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Santa Cruz Indymedia

LOCAL Announcement :: Education & Youth : Labor & Economics : Transportation

March Friday to Support Bus Drivers & Get Buses Rolling!

For those of you who don't already know, there will be a BIG MARCH this Friday to support Metro's striking bus drivers in their struggle to get the buses rolling again. With enough support, the workers can get a new contract and things can go back to normal. The details:

March and Rally to End the Bus Strike by Supporting Workers Meet: 4pm, base of UCSC campus, Friday March to downtown's Metro Center for rally at 5

If you can't make it Friday, there's two other actions you can attend:

1) Solidarity rally at the downtown Metro Center Thursday evening at 6pm

2) Show that students support workers and join the Student and Worker Coalition for Justice, MEChA and others in countering the College Republicans Thursday from 12-2 at the downtown Metro Center.
For background information on why the bus drivers are on strike and what we as students and community members can do about it, read this email from a grad student well-versed in these issues:

Hello everyone,

I just wanted to offer a quick update on student organizing in support of the striking bus drivers.

First of all, I know there is much confusion about the reasons for this strike and specific aspects of bargaining between the union which represents the drivers, United Transportation Union Local 23 (UTU), and Metro Transit. You can find some detailed information at the union's website:

Here is the important point: Three weeks ago UTU was on the verge of a strike. The union and Metro Transit district managers came to an agreement: no strike, no lockout, and no takeaways at least until the middle of 2006. This would have allowed space for further bargaining without an interruption in bus service. But on Friday, September 23 -- for the first time in the history of the district -- the Metro Transit Board rejected an agreement negotiated by its own management team. Bus drivers were left with no recourse but to strike. And now they're planning to strike until they get a contract, not a temporary agreement.

The Student and Worker Coalition for Justice (SWCJ) is spearheading efforts on campus to support the striking drivers. On Monday, over fifty students, along with some striking workers, marched to Metro Transit Board member and UCSC Lecturer Mike Rotkin's office to confront him about the Board's rejection of the agreement. The big victory was that Rotkin was forced to publicly admit that rejecting the initial agreement was "a mistake," a quote prominently printed on the front page of the Tuesday's Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Here are the next actions on the horizon:

* On Thursday, October 6th, at 6:00pm there will be a large Union Solidarity Rally at the downtown Metro Center.

* On Friday October 7th, at 4:00pm at the base of campus (at the intersection of Bay and High Streets), the SWCJ will be holding a student march to demand that the Metro Board give bus drivers a fair contract. The plan is to go from there to the downtown Metro Center for a rally at 5pm. UTU has volunteered to shuttle students back up to campus afterward.

Please announce these actions in your sections, lectures, and classes.

If you'd like to get more involved in supporting the bus drivers' strike, or in labor solidarity work in general, please join us at the lively SWCJ meetings on Thursdays from 8-10pm at Porter COO2 (directly underneath the Hungry Slug).

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Free the Buses

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Buses at Harvey West and cars at UC Santa Cruz


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