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Bus Drivers Strike Against Bad Faith Bargaining

Today, from Watsonville to Scotts Valley to UCSC, Santa Cruz County is reeling from the bus drivers' strike.
BUS DRIVERS STRIKE AGAINST BAD FAITH BARGAINING
by Paul Johnston

Today, from Watsonville to Scotts Valley to UCSC, Santa Cruz County is reeling from the bus drivers' strike.

Not just twenty thousand riders-students and workers and elderly and others-but employers, teachers, customers and thousands upon thousands of drivers struggling to cope with congestion caused by the paralysis of public transit.

How did we come to this?

Three weeks ago, Santa Cruz County teetered on the brink of a transit strike. Then in the final hours, the bus drivers union and Metro Transit district managers came to an agreement: no strike, no lockout and no takeaways at least until the middle of next year.

It wasn't a long-term solution, but it was a solution. It kept the buses rolling while giving both sides time to work on the problem of corruption charges within the bus drivers union.

But late last week-for the first time in the history of the district-the union rejected that agreement, negotiated by its own management team.

Now, all involved agree this dispute has to do with a problem that plagues our whole community: who will pay for growing healthcare costs. Also, with union management's proposed "give-aways" of work rules that respond to the family needs of drivers whose 24/7 work schedule changes by the day, the week and the season.

But now, by vetoing an agreement made with its own full knowledge by its own management team, the union has put another problem on the table. Now the union has called its own good faith into question.

Good faith, first of all, with the bus drivers whom this board seeks to lead in public service.

Good faith, even more important, with the general public who depend on that leadership to keep the buses rolling.

So how, now, can we settle this strike? How can the drivers bargain under a management team whose credibility has been compromised?

Behind the bad faith is a management mentality that assumes compromise is necessary because the union has all the power and the workers have none. For this management mentality, labor relations means deciding what you want to do, going through the motions, and then in the end imposing your will on the workers and their union.

Metro Transit is not the only agency victimized by this virus. Our first task at Metro Transit-and elsewhere as well-is to prove this assumption wrong.
______________________________
Paul Johnston is Secretary-Treasurer of the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council
 
 


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Re: BUS DRIVERS STRIKE AGAINST BAD FAITH BARGAINING

thanks to paul johnston for summarizing the important points of the strike. the metro and my bike are my methods of transportation and i completely support the strike by the UTU local 23. unfair labor practices and contract negotiations are unacceptable. i applaud this effort to call attention to bad faith bargaining.

additionally, does any one have any ideas about how we can support UTU local 23? are there any community based groups who are active in public transportation advocacy? because i am! :) please post with suggestions and/or comments. maybe we can organize a meeting at the picket line?

in solidarity
 

Re: Bus Drivers Strike Against Bad Faith Bargaining

Maybe I don't understand completely... but is this article suggesting that the union leadership is at fault?

Paul claims, "But late last week-for the first time in the history of the district-the union rejected that agreement, negotiated by its own management team."

But wasn't it the metro board, not the union, that rejected the agreement?

I don't imagine Paul and the MBCLC is critical of UTU Local 23, so I imagine this is just some sort of mistake.

If you're a UCSC student wondering how to support the bus drivers, I'd urge you to join the listserv of the Student and Worker Coalition for Justice (groups.yahoo.com/group/ucscswcj) - and show up at the picket lines listed in an email from the MBCLC:

Come join one of the lines at:

the Metro Center on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz. 6am-8:30pm

the Transit Center on Rodriguez St. between Beach and Lake in Watsonville. 5am-8:30pm

the Metro District Operations at 1200 River St. in Santa Cruz. 24 hours a day!

the Metro Administration Building at 370 Encinal Street in Santa Cruz. 6:30am-5:30pm



Bring Food, Water or Signs to those already walking the lines.

Bring a Tent Awning for the River St. group. There is no shade there.

Contact the Transit Board members to express your outrage! See www.scmtd.com/board.html for details.
 

Bus drivers shoot themselves in the foot

Bus drives going on strike.

