Surprised by reports that workers are toiling — or “toiling” — around the clock to rack up close to $1.4 billion in annual overtime, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority convened an emergency meeting late Friday to figure out why.
The only thing figured out was that even on matters of fraud or dangerous behavior, the MTA’s labor unions won’t cooperate with their ally Gov. Andrew Cuomo, if it means imperiling extra pay.
The MTA board met just as Cuomo called the hours clocked by several Long Island Rail Road workers “physically impossible.” At the meeting, Cuomo appointee Larry Schwartz observed, “I don’t think any human being of sound mind and body would ever believe that somebody could work 3,800 hours of overtime in a single year.”
That’s 73 extra hours a week: the hours reported by now-retired LIRR maintenance employee Thomas Caputo to take home nearly half a million dollars, according to the Empire Center.
Schwartz wants the MTA to hire a prosecutor to probe abuse and fraud. Yet it isn’t clear why the MTA can’t do this in-house: It has a whole anti-fraud department.