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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

TfL & RMT take note - NYC Subway staff run "Rate My Rat" photo contest

If you think we have a lot of mice on the Tube (apparently, an estimated
half a million mice live in the London Underground system), spare a thought for our friends across the pond in New York. NYC subway staff angered over what they say is a rat infestation in their workplace are holding a photo contest for the "nastiest" shot of a rodent, with a grand prize of a monthly travel pass.

Mouse at Holborn Tube Station by Annie Mole

Commuters, who frequently see rats on subway platforms and tracks, are asked to upload photos to www.ratfreesubways.com, created by the city's largest transit union, Transport Workers Union Local 100. When visiting the "Rate my Rat" section of the site people can vote on the most repulsive vermin.

"Who the hell wants to work around hundreds of freaking rats?" Jim Gannon, a TWU Local 100 spokesman, said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday.

"The union is calling for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to clean stations more regularly, place more trash cans on subway platforms, and repair holes in walls and floors.

"The MTA defended its efforts, saying it routinely clears platforms and tracks of trash that would otherwise attract rats, deploys rodent-resistant trash cans in stations, baits nonpublic areas with poison, and reminds riders not to litter.

"Even though rats are an age-old problem, more cleaners can only help," Kevin Ortiz, an MTA spokesman, said "We've enlisted WEP workers (job trainees) to clean stations and are working with the TWU to reduce labor costs so we can put more resources to vital work like cleaning stations and reducing the rat population."

The MTA didn't comment on the union's claim that there had been a spike in rat infestations in recent months, saying it was difficult to measure rat populations.

Thanks to Jon Allen for sending me this story.  Although I'm a tad worried that the RMT union might cotton onto this over in London and set up a similar campaign and use as an excuse to strike.  Only thing is that Tube mice are such fast little blighters, it's actually very difficult to get a picture of them.  Also Rate My Mouse doesn't quite have the same ring to it as Rate My Rat.  Unless it was Movie My Mouse & the unions requested videos of mice on the Tube.  We could also try Vote for My Vermin.  Maybe one day.....

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