Talk about dumb.

Most bus drivers make around $50000 a year. Some make &70k.

They have great benefits.

They have all sorts of paid holidays and paid time off.

The are among the highest paid in their profession in the US.

Meanwhile, the people who cut their checks are running a deficit. They are LOSING money.

And the bus drivers go on strike!?

What are you thinking?

OK, boys and girls, what does "losing money" mean? Stumped? Ok, kids, I'll give you the answer. Losing money means that there ain't no more money to give!

What part of that don't you bus drivers understand?

GET A CLUE.

If it was up to me, all of you whiners would be fired today.

Let's say you don't get fired. What is this strike getting you other than a lot of time off with no pay, and a big setback in your financial lives?

Nothing.

What little gain you might get whining for one month off at a time so you can kick your caffeine habit (I am not making this up! - that's what one bus driver said! Poor baby!)....what little you will gain will be horribly offset many times over by all of your lost pay.

Why are you doing this? Why are you being so stupid?

I drove by the metro this morning, and where were all your courageous picketers? You sure were there yesterday on the first day of the strike smiling and waving at me while I gave you a piece of my mind. So where were you today? Did you get hooted and hollared away the day before?

Wouldn't surprise me.

I would wager my right arm that as lot of you drivers priately believe that your union leader has her head so far up her ass she's talking through her dentures, but you are too timid to say anything.

I would wager that most of you drivers secretly wish you could just keep working at the best job most of you will ever hope to get, and not worry about dinky little tweaks in your diamond studded compensatin package. I bet most of you are freaking out because your income has dried up because of the fascinatingly limited perspectives of Bonnie "Let the riders eat cake" Morr and the UTU. I bet you are seriously scared about how you could possibly replace such a cush job that Bonnie and UTU are pissing away for you.

To the silently-suffering level-headed bus drivers, I say to you:

Courage.

Courage, now.

Do this, now: Save your jobs. Tell Bonnie Morr to take a hike.

She has led you off a horrible cliff.

For that Bonie Morr deserves to walk the plank.

*******
Funeral
*******

We ga6her here to today to mourn the bus drivers' disrupting their jobs, their professional reputations, and the day-to-day lives of thousands of people who depend on the bus drivers to get from square A to B, all because the poor babies need to have one month off with benfits to kick their caffeine habits.

All fo those people who are working two and three job for much less pay and who seldom get two days off in a row are sobbing by the gravesite of the whining infants of the UTU who - boo hoo! - have been denied extra sprinkles on their triple-scoop ice cream sundae of wages and benefits.

Oh, how they have suffered. Oh the inhumanity of it all!

(Betcha this gets pulled down from this board.)
 

Re: Bus Drivers Strike Against Bad Faith Bargaining

: by hmm
: Maybe I don't understand completely... but is this
: article suggesting that the union leadership is at
: fault?

Yes, they are. They've negotiated deals which heavily favor themselves (the leadership elite) and their cronies, while leaving the lesser-paid bulk of their union dues-paying members with a pittance.

The Metro was smart to pull out of an unfair and unworkable deal which would have solved nothing anyway and left the drivers coming back to the table again next year for the same reasons. I believe Metro negotiators want a real and lasting solution for all, and union leadership is standing in the way of that progress.
 

Re: Bus Drivers Strike Against Bad Faith Bargaining

but the Metro negotiators and the union came to an agreement... it was the Transit Board that didn't agree!
 

Re: Bus Drivers Strike Against Bad Faith Bargaining

"But late last week-for the first time in the history of the district-the union rejected that agreement, negotiated by its own management team."

This was a typo by Paul Johnston, it was the Metro Transit Board that rejected the agreement between the union and Metro negotiators, an agreement as Johnston says, "negotiated by its [the Metro's] own management team."
 

Re: Bus Drivers Strike Against Bad Faith Bargaining

I just checked Johnston's article and this is the sentence as it appears on the UTU site:

"But late last week-for the first time in the history of the district-the Metro Transit board rejected that agreement, negotiated by its own management team."
 

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