Today’s news:

Council coalition calls on MTA to allow Sikhs to wear turbans

A coalition of City Council members, including eight from Queens, called on the Metropolitan Transit Authority this week to no longer require Sikh workers to brand their turbans with the agency’s logo.

The Council members said the MTA’s policy is an example of religious discrimination.

“We are not talking about baseball caps that people wear when it’s too sunny outside or when their hair might be messed up,” said Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing), who is chairman of the Council’s Transportation Committee. “This is headdress that is required of followers of the Sikh faith. It is totally and utterly unacceptable for the MTA to require that their corporate logo be sewn onto this religious wear.”

Sikh transit workers and the MTA have been in a four-year dispute over the policy, Liu said.

In July 2005, the Sikh Coalition filed discrimination charges on behalf of five station agents and a train operator against the MTA.

Queens Council members to throw their support behind the transit workers this week include Liu, Tony Avella (D-Bayside), Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria), Thomas White (D-Jamaica), David Weprin (D-Hollis), Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills), Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans) and James Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows).

%u2014 Nathan Duke

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