ATU Local?1005?? Minneapolis joined with transit advocates in St. Paul to push for bills that would expand mass transit in Minnesota.?Members of Transit for a Stronger Economy, a coalition of 51 groups, are promoting bills in the Minnesota legislature that would raise sales taxes in the Twin Cities area, provide dedicated funding for state transit systems and bicycle and pedestrian lanes, and redirect state revenue toward a ?comprehensive build-out? of public transit in the North Star State.
The coalition says expanding transit investments would keep the state?s economy competitive by delivering a ?trifecta of benefits for state taxpayers, spurring business and job growth, reducing pollution and providing low- and moderate-income workers with greater access to family-sustaining jobs.??Read more.
NYC school bus companies throw workers under the bus
Only weeks after a bitter month-long strike, NYC school bus companies have announced plans to drastically slash school bus drivers’ and matrons’ wages by 7.5%, eliminate their pay during weeklong Christmas and Easter breaks, and require employees to pay more for health care.
Local?1181?President Michael Cordiello has vowed to seek a court injunction to stop the owners from declaring an impasse in contract talks and imposing new conditions and warned his members may vote to go back on strike.
?This what what we warned about all along,? said International President Larry Hanley. ?Mayor Bloomberg set the stage for a bunch of fat cat bus owners who all own yachts to gut the livelihood of ordinary workers in a race to the bottom.??Read more.
Atlanta transit coalition delivers 5,600 anti-privatization petitions
More than 5,600 signed petitions calling on State Senators to vote against proposed legislation to outsource many of MARTA’s operations were delivered to Georgia Senate Transportation Committee by Georgians for Better Transit (G4BT) and ATU Local?732?- Atlanta.
The coalition has been collecting signatures of riders across Atlanta as part of a comprehensive campaign to fight the legislation (HB264), which was passed in State House and is currently being considered by the Senate Transportation Committee.
?These more than 5,600 Atlantans are sending a loud and clear message to the State Senate that outsourcing MARTA is bad for riders, the community and workers,? said Dr.?Quincy?Harris, pictured on the right and chair of the NAACP state conference and political action committee, who delivered the petitions.? NAACP is a coalition partner of Georgians for Better Transit. ?The Senate needs to put the brakes on this misguided, racially biased legislation now.?
Georgians for Better Transit is made up of ATU Local 732, Stand-Up Georgia, NAACP Georgia, the Georgia Federation of the Blind, the People?s Agenda and others.
Push for late night bus service in Edmonton
When Edmonton?s downtown bars, restaurants and nightlife close, workers and late night revelers only have the option of driving or taking a cab home. Downtown night beat police, tired of pulling over drunk drivers, are pushing the idea of a late night transit service. Advocates have presented a pilot project to the Edmonton transportation committee.
Chair of the committee Amarjeet Sohi supports the idea and thinks the cost is worth it. ?I think this is a service that we need to try,? he said, adding businesses would benefit by being able to retain staff who have to get home after their shifts. ?Public transit is a very essential service. People who work night shifts also pay taxes, so they need access to that service.??Read more.
Public transportation infrastructure receives a “D”
It?s no surprise to ATU members that U.S. public transportation infrastructure received a ?D? grade in the 2013 Report Card for America?s Infrastructure released by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) this week.
The report titled??Failure to Act, the Impact of Current Infrastructure Investment on America?s Economic Future??emphasizes that the American economy lost $90 billion in 2010 due to the lack of investment in public transportation.? Despite public transit ridership rising 9.1 percent over the past decade, 45 percent of Americans still lack access to public transit in their communities.
?With more than 80 percent of transit systems cutting service or increasing fares since 2008, it?s no shock that public transportation was graded a D,? said International President Larry Hanley. ?It?s another clear message to Congress that it?s time to start investing in public transit to meet the growing demand.??Read more.
Same old song: Portland transit GM blames workers for budget woes
Once again, Neil McFarlane, general manager of Portland, OR?s TriMet transit system is blaming Local?757?for the agency?s budget problems, saying ATU members there have, ?the most generous health care benefits in the country.??McFarlane did not explain how it?s possible that almost every other urban transit system can also have ?the most generous? wages and/or benefits in the country, as their managers claim just before contract negotiations.
The GM says that TriMet cannot realign its routes to accommodate the migration of the area?s population over the last 20 years until the union helps them balance the budget.?The local wants TriMet to cut management salaries instead, which should happen right after pigs sprout wings on Oregon farms.?Read more.
Wake up call? Transportation workers rank last in wellbeing
Transportation workers have the lowest overall wellbeing scores in the United States, according to a new report released by the Gallup organization.
In what should be a wake-up call for many of us, Gallup reported that transportation workers have the highest level of obesity and the third-highest smoking rate among the occupations measured, results that are congruent with their less frequent exercise habits and lower levels of produce consumption. This combination puts transportation workers at the highest risk for developing chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease and makes them more susceptible to cancer than workers in other occupations.?Read more.
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