Union-CTA impasse: Union holds firm while two key Revs. split on concessions

With no talks since before the service cuts went into effect two weeks
ago, the CTA bus and rail operator unions so far are holding firm in
opposition to giving up 3.5% raises this year and taking 10 furlough
days off, among other CTA demands.

Meanwhile, two South Side reverands who often have stood together on
issues of worker rights find themselves on different sides in this.

The Rev. Michael Pfleger on Friday urged the unions to give back this
year’s raise and take the furlough days off. He said that as he stood
with some laid-off union workers. From the Tribune story:

“This is not a time for the CTA or the unions to play tough guy at the
expense of people’s lives,” he said. “I am asking everybody to go back
to the table … before time goes on and people become comfortable with
the problems we have, while forgetting the real faces of those who lost
their jobs.”

On the other side, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said he thinks the unions are
being asked to give up too much. And he continues to invoke racial
images. From the Sun-Times:

“We want to work with dignity,” Jackson told the cheering crowd. “In
slavery days, everybody had a job, but they did not have dignity.”

There are reports that the union and CTA will meet Tuesday. I’ll believe it when I see it.


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  • spt: Non-union CTA workers have not enjoyed a raise in 4 years. They already are taking non-paid furlough days off. They effectively took a pay cut in 2008 when they started paying 3% of their pay for pension and health care benefits. And there have been a number of layoffs among non-union staff, plus vacancies are not being filled. So I think they are doing their fair share.

    I'm not exactly sure of the numbers, but I would guess about 80% of CTA employees are unionized. So the CTA can get more savings through concessions from unions.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    I believe the union is shooting for something that will return all laid off employees back to work. The 10 furlough days and pay freeze would only call back 200.

    It's either all or nobody I guess.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    Do you really think that Jesse Jackson would be invloved if the majority of the union members were white?

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    Closer to 95% than 80%. Under 1000 non-union employees these days. Over 10k union.

  • I just love how multi-millionaire Jesse Jetstream injects himself into this.
    He has no idea about the CTA, probably has never ridden it, certainly not since farecards replaced the old newsprint transfers. He takes limos everywhere.

    Now that Obama is the #1 black guy in the country, Jesse has to get his TV time somehow.
    As the saying goes, the most dangerous place on Earth is to get between Jesse & a TV camera!

  • Jesse won't let things like facts get in the way of a little publicity time...

    Dignity? Chicago bus operators are paid more than their brethren in other cities... I think they're doing OK.

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