POLITICAL ARENA

Cabrera wants hazard pay for MTA workers

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Councilman Fernando Cabrera believes it’s time the Metropolitan Transportation Authority doles out hazard pay for its workers who continued to clock in during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our MTA workers have taken the hardest hit of all municipal employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 130 deaths of transit workers,” Cabrera said, in a release. “Early on, even when the nodes of transmission were well known, these front line essential workers were not issued masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, or any protective gear. They kept the city moving for everyone — especially other essential workers — but their lives and safety were callously ignored.

“This is totally unacceptable. It is a disgrace and an embarrassment for this city that the MTA is willing to pay higher death benefits without also providing hazard pay for all those who risked their lives daily to keep us going.”

Cabrera did not outline how he believed the MTA would provide such pay.

The system says it’s projecting a deficit of more than $10 billion into the next year because of the pandemic, and is desperately awaiting an influx of federal money to keep the system on track.

 

Bowman fundraising surges in June

Jamaal Bowman may have soared close to the $1 million mark heading into the final financial reports before the June 23 primary — but U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel still can boast a war chest twice as large.

Bowman collected more than $971,000 through June 3, compared to $2 million by Engel, according to federal campaign filings. Bowman had a little more than $345,000 left in the bank to spend at that point, compared to $826,000 by Engel.

But a lot of that was before a hot mic gaffe where Engel was caught pleading with Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr., asking for a speaking slot in an impromptu press conference touring a looted business district on Fordham Road. Engel was caught saying that he needed the speaking slot, and that if he weren’t in a primary, he “wouldn’t care.”

That ultimately pushed Bowman to a $750,000 haul in June, bringing his total to $1.5 million, according to his campaign. Engel’s team did not release revised numbers — nor are they required to.

The head-to-head seems to be fully leaving out two other candidates in the primary race as well — Chris Fink with nearly $150,000 raised, and Sammy Ravelo at a little more than $48,000.

The primary is June 23.

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