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GREED ATU FIGHTING GREED, SLAVE LABOR AND PRIVATIZATION
O F F I C I A L J O U R N A L O F T H E A M A LG A M AT E D T R A N S I T U N I O N | A F L- C I O/C LC
INTERNATIONAL OFFICERS LAWRENCE J. HANLEY International President ROBERT H. BAKER International Executive Vice President OSCAR OWENS International Secretary-Treasurer
INTERNATIONAL VICE PRESIDENTS LARRY R. KINNEAR
Ashburn, ON – email@example.com
JAVIER M. PEREZ, JR.
Kansas City, MO – firstname.lastname@example.org
RICHARD M. MURPHY
Newburyport, MA – email@example.com
BOB M. HYKAWAY
Calgary, AB – firstname.lastname@example.org
WILLIAM G. McLEAN
NEWSBRIEFS Internet sales tax bill would help fund public transit - A Senate-passed Internet Sales Tax bill would provide millions in critical funding for many cash-strapped public transit systems. The Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 (HR 684), being considered by the House, gives state and local governments the ability to impose sales taxes on internet purchases at the exact same rates as brick and mortar stores. Many local transit agencies – Seattle, San Francisco, Kansas City and others - rely on sales taxes, so a larger sales tax base would provide more funding.
Reno, NV – email@example.com
JANIS M. BORCHARDT
Madison, WI – firstname.lastname@example.org
Canton, MI – email@example.com
KENNETH R. KIRK
Lancaster, TX – firstname.lastname@example.org
Clayton, NC – email@example.com
Flossmore, IL – firstname.lastname@example.org
Lilburn, GA – email@example.com
Atlanta transit workers call for investigation into plan to privatize - As Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) plans to privatize the system’s paratransit service, ATU Local 732-Atlanta, GA, called for an outside investigation into MARTA, its CEO Keith Parker and Board Chair Fred Daniels for moving ahead on “giving away the transit system our seniors, people with disabilities and working Atlantans rely on to private companies based on an incomplete, faulty report issued by KPMG.” Noted economist Dr. Elliot Sclar called the KPMG report recommending privatizing MARTA, “flawed on multiple fronts.”
Thornton, CO – firstname.lastname@example.org
GARY JOHNSON, SR.
Cleveland, OH – email@example.com
Halifax, NS – firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenilworth, NJ – email@example.com
Syracuse, NY – firstname.lastname@example.org
Oakland, CA – email@example.com
New York, NY – firstname.lastname@example.org
Transit workers, advocates call for more state funding - With ridership reaching new highs and cash-strapped transit systems cutting service and raising fares, transit workers across the US are joining with advocates to urge state legislators to invest in transit. In Milwaukee, ATU Local 998 has called for transit to be restored to the pre-2011 funding levels after it was cut 10 percent last year. ATU Local 85-Pittsburgh, PA, members rallied with Labor, business, and religious groups to urge Governor Corbett and state lawmakers to invest in “stable, long-term state funding for transportation” with an emphasis on mass transit.
INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVES ANTHONY WITHINGTON
Sebastopol, CA – email@example.com
INTERNATIONAL OFFICERS EMERITUS
International President Jim La Sala, ret. International President Warren George, ret.
Spokane, WA – firstname.lastname@example.org
Boston, MA – email@example.com
International Executive Vice President Ellis Franklin, ret. International Executive Vice President Mike Siano, ret.
Washington, DC – firstname.lastname@example.org
CANADIAN DIRECTOR MICHAEL MAHAR
Rexdale, ON - email@example.com
Subscription: USA and Canada, $5 a year. Single copy: 50 cents. All others: $10 a year. Published bimonthly by the Amalgamated Transit Union, Editor: Shawn Perry, Designer: Paul A. Fitzgerald.Editorial Office: 5025 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20016-4139. Tel: 1-202-537-1645. Please send all requests for address changes to the ATU Registry Dept.ISSN: 0019-3291. PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40033361.RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO:APC Postal Logistics, LLC, PO Box 503, RPO, West Beaver Creek, Richmond Hill ON L4B 4R6.
LARRY HANLEY, INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT
ATU FIGHTING GREED, SLAVE LABOR AND PRIVATIZATION
bodies were recovered before they stopped searching for survivors. That was the body count in the April 24 disaster – the worst, so far in the history of factory slaughter – half a world away in Bangladesh. It was the result of the same runaway capitalism (aka GREED) that caused 146 seamstresses to perish in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in New York City a century ago.
countries just as they did to Greyhound in the U.S., and are now busy doing in Canada.
It’s all connected
At the same time, their clothing manufacturer counterparts are exploiting workers in Asia. It’s connected.
Don’t think of these victims as not being involved in your life – they are. They’re doing work that used to be done in the U.S. and Canada. Their jobs – in unsafe factories 8,000 miles away – are the former jobs of workers in our countries – moved to Bangladesh to generate higher profits for company owners. What’s left behind is competition for low wage jobs here, and cities like Detroit, starved of good jobs and the tax revenue that comes from them. It’s all connected.
Slave labor In the developed world we have labor standards and building codes. But the clothing sold in our malls is produced in countries where slaves or near-slaves work in conditions that are illegal here. Buildings collapse on these workers every day in numbers that are truly shocking. So – we lost good jobs and pay to buy products from the companies that took our jobs away, while workers on the other end of the world suffer to make the same few people rich. French and British corporations are bringing the global economy to transit and school bus properties in our
Privatization = Poverty They sell poverty wages to our cities in the form of “privatizing” transit. They are spending money right now in Congress and in many states lobbying our elected officials to sell out American workers.
Nothing new about rich people exploiting workers – it’s just become more sophisticated. The idea that our consumer products can be made cheaper while we maintain our salaries and pensions has conclusively been proven wrong.
The failure of deregulation All around us we see the evidence of the failure of deregulated capitalism. In this issue you’ll read about the impact of Walmart on our lives. Many of our members turn over the wages earned as union members to Walmart every week. Walmart then uses their profit to destroy not only our unions, but jobs in our countries and around the world. In his courageous speech in South Africa in June 1966 (almost 50 years ago), Senator Robert Kennedy addressed this issue: People starve to death in the streets of India; a former prime minister is summarily executed in the Congo; intellectuals go to jail in Russia; and thousands are slaughtered in Indonesia; IN TRANSIT
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wealth is lavished on armaments everywhere in the world. These are different evils; but they are the common works of man. They reflect the imperfections of human justice, the inadequacy of human compassion, the defectiveness of our sensibility toward the sufferings of our fellows; they mark the limit of our ability to use knowledge for the wellbeing of our fellow human beings throughout the world. And therefore they call upon common qualities of conscience and indignation, a shared determination to wipe away the unnecessary sufferings of our fellow human beings at home and around the world.
and beating Veolia, and about Bangor, ME, where we have just broken through with new organizing.
Pulitzer Prize winner guest column The guest column is by the renowned, Pulitzer-prizewinning author, Chris Hedges, who has turned his attention to our struggles including driver fatigue, and our ongoing efforts to secure an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act to require employers to pay overtime to drivers in the over-the-road industry. Also, in Toledo, reports of bus drivers with no bathroom breaks – sound familiar?
Structural action Each child killed was doing a job killed here Each child who is killed in a factory has a counterpart whose job was also killed in the U.S. or Canada. We have a common enemy in the greedy, wealthy people who do this to us. The same companies are pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into U.S. and Canadian politics to strip us of our rights to pensions, our right to negotiate contracts, and our right to have a union at all. If there was a labor union at that factory in Bangladesh there might be 1127 more people alive today. We need to get a lot more angry to turn this around. In this issue we also report on tax alternatives like the “Robin Hood” tax – a tax on stock transactions – and the “internet sales tax” which could help save our cities by collecting the same taxes at amazon.com as our local retailers must charge.
