In a Tribune letter to the editor last week, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce last week called on CTA union workers give up wage hikes this year, take unpaid furlough days off and pay more of their health insurance. Here's the letter.
Keep Chicago moving
transportation is critical to lifting our region out of the current
recession and returning to a pattern of creating and retaining jobs.
plays a critical role in our local economy. The agency's buses and
trains move our region's most critical assets on a daily basis -- people.
Unions, businesses and city of Chicago residents suffer when the CTA is forced to cut services or threatens work slowdowns.
Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce believes that public transit, and the
CTA in particular, is essential to our city's competitive position in
the global marketplace while contributing to Chicago's high quality of
We can get the CTA moving at full service again, save CTA
workers' jobs and ensure Chicago is competitive in the global
marketplace. But that means CTA workers have to make the necessary and
realistic sacrifices that businesses and other public and union
employees are making across this city.
Those sacrifices include: taking furlough days, deferring annual wage increases and accepting changes in health benefits.
are the unpleasant but realistic consequences of the tough economy we
are all struggling through. The good news is there is a clear choice.
CTA workers can remain inflexible and thereby sacrifice vital public
services and their coworkers' good, public sector jobs. Or the union
can work with the CTA and help our city return to sustained economic
growth and ensure the CTA operates at full capacity.
--Gerald J. Roper, president and CEO, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Chicago