By Michael Kane
This past weekend the NY Daily News reported that Kyrie Irving has recently embraced activist Tramell Thompson and the battle against medical mandates in NYC. Irving was interviewed by the paper and quoted as follows:
“(Tramell Thompson is) leading a community of essential workers and people who are unvaccinated or had a belief that they want to continue to live their lives against the mandate and it’s unfortunate to see that people are getting fired…Tramell has done a great job of (sic) community together and keeping everybody strong and believing this will change. It’s not an easy job so I commend him for doing what he’s doing. But I definitely support the effort to take care of our essential workers and take care of those who have been affected by this mandate.”
Tramell Thompson is a train conductor in the NYC subway system and a well-known labor activist who founded Progressive Action. Recently he has been making serious moves and connections in his fight against NYC medical mandates. He was a featured speaker at DEFEAT THE MANDATES in Los Angeles; he recently went on a private hike with Robert F. Kennedy Jr.; and through mutual friends was introduced to Death Row Records founder Michael “Harry O” Harris. He is the founder of the #RipItUp campaign, where he ripped up his vaccine card in Albany, NY in front of 5,000 protesters showing he was pro-choice for medical procedures but anti-segregation.
What would you do if RFK Jr texted you and said “Tramell, meet me at my house so we can go for a hike”?
Needless to say, it was a no brainer 😃
Thanks for the much needed talk and my first hike RFK Jr 🙌 pic.twitter.com/9hxpSLGzz4
— Progressive Action (TV) (@progressiveact) April 11, 2022
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Long before Thompson got into anti-mandate activism he has been a transit and labor leader in NYC as a vocal member of the TWU Local 100 Transit Union. For years Thompson has been railing at MTA and Local 100 Leadership repeatedly stating the workers are treated like second-class citizens in deplorable working conditions. Every month Thompson attends the MTA public meeting where his comments to MTA Chairman Janno Lieber are always hard-hitting criticisms of how unsafe the subways are in NYC.
On February 18th of this year Thompson showed up at MTA headquarters to protest with a bullhorn wearing a bulletproof vest. “This bulletproof vest is my newest piece of PPE as an MTA worker,” said Thompson, pointing to the kevlar vest he was wearing.
In the month following this protest, Thompson had over 30 MTA workers reach out to him to buy their own bulletproof vest, which he assisted them in acquiring. Sadly and prophetically this protest was a mere 53 days before the April 12th mass shooting at a Brooklyn subway station where 18 people were shot, not one transit police officer was to be found on the scene, and none of the MTA cameras were in working condition to get a picture of the gunman.
“Now it’s impossible to fulfill all the requests I’m getting for bulletproof vests from MTA employees,” said Thompson.
— Progressive Action (TV) (@progressiveact) February 18, 2022
It’s of interest to note that on the very day of the April 12th mass shooting, NYC notified nearly 180 NYPD Officers they were about to be terminated unless they received a covid shot. NYPD is drastically understaffed already, and the horrific shooting underscores the fact that this is not the time to be firing cops. I interviewed Detective Nick Smith who had received his notification of pending termination just hours after the horrific subway mass shooting. Watch that interview here.
The MTA is now retaliating against Thompson because he is not an obedient slave to the system. The MTA loves to discipline workers into silence, but they can’t do that with Thompson. Because of this they have recently brought him up on disciplinary charges for being a whistleblower against MTA corruption, as well as threatening Taylor Law charges for telling MTA workers to not go to work after the April 12th mass shooting.
Neither MTA Officials nor Local 100 Union leadership gave any directives to employees after 18 people were shot and the gunman was on the loose. The only person who gave any relevant guidance was Thompson.
“I posted on my social media platforms that the subways weren’t safe and no one should report to work,” said Thompson. “We had just experienced a terrorist attack at our job, no camera footage of the suspect, no clue where the suspect may be, no transit cops on the scene during the terror attack, and absolutely no guidance from our leadership. There wasn’t one directive given to MTA workers – not one!”
Because Thompson had the integrity to publicly place safety above all for his coworkers when no one else would, the MTA is now saying he created an “intentional work stoppage” which under the Taylor Law is illegal. The Taylor Law is one of the most important pieces of labor legislation in New York which makes it illegal to go on strike. Normally this law only applies to union presidents and elected leaders. Effectively the MTA is saying Tramell Thompson has the power and authority of an elected union boss by even suggesting his words published on social media could have the power to stop thousands of NYC Transit workers from reporting to work.
Thompson is not new to political activism in NYC. In August of 2018 he called pro-Cuomo MTA workers “slaves” long before it was popular to throw shots at the now-disgraced former NY Governor. He is a powerful voice in NYC labor who was able to prevent MTA workers from ever having a medical mandate for covid vaccination. Thompson’s vision is beyond just his own union and the MTA, as he has chosen to be a leading voice fighting for all NYC employees and residents to have the power of choice when it comes to vaccination and medical procedures.
Connect with all of Thompson’s platforms at the following link: https://tramellthompson.com/social-media-pages/
Source: Teachers for Choice
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