MTA files lawsuit to prevent enforcement of higher wages for subway cleaners who worked during COVID-19 pandemic’s deadly peak

The MTA has filed a lawsuit against City Comptroller Brad Lander in an attempt to prevent enforcement of higher wages for workers who labored under contract cleaning subway trains at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the pandemic spring/summer of 2020, the MTA onboarded an army of contractors to clean subway cars overnight, during an unprecedented period of nighttime closures as officials sought to assure the public that mass transit was safe and sanitary. Soon, though, Lander’s predecessor Scott Stringer asserted that the cleaners were being systematically underpaid in violation of state law, which required that they be paid the industry’s prevailing wage.