Proud to be ATU In this issue are stories of personal heroism: the story of Toledo member Geraldine Mitchell who saved a life while driving her bus. I am particularly proud of the stories about our locals in “What Works” – our report on local union struggles. You’ll also read about our Providence, RI, local fighting
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At our recent General Executive Board Meeting in Atlanta, all of our officers worked on a plan for broader action. We are working on potential structural changes in our Union and have appointed a Structural Exploration Committee for the coming Convention to make us more effective in the field. We are a Union that is growing in numbers, in strength and in determination. As we have been challenged more, we have accomplished more. But there’s much more to do.
Faith We look forward to our coming International Convention with the faith that we can be so much more than we have ever been. We will change the way we conduct our business at our Conventions and provide the training necessary for our delegates to go home prepared for the coming years of struggle. Mindful of the world around us, considering our place in the moral conflict, we will leave the Convention ready to fight for all our members – and because we know that all boats rise together – to fight for workers around the world.
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2 International Officers & General Executive Board NEWS Briefs 3 International President’s Message: ATU Fighting Greed, Slave Labor and Privatization
Vol. 122, No. 3
IN MEMORIAM: EARLE PUTNAM FATHER OF ‘SECTION 13(C)’
5 Index Page 6 International Secretary-Treasurer’s Message: Prove Me Wrong! 8 Legislative Report: ATU Leading Coalitions in Critical State Battles 9 State Legislatures Struggle with Transit Funding 10 Boston Bombings Wake Up Call: Mass Transit Security Critical
11 Bold Solutions to Solve America’s Fiscal Problems 18 Portland, OR Unions Go Back to Roots ATU Organizes New Members 19 Potty Peril 20 ATU Locals Gear Up As Veolia Stalks Providence, Milwaukee Considers Contracting Another ATU Hero Saves A Life
SWEATSHOPS ON WHEELS
Bangor Bus Drivers Join Portland, ME Local 21 Boston Paratransit Riders Protest Fare Hike 5 McDonald’s, Low-Wage Workers Demand Living 2 Wage, Job Protections 26 57th International Convention Resolution Submission Local Officer Memorial Form 27 Translations (Spanish) 30 In Memoriam
WALMART PUSHES WAGES, BENEFITS, DOWN WORLDWIDE
31 PA School Bus Local Awaits Decision On Grievance 32 Your Help Needed Again - ATU Disaster Relief Fund
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OSCAR OWENS, INTERNATIONAL SECRETARY-TREASURER
PROVE ME WRONG! Sometimes I wonder if members take In Transit with “a grain of salt.” I say that because every other month the magazine brings you a lot of bad news, and if you are not experiencing any bad news at your property you might think that we’re exaggerating. After all, the Union has endured for 121 years, and like Mark Twain said, has “known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” You should know, however, that most of the “troubles” you read about in In Transit “never happen” because your Union is successfully fighting to prevent them from happening. Unfortunately this type of success can make people complacent; make them believe that there’s really not all that much to worry about. But, at the risk being accused of “crying wolf,” I have to say that I’ve never seen a time like this, and it worries me a lot. A little history might help explain what I mean:
industrialized countries back into the abysmal conditions they endured throughout most of history. Already a growing segment of our populations are doing backbreaking work for desperately low wages, with no unions, no sick days, no healthcare, no vacations, no retirement, unjust work rules or no work rules, unsafe working conditions, etc. Aren’t these the working conditions that existed from the late 1800s to the early 1900s? Didn’t we think we had progressed beyond this sort of wage slavery the 1960s, if not the 1950s? Today we classify these people as the “working poor,” almost as an effort to quarantine their work experience away from ours. Yet, if we refuse to recognize the situation for what it is, the plight of today’s working poor will eventually be what’s considered “normal” for all workers. I fear that those of us who still have jobs earning living wages will not realize the magnitude of the problem until it affects us personally, and that by that time it will be too late.
New Deal vs. the Raw Deal In the 1930s, the Great Depression led to New Deal-type reforms that greatly improved the lives of working families in Canada and the United States. Consequently, most of us grew up during the best economic times ever in the histories of our two nations. Naturally, then, we think that the middle class life that arose during the 20th century is “normal,” even though it is quite unique in history. Now, in the 21st century, the Great Recession has led to a reversal of that process. A “Raw Deal,” if you will, is robbing the middle class of the economic security that it fought so hard to achieve over the last century. Under the control of powerful corporate interests and their political puppets, the Raw Deal seeks to increase the already unprecedented wealth of the rich by pushing workers in
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The challenge But, I’ve been at this for too long to become a pessimist now. So, I’m challenging every ATU member to prove me wrong. I urge you to join our fight against the Raw Deal even if it hasn’t reached you yet. Go to your local union meeting, get involved with your local labor council, support pro-labor candidates, do whatever you can to defend and extend the rights of working people. It’s important, not just for yourself, but for your children and grandchildren, and, truly, for the good of our two nations.
Earle Putnam Father of ‘Section 13(c)’
arle Westgate Putnam, 84, retired ATU general counsel, passed away after a brief illness on Thursday, May 2, in Lynchburg, VA. Known as the “Father of Section 13(c),” Putnam served the Union from 1962 to 1995 – almost a third of its history at the time. Putnam was the architect of “Section 13(c)” – language still contained in today’s federal transportation act that has saved and advanced the job rights of hundreds of thousands of American transit workers for 50 years. Born in Springfield, VT, on June 27, 1928, Putnam graduated from Phillips Academy Andover, and Dartmouth. He left New England in 1950 to study at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (France), where he also served as a messenger for the U.S. Delegation to the UN General Assembly session in Paris. In Paris he met Margaret Reed, who was travelling abroad. They married in 1953, during his service in the U.S. Army in Germany, where he was stationed. The couple settled in Northern Virginia after Putnam left the Army in 1954. There he helped Margaret raise their young children while working two jobs and earning Law (1958) and Masters of Law (1960) degrees from the George Washington School of Law. Putnam worked for the National Labor Relations Board before being employed and promoted to general council by ATU in 1962. He built ATU’s legal department, and shepherded the Union through every major legal struggle for the next three decades. With his quiet New England manner, steely strength, and intellect Putnam pursued the passage and enforcement of Section 13(c) of the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964, which provided federal funding for transit systems that were then rapidly passing from private to public operation, and guaranteed that transit workers would not lose their right to be represented by a union when ownership of their systems changed hands.
A self-effacing mentor and superb writer, he liked nothing better than getting a first draft from his associates and, with his red pen, marking it up in almost illegible handwriting to both teach and perfect it. Putnam helped guide ATU through years of dramatic change and growth, assisting in far reaching litigation that twice brought the Union before the U.S. Supreme Court, and advocating our causes in the face of significant challenges in local courts, as well as state and provincial legislatures. He retired in 1996, to spend more time enjoying his hobbies of photography, learning how to use his computer, trying out new restaurants, tennis, and trips to the beach with his family and beloved dogs. In 1995, just before his retirement, the delegates to the 51st Convention resolved to: “…express our deep appreciation and utmost respect for Earle W. Putnam and extend to him and his wife, Margie, our sincere hopes for a long, peaceful and productive retirement.” The international staff will always remember him as a kind and gracious man who always had an encouraging word for everyone. Earle is survived by Margaret Reed Putnam, his wife of 60 years; his daughter, Eleanor A. Putnam Dunn and her husband, Terrance J. Dunn; and his brother, Nelson Butler Putnam. He was preceded in death by his two sons, Christopher Everard Putnam and Timothy Lewis Putnam, and by his brother, Fredrick Milner Putnam. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Lynchburg Humane Society, 3305 Naval Reserve Road, Lynchburg, VA 24501, or the charity of your choice. The family will have a memorial service at a later date. Tharp Funeral Home, Lynchburg, is assisting the family. Condolences may be posted at www.tharpfuneralhome.com.
