Union Applauds MTA Bus Driver For Refusing To Transport Protesters Arrested In Brooklyn

Steve Burns
May 30, 2020 - 10:02 pm
Protester on bus

Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The MTA's largest union is applauding a bus driver who refused to drive his bus Friday night outside the Barclays Center after police had packed it full of protesters.

Unlike a lot of videos from Friday night's violent protests that broke out across the city over the police custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, this one showed clapping and cheering as an MTA bus driver stood outside his bus, arms folded, refusing to drive it.

Accounts from the scene say police officers had blocked the path of the bus and loaded it full of protesters who had just been arrested.

 John Samuelsen, president of Transport Workers Union International, is applauding that driver for his actions.

"It's an indecent order to give that bus operator and the bus operator is absolutely justified for a million different reasons to refuse that instruction," said Samuelsen. "This is not the work that our bus operators do. That bus operators is already risking his life when he comes to work everyday, to put that type of stress on the operator is really an indecent thing to do."

It's something bus drivers faced nine years ago during Occupy Wall Street.

"We sued back in 2011. We prevailed and I will fight not to do this work," he said.

Now Samuelsen says NYPD leadership and Mayor Bill de Blasio should know better than to use this strategy.

"That's a law enforcement task.  It's not our job to do that," he said.

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