Today is first work day when we’ll really feel the brunt of the CTA service cuts that went into effect on Sunday. The CTA is duly warning that waits for buses and trains will be much longer, especially during non-rush hours.
And judging from what CTA union leaders are saying, the prospects of the unions agreeing to wage and other concessions to reverse the service cuts are quite dim.
“I can tell you that overwhelmingly in the past the membership has
said, ‘Don’t give up nothing,'” Robert Kelly, president of the CTA’s rail union, told the Tribune Saturday. “I can tell you we don’t
give up nothing without getting something. That’s negotiating.”
About 10 percent of bus and rail operators were laid off Sunday — 1,100 out of 11,000 workers. Service has been reduced on 119 out of 150 bus routes, and on seven of eight rail lines. The shortest and least-traveled Yellow Line is the only rail line spared cuts. In addition, service spans were reduced on 41 bus routes, meaning they will have later start times or earlier end times, or both. Finally, nine express bus routes were eliminated.
Kelly did leave the door open for possible movement by CTA unions: “When I go back to my membership, the reality will have sunk in,” Kelly told the Sun-Times. “It may change their minds;
it may not.” The next meeting with union members is Tuesday.