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L E G I S L AT I V E R E P O R T
ATU Leading Coalitions in Critical State Battles W
ith gridlock persisting in Washington, DC, states are moving on their own to pass major transportation bills that will impact local communities for decades. ATU members are on the front lines in these debates, fighting for increased transit funding and pushing back against reckless privatization mandates that could cause transit workers to lose their jobs and benefits. In Massachusetts, ATU locals across the commonwealth have joined with a large coalition in support of the Public Transit, Public Good campaign. Community-Labor United is an alliance of community-based organizations and labor unions formed to protect and promote the interests of low and middle-income working families in the greater Boston area, and transit is at the top of the agenda this year. In January, Governor Deval Patrick (D) unveiled a major transportation bill to invest in infrastructure and change outdated policies. Community-Labor United is working with legislators to incorporate progressive ideas into the proposal, including a more equitable fare structure, putting workers and riders in decision-making roles, and establishing a dedicated source of revenue for public transit. In Georgia, Local 732 fought back against a strong effort by the General Assembly to privatize approximately 800 bargaining unit jobs in various parts of Atlanta’s transit system, MARTA. Working with Georgians for Better Transit, a group representing transit riders, ATU members hit the streets and talked to passengers about the dangers of privatization. In March, the coalition handed out pamphlets at the Five Points rail station. One rider said she feared privatization would mean more fare increases and service cuts for MARTA, which had already raised fares by 43% and cut service since 2009. “I don’t
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want to pay more and get less,” she said. The coalition also collected about 2,000 signatures opposing privatization to present to the State Senate, and it pushed for the State of Georgia to establish dedicated funding for transit. MARTA is the largest transit system in the country without state funding. Against long odds and a right wing legislature, the massive coalition effort was successful, as the privatization bill died just before the end of the session. Now the battle moves to the bargaining table. In Pennsylvania, the ATU’s State Conference Board is working with the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) and Pittsburghers for Public Transit to fight for increased transit funding. Governor Tom Corbett’s (R) inadequate plan to fund the commonwealth’s transit systems would cause widespread service cuts and fare increases. In addition, without careful study, Corbett is forcing transit systems to merge with others, raising major labor and service issues. Finally, to make up for funding shortfalls, members of the legislature are openly discussing privatization of transit routes. The coalition held a rally in Harrisburg in February. Indiana legislators are considering a bill that would double the size of Indygo and authorize a ballot measure to allow Indianapolis area residents to vote on whether to build a light rail system in the region. Last year, ATU objected to the bill because it contained a provision stating that workers in the new transit system would not have to join a union. This year, lawmakers dropped that provision, paving the way for labor support. Now ATU is working on the same side as business interests in support of this groundbreaking legislation.
State legislatures struggle with transit funding ATU, advocates fight proposed cuts to Washington state’s King Country Metro Transit King County Metro Transit, headquartered in Seattle, will be forced to slash up to 600,000 annual service hours, around 17% of its service that will impact 70 percent of riders, if it doesn’t receive a fresh infusion of cash in the near future – and that’s on top of a recent 25¢ increase in fares. General Manager Kevin Desmond is trying to coax city leaders and voters into creating a new local taxing authority that would provide dedicated funds for mass transit. ATU has been teaming with transit advocates in a campaign to fight the cuts including leafleting riders and holding a successful telephone town hall meeting with King County voters.
The legislation increases the sales tax on nonfood merchandise from 5% to 5.3%, as well, and dedicates more revenue to transportation. It also creates a regional funding mechanism that boosts the sales tax to 6% in Northern Virginia and Hampton Roads and requires those funds to be spent only on transportation there.
Tampa mayor wants ‘first-class’ transportation Mayor Bob Buckhorn says Tampa should have a firstclass transportation system, which includes rail, bus rapid transit and high-occupancy vehicle lanes. Alluding to Gov. Rick Scott’s decision to turn away $2 billion from the Obama Administration to build high-speed rail from Tampa to Orlando, he said he will try to find support for his plan in Tallahassee.
MD, VA overhaul transportation funding The Maryland General Assembly joined a growing national trend when it passed the state’s first gas tax increase in 20 years. The measure puts a new 1% ⁄gal. Sales tax on gasoline, which will be adjusted for inflation over time. The tax, which will be dedicated to highways and mass transit, will be phased in over three years, increasing as much as 20¢/gal. by 2016. The action was partly a response to the transportation funding overhaul just passed in nearby Virginia which replaced the state gas tax with a new 3.5% wholesale tax on motor fuels that will keep pace with economic growth and inflation. Supporters say motorists could pay as much $15 more a month. IN TRANSIT
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Boston bombings wake up call: mass transit security critical “T
his terrible event serves as a reminder that the war on terror is not over,” said International President Larry Hanley referring to the recent Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and injured many more. “I urge our transit agencies, operators and passengers to continue to be attentive and watchful for anything of a suspicious nature on our systems, as we work together to defeat terrorism in the United States and Canada,” Hanley added. National security experts agreed with the international president’s assessment, warning that more vigilance on mass transit is needed.
obvious. Transit stations are big open spaces that are difficult to secure. Michael Melaniphy, president and CEO of the American Public Transportation Association, thinks more money should be spent on state-of-the-art surveillance systems, explosive- and chemical-detection systems, and enhanced communication technology – as well as anti-terrorism patrol teams, first responder training and public education campaigns. “These enhancements are crucial in order to effectively combat and deter potential attacks,” he says.
‘Country has to change outlook’
The danger was confirmed eight days after Boston, when Canadian authorities arrested two men in connection with a plot to attack a train traveling between Toronto to New York via Niagara Falls and Buffalo linked to alQaeda elements located in Iran.
Scott Weber, former counsel for the Department of Homeland Security, warns that “the threat lies everywhere. This country has to change its outlook on day-to-day life. We can’t let our guard down.”
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they initiated the investigation last August and worked with local law enforcement, the FBI and AmTrak officials to thwart the terrorists. In the course of the investigation, the two men were seen staking out their potential targets – watching trains and railways in the Toronto area. The problems surrounding mass transit security are
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Unfortunately, the U.S. Congress seems to be less concerned about transit terrorism than it has been in the past. From 2010 to 2012, federal investment in transit security decreased by 65 percent, while public transportation ridership increased by 300 million trips. Terrorists have plotted more than 700 attacks on surface transportation systems internationally since 9-11, and over 50 attacks have been foiled in the United States.
Bold to Solve America’s Solutions Fiscal Problems Millions unemployed… Mass Transit being slashed… Looming Social Security and Medicare cuts… Federal deficit in the trillions… Cities, states facing staggering shortages…
Union – including economic giants Germany and France – moved to establish an FTT.
The Robin Hood Tax, introduced by Rep. Keith Ellison, D-MN, would create a tiny sales tax on Wall Street trading. Often called the “financial transaction tax,” the FTT would tax trades involving stocks, bonds, securities, currencies and derivatives at a rate between .5% and .005% per transaction – that’s between one-half of one percent and one-half of one-half of one percent!
ATU out in force
t seems things couldn’t get any worse. However, there are solutions Congress could employ if it really wanted to fix these problems. One is called the “Robin Hood Tax”, and the other the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013.
