More than a month after an apprentice program ended, the CTA and ATU Local 308 have agree to bring it back, and give employment opportunities to ex-offenders, people completing substance-abuse programs, victims of spousal abuse and others.
The 65 apprentices no doubt will help the CTA tackle its ongoing problem with dirty rail cars. The issue for the union was the lower pay and lack of benefits for the apprentices. But perhaps the union gave in when the CTA asked motormen to start picking up garbage in the cars at the end of their run. I don’t really know if that rule has been rescinded. Maybe iBill can let us know.
In a statement, the CTA noted the reach of the apprenticeship programs:
Combined with a similar program introduced last year with ATU Local 241 offering 200 bus servicer apprenticeships, the reinstatement of the rail car servicer program restores CTA’s apprentice program to 265 total positions. CTA’s apprenticeship initiative is one of the largest ex-offender retraining programs in the nation, and has provided job opportunities to more than 800 ex-offenders convicted of non-violent crimes, individuals completing drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, victims of domestic abuse, and others.
Under Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s CTA administration, 76 apprentices have been hired into full- time positions with the CTA, in addition to dozens of private-sector placements with the assistance of social service agencies such as The Cara Program.
Congrats to the CTA and union for getting it together on this one.