The MTA was holding out for the federal government to pay the line-of-duty death benefits, but the union was not interested in waiting. Workers are already angry they weren’t given masks and other protective equipment earlier in the outbreak—some were even reprimanded for wearing their own masks.
“New York wouldn’t have a fighting chance against this virus if transit workers weren’t getting the blue collar heroes of this pandemic—nurses, paramedics, food service workers—to the front lines of the battle all across the metropolitan region,” TWU president John Samuelsen said in a statement. “This COVID-19 death benefit is a recognition of the incredible contributions and sacrifices our workforce has made.”
Bus drivers in some parts of the city who are members of the Amalgamated Transit Union haven’t yet won this benefit, though they’re working on it.