The burden of the tax would fall on those who could actually afford it – the wealthiest 1% – who own over 50% of the country’s stock, bonds and mutual funds. Additionally, Ellison’s bill exempts individuals earning less than $50,000 per year or couples making less than $75,000 per year. The benefits could be immense. The bill could generate up to $350 billion each year and fund job-producing sectors of the economy such as transportation, healthcare, job training, and other jobs that pay living wages and strengthen society.
Time is ticking Currently, over 40 different nations have implemented an FTT – including many of the world’s fastest growing economies. Just last year, 11 countries in the European
Over 1,000 economists have signed a letter endorsing the measure, including Nobel Prize winners Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz. Even Warren Buffet, George Soros and Bill Gates have endorsed the idea.
In mid-April, ATU bused over 600 East Coast members to Washington, DC, for a rally and march attended by thousands in support of the Robin Hood Tax.
Internet sales tax bill The Senate recently passed the Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013 (HR 684), which gives states and local governments the ability to impose taxes on Internet sales at the exact same rates as brick and mortar stores. This bill, being considered by the House, would provide financially strapped states millions in critical funding that would help pay for public transit, education and other programs. Many local transit agencies – Seattle, San Francisco, Kansas City and others – rely on sales taxes so a larger sales tax base would provide more funding. But these bills won’t pass without pressure from thousands of people like you. Contact your Members of Congress and let them know we need the Robin Hood Tax and Marketplace Fairness Act, and make sure that your local union is engaged in the fight, as well! IN TRANSIT
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What Works ATU MEMBERS SHAKING THINGS UP ALL OVER THE U.S. AND CANADA
tatistics show that the percentage of young persons getting drivers’ licenses has dropped for the first time in history, while the number of people getting on the bus has surged to its highest level in decades.
Ironically, this long-desired ridership boom comes at a time when state and local austerity measures and static federal funding is forcing agencies to cut service and increase fares. Starting with ATU “boot camps” in 2010, members have been receiving training on how create coalitions that can effectively fight to maintain and improve transit service around the country. International President Larry Hanley says, “ATU campaigns are demonstrating the effectiveness of coalition building. Our members and their local allies encourage each other to go the extra mile, volunteering countless hours, and succeeding. We’re very proud of their work in both Canada and the United States.” While not the only way to prosecute our cause, coalition building has become an important and effective tool in the ATU activist toolbox. ATU locals across North America have been waging successful campaigns, here are some generating positive results:
FALL RIVER & NEW BEDFORD, MA April 22 was a banner day for transit in Fall River and New Bedford, MA. That’s the day Locals 174 and 1037 and the area’s Bus Riders United (BRU) began to see the results of a multi-year campaign for nighttime bus service in their communities. Evening and night service was added from 6:00 – 9:00 pm, weekdays, on four key transit routes serving the two cities. As Local 174 President Eric Carvalho proudly reports, “We’ve been hiring people and adding service – which is the opposite of what’s happening in so many places around the country.”
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‘Traditional’ ways didn’t work Carvalho says that for the 15 years he’s driven, “all I’ve heard from passengers is ‘more service, night service,’ but all of the traditional ways of getting that done didn’t work.” However, with the encouragement of International President Larry Hanley, the local president took the matter up again. This time he reached out to various organizations, eventually assembling a coalition of 60 groups.’” Several rallies, and 2,000 postcards later the coalition secured the support of the transit authority, and both mayors.
Funding But where did they find the money? “It was funded by “discovering waste, restructuring routes, and using capital dollars for operating funds,” Carvalho explains, adding, “They (management) really stepped out of the box.” Even though they increased fares, they made service for most riders less expensive by doing away with zones, and providing free transfers and special discount passes. “We increased ridership and revenue!” Carvalho says. The local president believes that keeping the coalition active is key. “This is all better for my local and our members – whose participation,” he emphasizes, “was essential to the success of the campaign.”
“This idea was actually developed over time in our meetings,” says Mahar, “and there is greater likelihood that this approach will get passed.”
“Starting two months ago we arranged a dozen meetings between MPs and members from their ridings (districts),” related Mahar.
It’s no secret that Canadian members have endured a virtual “reign of terror” for the last several years. “Passengers” have attacked drivers in record numbers over simple requests for fares, and for no discernable reason whatsoever. The Canadian Council has assembled the statistics to prove it. For years the Council has arranged for private members’ bills to be introduced in Parliament to make assaulting a transit worker a federal offense as it is in the United States, punishable with the same sentences imposed on criminals who assault police officers. But year after year those bills would disappear when the session ended, with no action taken.
‘More aggressive’ Newly elected Canadian Director Mike Mahar has had enough. In the coming session, Mahar says, he “wants to make sure we are more aggressive.” His first move was to consult with Members of Parliament (MPs) and the Justice Ministry to inquire about what they thought was the best way to move forward. As a result a new bill was crafted that “would change the criminal code so that judges can consider it an aggravating condition (in sentencing) to assault a driver on a transit vehicle.”
But the director was not content to leave it there. On May 7, he had local officers storm Parliament. “This time we had 33 union officers from almost every property in Canada meet with 35 MPs, and not one of them have told us it’s a bad idea,” he continued. The bill will be introduced as a private member’s bill when the next session of Parliament begins in the fall. You can count on the Canadian Council to be doing everything it can to make sure the legislation is passed.
LINCOLN, NE “It was a lousy day weather wise,” says Marilyn Kruger, 1293, who organized bus rides for four of Lincoln’s six city council candidates on what turned out to be a cold and rainy Saturday morning in Nebraska. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do – to get the city council members on a bus,” because she says, “When you ask them when’s the last time they got on a bus they can’t tell you.” Kruger’s goal is to change council members’ negative attitudes by getting them talking with people on the bus, and she says, “It’s easier when they’re candidates than after they’re elected.”
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So Kruger got permission from her property and Star Tran, checked it out with the city attorney, and started inviting candidates.
‘It opened their eyes’ “We had two Republicans and two Democrats,” she says. “All four rode different buses. “They mostly spoke to the passengers about transit and asked them what they thought was the most important thing we needed to do about it,” Kruger explained. “The candidates were receptive,” she said, and she “was impressed with the passengers’ responses. They know what we need to do. It opened their (the candidates) eyes. And it worked out. It will be good experience for next time!”
many believe is a “camel’s nose under the tent” which would lead to privatization of the entire transit system and public service as well. Particularly offensive was the way the Edmonton City Council voted to accept the national government’s antiunion restrictions in exchange for the federal funding. The council took the vote in secret with no information published about the issue beforehand. At a rally Litwinowich called on Edmonton citizens to “Pooh, Pooh P3!” “Keep your councilors accountable,” he urged, “Once this deal is done, future councils will have no power to make changes.” The group has launched a website – ourlrt.ca – as part of a push to make the proposed P3 an issue in Edmonton’s October civic election.
EDMONTON, AB Coalition building is being employed in Edmonton, AB, where Local 569 is fighting a plan to create a privatelyrun extension to the city’s light rail system (LRT). Local President Stu Litwinowich has pulled together a coalition to fight a plan that has been imposed on the city by Stephen Harper’s Conservative government in Ottawa. The federal government will only fund the extension under the provisions of the federal public/ private partnership (P3) – or as Litwinowich calls it, the “public/private pickpocket program.”
‘Pooh, Pooh P3!’ Transit riders, Labour, public employees, public interest and activist groups have joined ATU to fight what
Citizens on ATU’s side A poll commissioned by the group revealed that 64% of the people surveyed disagreed with the decision to turn over the operation of the LRT extension to a private operator. Also, 61% don’t like the federal government “forcing” the city to privatize part of the LRT to get funding, and 71% are concerned about the council’s decision to vote on the issue in secret. No doubt this issue will get a lot hotter before the election, and Local 569 will be at the head of the list of organizations making it so.
