MTA Cuts Will Hit Subway Station Agents

The MTA announced this morning it would lay off more than 1,000 employees, including up to 500 customer service agents.

A top union official says subway station agents with less than five years experience will likely get the axe.

Maurice Jenkins, vice president of the station division at Transit Workers Union Local 100, has been fielding calls all morning from members. "They're really concerned about where their next meal is coming from," he says. "I mean, in a situation that the economy is in right now, there aren't a lot of options out there."

The MTA currently has about 3,300 station agents. Jenkins says civil service law dictates the first to be hired will be the first to be laid off.

Originally the MTA wanted to eliminate the jobs through attrition, but the attrition rate was not fast enough. The authority hasn't said when the layoffs will take effect.

The MTA says it's facing a $400 million deficit, even after proposed service cuts go into effect this summer. The cuts are projected to produce savings of nearly $50 million.