With contract negotiations stalled and a transit strike threat leading up to the Super Bowl in February, Local 1005-Minneapolis, MN, is demanding improved safety measures for operators as assaults on them continue. “Operators have to endure a large magnitude of abuse, and I’m throwing verbal abuse into that. It can be any day, any time, day or night,” says Local President Mark Lawson. “Metro Transit might point to statistics saying, ‘Well, there’s less assaults this year or last year.’ The numbers go up and down, but they never go away.” This year there have been 73 assaults, 41 threats, and 34 instances of disorderly conduct on buses reported and many more that go unreported the Local says.