Underfunded and deep in debt, New York City’s subway system is falling apart. Derailments, fires, electrical failures and equipment malfunctions have become everyday events, multiplying the perennial problems of overcrowding, delays and cancellations. The worst effects fall disproportionately on the working class and especially poor people of color. Meanwhile the public transit system has become a source of steady profits for Wall Street bankers and real estate barons.
The system’s workforce is also under severe stress. Their union, TWU Local 100, has a rich tradition of militancy, and with a membership that now consists largely of people of color it has the potential to play a leading role in mobilizing working-class and oppressed people in resistance.