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Hailed As A 'Pioneer' - Willie James, The First Black President Of Bus And Subway Workers Union In New York City, Passes Away At The Age Of 73

Published Thursday, February 4, 2016

(NEW YORK CITY) - Willie James, the first African American president of the Bus and Subway Workers Union in the city, has passed away, Transit Workers United (TWU) Local 100 Officials announced earlier this week.

James, 73, headed TWU Local 100 between 1996 and 2000.  He was appointed to the post by the executive board before eventually winning election.

"Willie James was a ‘pioneer’ in many regards and ‘will be remembered as such,’" Local 100 President Roger Toussaint said.  "Our entire Membership mourns his passing."

Raised in Harlem, James served in the military and was a police officer before becoming a Bus Driver in 1967.  He held several Union Positions during his career, including Training Director and Secretary-Treasurer.

James also served on the board of directors of the Municipal Credit Union and the New York branch of the NAACP.  He also was a church deacon.

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