ATLANTA Local 732-Atlanta, GA, and a coalition of Atlanta transit advocates won a great victory in the battle against privatization of MARTA, in March, when a bill that would have mandated outsourcing of much of the city’s transit system died in the Georgia legislature. Nevertheless, Dr. Quincy Harris, chair of the NAACP State Conference Political Action Committee and spokesperson for Georgians for Better Transit, warned, “This is not to say that the struggle for better
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BATON ROUGE Last year, Local 1546-Baton Rouge, LA, and a coalition of religious and business organizations conducted a successful campaign to convince voters to approve a 10.6-mill property tax in the city limits of Baton Rouge and Baker. The resulting dedicated revenue stream led to expectations that CATS meager bus service would be improved.
transit is over. We will remain active in every area of our state to secure dedicated state funding for mass transit, in order to ensure and expand the ability of all Georgians to get to work, school, church, the doctor’s office, and other daily obligations, as well as to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion.”
But recent coalition criticism of several announced service improvement deadlines may have led to the resignation of CATS CEO on April 22. The coalition is still pressing for reduced wait times and new bus shelters as the agency looks for a new leader.
The coalition vowed to continue the fight the privatization efforts as well as push to amend state law to give MARTA the flexibility to spend more of its sales tax revenue on operating expenses to help the agency meet its budget shortfall.
CHARLESTON In April, Local 610-Charleston, SC, Americans for Transit, and the Hungryneck Straphangers conducted a transit rider voter outreach at five express bus stops to reach transit riding voters during the special congressional election contest between Mark Sanford, R, and Elizabeth Colbert Busch, D. Organizers spoke with over 2,500 riders. The coalition staged voter empowerment training sessions that expanded beyond the urban core to areas where transit is scarce or nonexistent. The group also participated in a North Charleston Earth Day celebration, and staged a daylong transit supportbuilding event in Beaufort. While the effort to elect Colbert Busch ultimately proved unsuccessful, the investment in the pro-transit coalition building and voter education will continue to reap benefits in the future.
WESTON VILLAGE Even as they voted against the recall of anti-union Governor Walker, citizens of Weston Village, WI, overwhelmingly approved a measure that required the village to provide public transportation at least five days per week beginning January 1, 2013. The vote overturned a decision by the village board ending funding for Metro Ride service. Led by Local 1168. and a coalition of transit advocates, nearly 64 percent of Weston voters cast ballots in favor of public transportation. International President Larry Hanley commented “These campaigns demonstrate the effectiveness at ATU coalition building. We’re proud of this successful work across North America.”
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Sweatshops on wheels A GUEST COLUMN
The article below was first published on April 15 on Truthdig. com by Chris Hedges, a Pultizer Prize winning journalist and best selling author. Hedges specializes in American politics and society and currently serves as a senior fellow at The Nation Institute. The article is reprinted with his permission.
pockets of obscene wealth, ailing infrastructure and public service, huge swaths of grinding poverty, and militarized police and internal security.
The deterioration of the nationâ€™s public transportation, like the deterioration of health care, education, social services, public utilities, bridges and roads, is part of the relentless seizing and harvesting of public resources and programs by corporations. These corporations are steadily stripping the American infrastructure. Public-sector unions are being broken. Wages and benefits are being slashed. Workers are forced to put in longer hours in unsafe workplaces, often jeopardizing public safety. The communities that need public services most are losing them, and where public service is continued it is reduced or substandard and costlier. Only the security and surveillance network and the military are permitted to function with efficiency in their role as the guardians of corporate power. We now resemble the developing world: We have small
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Highway assault began in 1930s The assault on public transportation, which has devastating consequences for the poor who cannot get to work or the doctorâ€™s office without it, is not new.
General Motors, Standard Oil, Firestone Tire and Rubber, B.F. Phillips Petroleum and Mack Manufacturing set up companies in the 1930s – first United Cities Motor Transit and later National City Lines – in order to rip up city trolley tracks and replace them with bus and car routes.
FirstGroup also has a controlling stake in Greyhound. Veolia Transportation, a subsidiary of Transdev, a conglomerate headquartered in France, has 150 contracts to run mass transit systems in the United States.
These corporations, joined by companies such as Greyhound, pushed through the national highway grid. City bus companies, as riders turned to cars, began to go bankrupt.
Workers stripped of pensions
Urban Mass Transit Act The federal government in 1964 approved the Urban Mass Transit Act, which provided capital and operating funds for mass transit to keep it on life support. The corporations, meanwhile, pushed through huge urban renewal plans, all funded by the taxpayer, which focused exclusively on highways, tunnels and bridges and further sidelined public transportation. Jane Jacobs, who wrote the 1961 book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” presciently understood and fought these corporate forces, led in New York City by Robert Moses, who forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands of residents and demolished neighborhoods to cater to the demands of the car and fossil fuel industries. Robert A. Caro in his biography of Moses, “The Power Broker,” exposed this relentless process in depressing detail.
Multinational consolidation This process of destroying our public transportation system is largely complete. Our bus and rail system, compared to Europe’s or Japan’s, is a joke. But an even more insidious process has begun. Multinational corporations, many of them foreign, are slowly consolidating transportation systems into a few private hands. Of the top three multinationals that control transport in the U.S. only one, MV Transportation, is based here. FirstGroup, a multibillion-dollar corporation headquartered in the United Kingdom and a product of Margaret Thatcher’s privatization of British mass transit, now owns First Student, which operates 54,000 school buses in 38 states and nine Canadian provinces and has 6 million student riders.
It was Veolia, after Hurricane Katrina that took over the New Orleans bus system. And Veolia did what it has done elsewhere. It stripped bus workers of their pensions. New York’s Nassau County bus service, once part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), was turned over to Veolia after the French corporation hired former three-term Sen. Al D’Amato of New York as its lobbyist. Veolia – which when it takes over a U.S. property, as in New Orleans or Nassau County, refuses to give workers a defined-benefit plan – is partly owned by a pension fund that covers one-third of French citizens. U.S. workers are losing their benefit plans to a company created to provide benefit plans for the French. Veolia is currently lobbying Rhode Island and Atlanta to privatize their bus services.
‘Guess what?’ “Our money is meaningless in politics,” Larry Hanley, the international president of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), lamented when we met in his office here in Washington. “It is still sought after, but it really has no weight in determining anything.” “For 50 years we have been trained to negotiate, trained to litigate, trained to arbitrate, trained to legislate, all the things society requires of a good, well-trained, wellgroomed union,” Hanley said. “And then all of a sudden they said, guess what, we are going to pull the plug. You are no longer even going to have the right to negotiate. We are going to take away your bargaining rights. “What good is it to have 500 well-trained officers in my union who know how to arbitrate a grievance when you haven’t got a contract and you have no grievance procedure?” The battles in towns and cities across the country usually pit 100 or 200 beleaguered union workers in a IN TRANSIT
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local bus system against a powerful multinational and its lobbyists in firms such as Patton Boggs. Former Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi and Rodney Slater, a secretary of transportation under Bill Clinton, work for these multinational transportation firms as Patton Boggs lobbyists. Armed with buckets of corporate cash, Lott and Slater lobbied the Senate last year to insert a call for privatization into a highway bill on behalf of the multinational corporations. The provision, which was inserted without hearings, public debate, documented evidence or prior approval by either the House or the Senate, mandates the federal government to undertake feasibility studies to privatize the nation’s mass transit on behalf of French, British and American transportation corporations.
