Transit workers union holds rally ahead of contract talks with MTA

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NEW YORK – The union for the MTA workers held a rally in advance of contract negotiations with the MTA.

Workers said they wanted a pay increase every year in their five year contract. If approved the increase could happen as early as 2017. And if things don't work out for the Transport Workers Union, then New Yorkers are facing the threat of a strike.

TWU rallied to get the membership revved up for contract talks. They're looking for a salary  increases in each of the five years of the contract exceeding the rate of inflation. This is happening even as New Yorkers could face another one of those fare increases, likely to $3 per ride.

The rally also reminds New Yorkers the TWU could strike.

TWU last held a strike in 2005 when millions of bus and subway riders had to find another way for three days. Gridlock ensued right in the middle of busy December holiday shopping season.  It's one of three strikes in the history of NY to cripple commuters and the union head says unless demands are met New Yorkers could be caught in the middle again.

Union head John Samuelson spoke with PIX11 at the rally, saying "There's nobody under the sun who doesn't think the TWU deserves a raise. Since 2002, 13 workers have died, 5 are assaulted every week in the streets. We do the dirty work every day that gets people around the city."

MTA officials have budgeted 2 percent increases and are ready to negotiate a compete package.