Friday, February 26, 2010

A recurring theme in transit?

As ridership is up I see a recurring theme in city transit cutting what is need most by it's most vulnerable citizens for example.
'Good Possibility' CTA Bus Drivers Vote on Strike Monday

Mary Wisniewski
The Chicago Sun-Times

ILLINOIS - The leader of the union representing CTA bus drivers says there could be a strike vote Monday in the wake of CTA service and staff cuts.

"It's a very good possibility," Darrell Jefferson, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 241, said Tuesday.

The bus drivers union has suffered the majority of the 1,057 layoffs the CTA imposed earlier this month to close a $95.6 million budget gap. The transit agency cut bus service 18 percent and L service 9 percent Feb. 7.

Jefferson said the CTA has been violating the union's contract -- for instance, by requiring part-time workers, who are supposedly limited to 32 hours a week, to work overtime amounting to 15-to-16-hour days to make up for the people laid off.

CTA spokeswoman Sheila Gregory said a strike would violate a state law that bars government employees from striking if they are "essential service employees."

Gregory said CTA management plans to meet today with Local 241 officials -- their first face-to-face meeting since the cut Robert Kelly, president of Local 308, which represents L workers, said he doesn't plan to bring up the idea of a strike to his members.

"It would hurt the riding public," Kelly said. "They've suffered enough.

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