One in four New York City transit workers report having had COVID-19 at some point this year, according to a poll commissioned by the MTA’s largest union.
The TWU Local 100 survey — conducted by NYU epidemiologist Robyn Gershon — polled 645 city transit workers, 24 percent of whom reported contracting the coronavirus.
Of the workers surveyed, 90 percent said they fear contracting the virus at work.
Transit workers repped by TWU were the hardest hit by the virus among MTA workers, accounting for more than 90 of the 131 agency employees killed by the deadly respiratory illness.
In March and April, thousands of workers called out sick, forcing massive subway cancellations.
The MTA, meanwhile, was slow to institute protective measures demanded by workers, and initially prohibited employees from wearing masks at all, citing CDC guidance at the time.
Transit officials have since instituted a mask mandate — now backed up by a $50 fine — along with protective measures for bus drivers and expanded break-room space.
“We put the city on our shoulders when the pandemic hit, and we are still carrying it forward,” union president Tony Utano said in a statement.
“We need to stay vigilant, and push forward with new and better ways to defend out blue-collar heroes still moving millions of riders a day.”
MTA rep Abbey Collins disputed the survey’s findings, which she dismissed as “a poll, not a study.”
“This individual surveyed a fraction of the NYC Transit workforce, and captured only those who were most motivated to participate,” Collins said.
Collins said antibody studies of city transit workers had found an overall infection rate of 7.3 percent.
“The self-reported nature of this poll would unquestionably also drive the numbers higher,” she said.
“We hope any future ‘study’ is based on science, data and facts as the MTA’s highest priority remains the safety of our workforce.”
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