With the Archer Street Garage now officially shut down, the CTA on Sunday completed the last of 1,057 layoffs by giving pink slips to 99 bus mechanics and servicers. That move quickly prompted the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 241to warn riders of dirtier and more broken-down buses ahead.
The Sun-Times reported that a union business agent even warned of the unthinkable: “You’ll start seeing the gum and the dried-up stains.”
A CTA spokesperson essentially poo-pooed the dire warnings, saying: “We’ve reduced the size of the fleet and therefore we need less people to operate buses or maintain them.” She also noted that 11 managers were among the group of those laid-off.
Meanwhile, the bus drivers union, which met Monday night for the first time since the service cuts started Feb. 7, wisely decided not to call for a strike vote at the meeting. A union official said, “There is no need for a strike vote now.”
So, um, when would a strike vote be needed? The Trib reported union officials said “a strike is among the tools at their disposal to kick-start stalled talks on resolving a budget crisis.”
I don’t really understand that one. The union leaders have made it clear they will not give up their raide this year, nor take furlough days. So if they won’t negotiate in good faith, what exactly is there to kick-start?