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An MTA plan to eliminate 20 station booths and 185 station attendant jobs will leave hundreds of subway hubs dangerously understaffed, the agency’s largest union charged in a new lawsuit Wednesday.
TWU Local 100 is suing the agency in Manhattan Supreme Court to stop it from going ahead with the plan to nix the booths and do away with the role of “lunch relief” station agent — who are assigned to cover booths while regular attendants take 30-minute lunch breaks. The move will remove essential eyes and ears from the subway system as it grapples with a rash of criminal activity — including recently a Christmas Eve attack on a 70-year-old station agent.
“This is a bad policy for public safety, and an even worse policy for the city’s handicapped riders,” Local 100 President Tony Utano said in a statement. “Crime is up across the city, and to take transit workers out of their jobs and leave stations totally unmanned for even a few hours a day is unconscionable.”