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Support The Santa Cruz Bus Drivers!

I’ve been so busy that I missed these attacks against the union and the personal attack against me.

Santa Cruz Bus Drivers have been forced out on strike by demands for cuts in their healthcare benefits by the board that oversees the METRO. I am not happy about the situation and nor are the workers, it was not the workers that forced this strike.

A supposed union of bus riders, actually one person named Sampson, is opposing the workers and has ill-advisedly gotten way too much air-time on Robert Norse’s show on Free Radio Santa Cruz and has posted their ideas at Santa Cruz Indy Media.

This person sounds a lot like the so-called “concerned bus rider? that likes to attack me, but refuses to post their real name.

The following is the response of Liberation News to Sampson's union busting attacks by me and by Linda Averill, a bus driver and City Council candidate in Seattle, Washington.

The self-proclaimed, but nowhere else recognized, riders union "leader" R. Paul Marcelin-Sampson is spewing anti-bus driver poison in Santa Cruz.

A true riders union would unite with the workers and fight for better funding and for better services. As a bus rider I am offended to have someone like Sampson pretends to be speaking for me.

The workers are fighting against cuts to their health care benefits. This is a worthy struggle that all working people should support. We are always stronger by sticking together against the government and corporations in labor disputes rather than fighting over the crumbs that fall from the table of exploitation where rich people feast.

The reality is that the U.S. government is cutting social services and healthcare rights and other benefits for workers everywhere while spending billions of dollars on war. It is the duty of unions to fight back. If we don’t we will loose everything.

The anonymous poster thinks that this is a problem limited to the Metro’s budget as is it stands under the control of some local useless functionaries that have never been friendly to workers or riders. You’d do better not to believe in the way the capitalists have divided the system up into little cantons in order to deny working people the social services and rights we deserve. It is a classic game of good cop bad cop. I don't buy it, and you shouldn't either.

The Democrats and Republicans and their capitalist masters could easily pay for the people's demands if they stop spending all of our money on war, police, bourgeois decadence, and prisons.

For general strike of all workers to demand:

U.S. Out Of Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia, and the Phillipines!

For the preservation of healthcare benefits for all workers without cuts! Extend current benefits to all people through single payer health care!

For the lowering of bus fares and an increase in services!

Victory to the Bus Driver’s Union!

Sincerely, Steven Argue for Liberation News
lists.riseup.net/www/info/liberation_news

*********
Steve--

As a Metro bus driver myself, here in Seattle Washington, and also a transit union activist, I thank you for your defense of bus drivers and riders. It is disturbing to see a person use the mantle of a bus riders union to undermine the bus driver’s demands. I've followed other bus rider unions in other cities and they do typically support drivers because they understand we are all in this together. I'd add redirect the Pentagon's budget to expanded mass transit - and yes, affordable or free. And tax the profits of the wealthy corporations to also expand public mass transit. What with global warming it is clear that we need a dramatic shift away from our single-occupancy-vehicle focused system. Moreover, as we saw in New Orleans, many people, especially the poor, don't have cars. And why should those who can't afford cars be condemned to riding a second-class system.

Thanks again for your words of support for the bus drivers.

In solidarity
Linda Averill
 


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