By Debralee Santos
Cari was one of six transit workers – and the only woman – reported dead in New York City this past week.
The other TWU members who died were Stations Department Supervisor Victor Zapana, Bus Operator Ernesto Hernández, Bus Maintainer Warren Tucker, Track Worker Scott Elijah, and Maintainer Patrick Patoir.
All are announced to have died from COVID-19.
Nearly 600 MTA employees have tested positive so far, including Chairman Patrick Foye, and over 3,400 members of TWU are reported in quarantine.
The virus’ death toll is approaching 1,000 in New York City, with nearly 40,000 positive cases reported. New York is now considered the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.
Tony Utano, TWU Local 100 President, called the deaths “another gut punch to our union.”
“These may be the darkest days that TWU Local 100 has gone through. We’ve been some tough times together,” he added. “We’ve had more than our share of tragedies. This is different.”
Utano has been vocal about the urgent need for greater protective equipment, including masks, has called for a dedicated workers’ hotline, and demanded rapid testing for all frontline transit employees.
Read more: “Mommy’s dead” | Bronx Free Press