“This is the second time that the Congress and the MTA have tried to do this. In the late 1980s and early 1990s under Reagan and Bush they tried but these guidances were repealed in 1994. “When you look at what was repealed in 1994 and what has been implemented again in this bill, it is the same thing. We now, in effect, have a mandate from Congress for the federal government to provide the resources, studies, reports and expertise to assist private corporations to take over public transit. The federal government has become the marketing arm for these corporations.”
‘A really stupid policy’ Political cover “This gives state and local governments political cover to privatize,” Robert Molofsky, the general counsel for the ATU, said of the provision when we spoke at the union’s headquarters.
The $8.5 billion stimulus package for public transportation, largely because of Larry Summers’ insistence, did not provide any money to fund operating costs for public transportation. This meant that city public bus services, which must operate on declining local tax revenue, could do little more with the stimulus money than work on infrastructure. — continued on page 23
Portland, OR unions go back to roots – ATU organizes new members
t’s worked in the past so why not now. Unions in Portland, OR, are banding together in support of each other’s organizing drives. Local 757-Portland, OR, is the latest beneficiary of this practice, having recently brought in 170 new members with help from the Portland labor community. Local President Bruce Hansen, commented, “Actually, in this one particular location, our local has tried to organize them, I believe, three additional times unsuccessfully up until this point.” The joint effort known as the “Oregon Organizing Project” has helped more than 3,000 Oregon workers win a voice on the job in the past several months.
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potty peril A
dirty secret in the transit industry that has plagued bus drivers across North America for decades is finally getting some much-needed attention. Inadequate bathroom breaks and facilities is a serious health and safety concern for drivers and riders. In Portland, OR, the only bathroom option for many drivers is portable toilets installed by the agency TriMet. This makeshift bathroom is located in a dangerous area under a bridge with poor lighting. Despite drivers’ complaints about its safety the agency made minimal changes. Then in April a TriMet driver was stabbed while exiting the portable toilet. This prompted Local President Bruce Hansen, 757-Portland, OR, to write a letter asking TriMet to quickly resolve the problems surrounding the portable toilet the agency provides as a rest area for its employees.
Complaints Drivers have also filed complaints about broken locks and tipped over units in the past, as well as transients camping out under the bridge. A TriMet spokesperson responded to the attack saying, “Obviously, we will look at this issue again after this incident.” The toilets that are at the end of the bus line often provide operators attempting to meet tight schedules with their only opportunity to use the restroom during their shifts. “We’re not asking them to move the toilets again,” Hansen says. “We want the whole layover moved to another location. The current situation is unacceptable.” This issue should have been addressed years ago after TriMet driver Diane Boothe was run over by her own bus and killed when she rushed to use the bathroom at the end of her shift and forgot to properly set the parking brake.
Toledo poster child for inadequate bathroom breaks In Toledo paratransit bus drivers, members of Local 697, have been denied bathroom breaks and even disciplined for using the bathroom. Some drivers have actually soiled themselves on the job in fear of punishment. Local 697 Financial Secretary/Business Agent Cindy Betz brought this serious problem up at a board meeting of the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority. But the board basically ignored the problem, instead reading from a prepared statement without a proper investigation. Drivers in Palm Beach, FL, and Mississauga, ON have experienced similar problems. The solution, of course, is so simple it’s ridiculous: Build extra time into transit routes or have mandatory breaks for drivers. But transit agencies refuse to make the changes because keeping the buses on schedule takes priority over drivers’ needs. ATU continues to push for changes to deal with this problem because agencies need to recognize it’s not only about the health and dignity of drivers, but also the safety of our riders. IN TRANSIT
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ATU locals gear up as Veolia stalks Providence, Milwaukee considers contracting
Another ATU hero saves a life
eolia Transportation, the North American arm of the notorious French multinational transit corporation Veolia Transdev, wants to become the operator of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) whose employees are represented by Locals 618 and 1363 in Providence. Veolia has hired five lobbyists to convince the state administration and the General Assembly to privatize the system. Company representatives met with Independent Governor Lincoln Chafee in March to discuss the possible takeover. Chafee is said to be noncommittal on the proposal.
Milwaukee Also, in Milwaukee, WI, (998) county officials issued a request in late April for proposals to manage the Milwaukee County Transit System. A new contractor could take over in January 2014. The transit system has been managed by nonprofit Milwaukee Transport Services since 1975. ATU locals in both cities are gearing up for the battles by developing campaigns with transit advocates to mobilize riders to fight the privatization efforts.
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oledo operator Geraldine Mitchell (697) is the latest ATU hero to save a life while on duty. The 16-year veteran stopped her bus on March 9, when she saw what she thought was a mannequin hanging on a porch. It didn’t take long for her to realize, “She is real!” Mitchell, three passengers and an off-duty police officer in the neighborhood rushed to the house and lifted up the woman so that the Mitchell could untie the extension cord being used as a noose. Mitchell performed CPR on the woman until she started breathing again. Sgt. Joseph Heffernan, spokesperson for the Toledo Police Department, said, “without her action she would have died.”
Bangor bus drivers join Portland, ME local Bus drivers in Bangor, ME, recently voted to join ATU. The 33 transit employees working for the Community Connector will be represented by Local 714-Portland, ME. “We applaud these workers in Bangor for organizing and standing up for a voice on the job and better transportation services for everyone,” said Don Berry, president of the Maine AFL-CIO. One driver was very excited to have a voice on the job. “It is my hope that a new union for Bangor transit drivers will provide us with a much-needed voice for driver concerns,” said the driver. “It will enable us to sit down together with the city of Bangor and find many ways to improve our performance as drivers and provide even better service to the many thousands who use the bus system.”
Boston paratransit riders protest fare hike HAMILTON SEARCHES FOR WAY DISABLED CAN STILL RIDE FREE Boston (589) seniors and persons with disabilities are protesting a fare hike for the The Ride – MBTA’s paratransit service. The Massachusetts Senior Action Council says there’s been a 19% drop in ridership since the agency doubled fares from $2 to $4. Meanwhile, the Hamilton, ON (107) city counsel has voted to extend the city’s voluntary fare program for transit riders with disabilities until June 1, and is looking for a way to keep it going beyond that. “I think we can be leaders on this particular issue,” said counsel member Sam Merulla, who introduced the motion to extend the program.
Hilton San Diego Bayfront 1 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101 Registration Deadline: June 1, 2013 Room Reservation Deadline: June 23, 2013 Room Rate: $189/Night For members & associate members: $100.00 Late registration $125.00 *All prices are in US currency only Note: Walk Up Registrations Will Not Guarantee A Hotel Room For more information: Latino Caucus Recording Secretary: Corina DeLaTorre at (916) 955-0078 Latino Caucus Treasurer: David Benavides at (210) 924-9718 or visit www.atulc.org
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Walmart pushes wages, benefits down worldwide A
mericans and Canadians love to shop. And the one thing they love more than shopping is getting a good deal on what they buy. No retailer has capitalized on those aspects of our national characters better than Walmart.
Poverty-level wages That means that half of Walmart’s employees make between $16,640 and $22,400 per year – less than poverty level wages for a family of four in 2013.
Thousands, if not millions shop at the giant retailer every day, including, unfortunately many union family members who either live where Walmart has driven out all of the competition, or can’t afford to pass up the bargains.
The company justifies that pay, again, by saying that its worker compensation is competitive with the “market.” What the giant retailer doesn’t say is that it is so big that it can virtually dictate what market wages will be. Thus, Walmart wages have become the benchmark by which all other compensation is judged.
Most shoppers don’t concern themselves with questions about how the multinational can offer goods at such low prices, even though it is no secret that the most common way of doing that is to pay your workers less than your competitors and getting your goods from overseas companies that exploit workers.
