Friday morning, 200 transit workers will be getting pink slips. As they turn in their badges and uniforms, the MTA is standing by a tradition of giving pocket watches to Metro North retirees.

PIX 11 News Reporter Greg Mocker learned of the procurement this week. He found a bid request for 270 personally engraved Bulova desk/pocket watches in mahogany-stained boxes. Daniel Brucker, Metro-North Railroad Spokesman says, "All Metro-North Railroad retirees receive a watch as a very small token of appreciation for their decades of dedicated public service." The MTA says Long Island Rail Road employees also receive tokens of appreciation.

The watches retail for $90. But Mocker has learned the MTA has paid $55 for each watch. That would bring the cost of the project to about $15,000. MTA ignored Mocker's request to justify the expense given the upcoming fare hikes and additional lay offs of bus drivers, station agents and conductors.

HAVE SOMETHING FOR MOCKER TO INVESTIGATE? He returns every email: mocker@wpix.com