The transit workers union is organizing Citi Bike workers into a chapter. More than 50% of Citi Bike staffers already have signed authorization cards declaring their desire to be represented by Local 100.
Citi Bike is a city program run by a private company, NYC Bike Share. It has approximately 130 mechanics, dispatchers, docking station technicians and other employees involved in the day-to-day operations.
Local 100 represents approximately 38,000 workers. The majority are MTA employees such as bus drivers, subway train operators, track workers and signal maintainers. But it also represents about 4,000 workers at private transportation companies like Liberty Lines and Mile Square bus companies in Westchester County.
Despite its inability so far to be a profitable program, Citi Bike isn’t going away any time soon. The overriding concern among City Council members at a recent hearing on transportation issues wasn’t that there remain computer glitches thwarting some rentals or docking stations that do not always have bicycles available. Council members just want to know when the new transportation option will be expanded into their districts.
Local 100 was the union of choice for Citi Bike workers because cycling, now more than ever, is an above-ground extension of the subway and bus network, said Dolly Winter, a Citi Bike dispatcher and lead organizer. “It’s a strong union that seems to have good political connections,” she said.
Higher pay isn’t the only reason why workers are looking to unionize. They say that Citi Bike is poorly managed and that a unified force will get it back on track.