It’s not hard to see how taxpayers getting Walmart-level wages and benefits can be made resentful of public employees who get more. That, high unemployment, and austerity budgets, creates a downward pressure on all worker compensation – including that of transit workers.
Walmart has 8,500 stores in 15 countries. It is the largest private employer (two million workers), and retailer – in the world. And one of the undeniable effects of its massive footprint, is its ability to set standards that determine how much workers are compensated.
With the tough times for most Americans, it is understandable that many people shop at Walmart to feed their kids because of their low prices. While this is not a matter of beating up Walmart shoppers, there is a fight in a broader arena because shopping at Walmart lowers their own wages and robs them of a secure future over time.
Median worker pay at Walmart is $22,400 per year – one percent below the “market rate.” It’s not hard to see how the largest employer in the world can drag down wages simply by paying its employees one percent less than the median compensation of others performing the same work. But these figures can be deceiving. A report by Huffington Post revealed that the retailer’s base line workers make much less: “…a ‘solid performer, who starts at Walmart as a cart pusher making $8 an hour and receives one promotion, about the average rate, can expect to make $10.60 after working at the company for six years.”
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So we as transit workers must be aware of the corrosive impact of Walmart’s low price low wage business model. And we can send a message by not shopping at Walmart to let their executives know we will not stand for Walmart’s employment practices, which are killing wages, and increasing the ranks of the working poor while enriching a favored few beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
— continued from page 18
But once the bus industry was deregulated, companies such as Greyhound and Trailways were no longer required to serve remote or poor areas. Pensions and wages, especially as new nonunionized bus companies arose, were reduced. Greyhound bus drivers, once the highest paid in the country—in the 1970s their yearly pay was more than $100,000 adjusted for inflation – now make between $40,000 and $50,000 annually. And the company has eliminated perhaps as much as 80% of its former nationwide service.
Working during ‘rest periods’ “I am watching as 80% of transit systems have had to raise fares or cut service since the recession and then this money is used to build the bosses new bathrooms or buy them new cars,” Hanley said. “What it speaks to is a really stupid policy on national transit.” Engineering firms and the construction industry, including the construction trade unions, aggressively lobby for federal dollars in transit, but they make sure the money goes to real estate developers or corporations that build bridges and tunnels rather than to expand service, pay operating costs or cut fares. The nation’s senior transit officials often leave office to lobby for these same real estate developers and construction firms. When Christopher Boylan, who was the deputy executive director of the NYS Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the nation’s largest transit system, retired in 2010 he went to work as a lobbyist for the General Contractors Association of New York.
Worst conditions since Depression “These are the worst conditions for mass transit since the Depression,” Hanley said. “The MTA is raising fares while it is cutting services in New York, including routes they have been running for 100 years.” The wreckage of the nation’s public transportation system is staggering. Greyhound, before government deregulation in the 1980s, had 20,000 unionized members. It now has 2,500. The company, before deregulation, along with Trailways ran a national bus network that provided public transportation to towns and remote corners of the country.
Many bus drivers no longer work full time. And a loophole in federal law exempts intercity bus drivers from Fair Labor Standards Act overtime provisions, which, in essence, forces many of them to work second jobs during their “rest periods” to survive financially. There were some 3,000 bus companies in the country four decades ago. Today there are 152,000. Most of these companies have only a few buses. Companies such as Fung Wah, with its $15 fares for trips between Boston and New York, often have no vehicle maintenance plans. They do not use central fuel depots, instead buying fuel on the highway so there is no record of their mileage.
Fatal crashes Fung Wah was pulled off the road in February after a series of crashes. Public transportation is increasingly part of the underground economy. Working conditions are punishing and often unsafe. When Fung Wah’s fleet of 28 buses was finally grounded a few weeks ago, for example, it was revealed that three-quarters of the vehicles had cracks in the frames. Three times as many passengers and workers over the last five years were killed in bus accidents than plane crashes. The driver for one Canadian bus company, Mi Joo Tour & Travel, crashed in Oregon last Dec. 30 after falling asleep at the wheel, killing nine people and injuring 39. The driver, it was discovered, had driven 92 hours in the seven days before the crash. These flyIN TRANSIT
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The ATU is working to push through the Driver Fatigue Prevention Act (S. 487), sponsored by Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, which would ensure that drivers would be paid fairly for the work they perform above 40 hours per week, making them less inclined to work other jobs or otherwise dangerously push themselves at the wheel. But the bill, like most that seek to stem the tide of corporate dominance, is headed into the buzz saw of corporate power.
Hope lies in coalitions by-night bus companies, union officials say, are little more than “sweatshops on wheels.” “People now have to drive a bus 100 hours a week to make a living,” Hanley said. “The limit is 70, but there are a number of ways the drivers are forced to break the law. The industry is producing more and more crashes. “Greyhound has terminals all over the country that cost them money to support. In New York they have to go into the Port Authority with their buses. “The Chinatown companies show up and they have no requirements to go into terminals and pay terminal fees. They have no ticket sales because they do it all online. They have no baggage handlers. And they pay people off the books in many cases. “People have been caught driving these buses with no license. The buses have caught fire and turned over on the highway. We had an accident in the Bronx a year and a half ago that was so gruesome the first responders needed grief counseling. … The driver fell asleep.
Driver fatigue “Whenever you hear about one of these buses rolling off the highway I can tell you with 95 percent certainty that the driver fell asleep. And they are falling asleep because they are working long hours.” According to the National Transportation Safety Board, 36% of motorcoach crash fatalities over the past decade have been due to driver fatigue. It is the No. 1 cause of fatal accidents, far above road conditions, which account for only 2 percent, or inattention, 6 percent. Legislators, federal agencies and carriers, however, refuse to address the problem of driver fatigue.
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The only hope, Hanley said, is the creation of rider groups in towns and cities to save public transportation, especially with bus industry deregulation occurring in Canada, where his union represents many thousands of drivers. The union, with 190,000 members, is not strong enough to do it alone, he said. Hanley maintains that communities have to save their public transportation systems because no politician, Republican or Democrat, is prepared to step in and do it for them; the government officials are too beholden to corporate money. But with 10 million riders a day on public buses, Hanley said, there is the potential for organizing, as riders’ groups such as Americans for Transit are attempting to do.
Got message across – and won Hanley pointed proudly to the union’s outreach to community and church groups to save bus service last year in Weston, WI, a town of 15,000. Weston’s Village Council, as part of austerity cuts, had voted to eliminate local bus service. A broad coalition of groups organized to get an advisory vote put on the ballot to block the council’s decision. It was the same ballot on which Gov. Scott Walker, a foe of organized labor and a proponent of the austerity cuts, faced recall. Walker won his fight in the state and in Weston to stay in office. But about 65 percent of those who went to the polls in Weston, many of whom voted not to recall Walker, voted to protect their bus service. “This was not a partisan issue,” Hanley said. “It was not about Republican or Democrat, recall or don’t recall. It was about the quality of life in our communities. And when we got that message across we won.”
McDonald’s, Low-wage workers demand living wage, job protections A
s the number of America’s working poor increases, employees of McDonald’s and other fast food and low-wage industries have begun to awaken to the need to organize for dignity and a better life. Hundreds have engaged in daylong walkouts to demand a living wage and protection from retaliation and abuse.
Chicago A walkout was staged in Chicago in support of the “Fight for $15” campaign to secure a wage of $15 per hour for those who work hard in the city’s fast food and retail outlets, yet still can’t afford basic necessities. Similar strikes have been held New York and Pennsylvania.
