Monday, November 07, 2005

Looming Bus Strike

Crap in a hat.

This is bad news for those of us who rely on public transportation to get to and from work:

The union representing the Port Authority of Allegheny County's 2,200 drivers and maintenance workers will recommend that its members, working without a contract since June 30, vote to strike during a meeting later this month.
I'd better start making out my will.

The board of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85 said the meeting with union members is scheduled for Nov. 20 at the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Oakland.
Well, maybe I won't need to start making plans for my ultimate demise, but I can tell you that if the bus drivers go on strike, I'm going to start using all of the sick days that I've been accumulating over the last three years.

In a statement, Port Authority acting CEO Dennis Veraldi said he was "deeply disappointed" by the action.

"Clearly, the only way these issues can be worked out amicably is through the collective bargaining process. It is our hope that the process will result in an agreement that is both equitable to our employees and responsive to our budgetary constraints. A strike would be devastating to our customers and detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of our community, and it is not in the best interests of Port Authority employees," he said.

In this area, the pro-labor forces will try to point the finger at management. But this CEO has it right: I'm going to be monumentally screwed if the buses stop running. It's not the management telling the workers to vote for a strike. It's the stinking union leadership, may they boil in molten iron for all eternity.

Local 85 has rejected that offer and is seeking a three-year contract, including uncapped cost-of-living adjustments. The top bus-trolley operator presently earns $22.79 an hour.

Well, boo hoo hoo. I have a hard time feeling sorry for these guys if they're making several dollars an hour more than I am. I just want my guaranteed ride to work, dammit!

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