves: A series of cheery ads from the Boston Carmen’s Union, Local 589, proclaiming, ‘We’re here to help. We want to help.'” (Scot Lehigh, “Is the Boston Carmen’s Union really here to help?” Boston Globe, 6/12/15)

Now, the union pledges to obstruct reform at every turn. “’We want to tell the governor and the MBTA that this isn’t going to be easy,’ [Boston Carmen’s Union President James O’Brien said].” (Nicole Dungca, “T workers to rally in Boston amid Obama visit,” Boston Globe, 9/4/15)

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