Coronavirus News: MTA offers massive increase in worker family death benefits

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Transport Workers Union Local 100, and the Transport Workers Union of America have reached an agreement establishing a coronavirus death benefit for TWU members who died after being infected.

Under the agreement, the MTA will pay $500,000 in a lump sum to the spouse, beneficiary or estate of each deceased member who was in active service on or after February 1, 2020, in addition to providing health insurance to the spouse and dependents to the age of 26 of the surviving family for three years.

The TWU agreement extends the COVID-19 death benefit to members of four TWU Locals: Local 100, Local 106, Local 2001 and Local 2055.

"We can't bring back our heroic co-workers, but we can make sure their families are taken care of," Local 100 President Tony Utano said. "We will continue to fight in Albany for additional benefits to help the families left behind and to further honor our lost heroes' great sacrifice to this city and state."

"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 International President John Samuelsen said. "This COVID-19 death benefit is a recognition of the incredible contributions and sacrifices our workforce has made."

The agreement will also be extended to all non-represented employees and is subject to Board ratification on April 22.

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