New York Hundreds of fast food workers walked off the job in New York City, also demanding a $15 per hour wage and the ability to form a union. Organized by “Fast Food Forward,” the walkout coincided with the 45th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was killed while supporting the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike. The group says many members are living on food stamps or in homeless shelters even as employers’ profits continue to rise. “We’re on strike today because we can’t survive on $7.25. Higher wages will help us raise our families with dignity but also help lift our entire economy.” Profits at low-wage food employers have grown rapidly since the recession, as the chart above shows. Nevertheless, some fast food employers have exploited Latin American and Asian guest workers to increase profits.
Some of the chain’s foreign guest workers in central Pennsylvania launched a strike, alleging management has retaliated against them for demanding unpaid wages. The NYC strikers wanted to meet with McDonald’s directly, sign a labor agreement with worker protections, and ensure that they are fairly compensated.
Some improvement The New York protest has led to some improvement. Just minutes after their protest, McDonald’s announced that the franchise owner accused of exploiting the guest workers will be selling his three stores and will no longer be associated with the company. Additionally, McDonald’s says it is trying to connect with the workers on an individual basis to address the alleged abuse and it would provide franchisees with legal informationoon the J-1 visa program.
Not just a teenage job anymore Also, as noted by the Atlantic, “these jobs are not being done by teenagers… the median age is over 28, and the average women – who make up two-thirds of the industry – is over 32.” Numbers like these make it abundantly clear that we all lose when major international employers underpay and exploit their workers. IN TRANSIT
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Resolution submitted to the
57th International Convention of the
Amalgamated Transit Union Submitted by Local 587-Seattle, WA: “To protect the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) and its Locals from potential costly lawsuits(s) by banning the ATU International and its Locals from providing alcohol at convention, conference, or training in hospitality suites or elsewhere.”
! International to memorialize deceased local officers at Convention The International is requesting its locals to send it the names, titles, and pictures (if available) of local presidents, business agents, and financial secretaries who have passed away since September 26, 2010. This information will be made into a special memorial that will be displayed during the Convention. Please use the ATU Convention website or the form below to submit the name, title/office, local number and charter city*, and date of death to International President Larry Hanley, ATU, 5025 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20016, no later than August 1, 3013.
— Local Officer Memorial Form — Name: Title/Office: Local Number: Charter City: Date of Death: * For example: Local Number: 113 Charter City: Toronto, ON
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ATU lucha contra la avaricia, el trabajo esclavo y la privatización
dinero en el Congreso y en muchos estados presionando a nuestros funcionarios electos para liquidar a los trabajadores americanos.
Se recuperaron 1127 cuerpos antes de que se dejara de buscar sobrevivientes. Esa fue la cantidad de víctimas en la catástrofe del 24 de abril –la peor, hasta ahora en la historia de las masacres industriales– en el otro lado del mundo, en Bangladesh. Fue el resultado del mismo capitalismo desbocado (también denominado AVARICIA) que provocó la muerte de 146 costureras en el incendio de Triangle Shirtwaist en la ciudad de Nueva York hace más de un siglo.
Al mismo tiempo, sus socios fabricantes de vestimenta explotan trabajadores en Asia. Está conectado.
Está todo conectado No piensen que estás víctimas no están relacionadas con sus vidas, lo están. Están realizando el trabajo que se solía hacer en los Estados Unidos y Canadá. Sus empleos –en fábricas inseguras a 8.000 millas de distancia– son los anteriores empleos de los trabajadores en nuestros países, trasladados a Bangladesh para generar mayores ganancias para los propietarios de las empresas. Lo que queda, es la competencia por empleos con bajos salarios aquí y ciudades como Detroit con escasez de buenos empleos y los ingresos fiscales que derivan de ellos. Está todo conectado.
Trabajo esclavo En el mundo desarrollado tenemos normas laborales y códigos de construcción. Sin embargo, la vestimenta que se vende en nuestros centros comerciales se produce en países donde los esclavos, o casi esclavos, trabajan en condiciones que aquí son ilegales. A diario se derrumban edificios sobre estos trabajadores en cifras que son verdaderamente escalofriantes. Por lo tanto, perdemos los buenos empleos y pagamos para comprar los productos de las empresas que nos quitaron nuestros puestos de trabajo, mientras que los trabajadores en el otro extremo del mundo sufren para que las mismas pocas personas se enriquezcan. Las corporaciones francesas y británicas están reavivando la economía global con las propiedades de transporte escolar y de tránsito en nuestros países, tal como lo hicieron con Greyhound en los Estados Unidos y ahora se están encargando de hacerlo en Canadá.
No es nada nuevo que las personas ricas exploten a los trabajadores, sino que se ha vuelto más sofisticado. Se ha demostrado que la idea de que nuestros productos de consumo se pueden hacer más económicos mientras mantenemos nuestros salarios y pensiones estaba equivocada.
El fracaso de la desregulación A nuestro alrededor vemos la evidencia del fracaso del capitalismo desregulado. En esta edición leerán sobre el impacto de Walmart en nuestras vidas. Muchos de nuestros miembros entregan los salarios ganados como miembros del sindicato a Walmart todas las semanas. Luego, Walmart utiliza su ganancia para destruir no solamente nuestros sindicatos, sino los empleos en nuestros países y alrededor del mundo. En su valiente discurso en Sudáfrica en junio de 1966 (hace casi 50 años), el Senador Robert Kennedy abordó este tema: Las personas se mueren de hambre en las calles de India; un ex primer ministro está ejecutado sumariamente en el Congo; los intelectuales van a la cárcel en Rusia; y miles son procesados en Indonesia; la riqueza se prodiga en armamentos en todas partes del mundo. Estos son males diferentes; pero son las obras comunes del hombre. Reflejan las imperfecciones de la justicia humana, la insuficiencia de la compasión humana, la deficiencia de nuestra sensibilidad hacia el sufrimiento de nuestros semejantes; marcan el límite de nuestra capacidad de utilizar el conocimiento para el bienestar de nuestros semejantes en todo el mundo. Y, por lo tanto, invocan a las cualidades comunes de la consciencia y de la indignación, una determinación compartida para borrar los sufrimientos innecesarios de nuestros semejantes en el país y en todo el mundo.
Privatización = Pobreza
Cada niño muerto estaba realizando un trabajo que aquí había muerto
Venden salarios de miseria a nuestros países en forma de “privatización” del tránsito. En este momento están gastando
Cada niño que muere en una fábrica tiene una contraparte cuyo trabajo también fue “asesinado” en los Estados Unidos o en Canadá.
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Tenemos un enemigo en común en las personas ricas y codiciosas que nos hacen esto. Las mismas empresas están inyectando cientos de millones de dólares en la política de los Estados Unidos y de Canadá para despojarnos de nuestros derechos a las pensiones, de nuestro derecho a negociar contratos y de nuestro derecho a siquiera tener un sindicato. Si hubiera habido un sindicato de trabajadores en esa fábrica en Bangladesh hoy podría haber otras 1127 personas vivas. Necesitamos enojarnos más para cambiar esto.
cambios estructurales en nuestro Sindicato y hemos nombrado un Comité de Exploración Estructural para que la próxima Convención nos haga más eficaces en el campo. Somos un Sindicato que está creciendo en cantidad, en fuerza y en determinación. Mientras más se nos ha desafiado, más hemos logrado. Pero hay mucho más por hacer.
En esta edición también informamos sobre las alternativas tributarias como el impuesto “Robin Hood” –un impuesto sobre las transacciones de valores– y el “impuesto sobre las ventas en Internet” que podrían ayudar a salvar nuestras ciudades mediante la recopilación de los mismos impuestos en amazon.com que deben pagar nuestros minoristas locales.
Esperamos nuestra próxima Convención Internacional con la esperanza de que podemos ser mucho más de lo que hemos sido hasta ahora.
Orgulloso de ser ATU
Conscientes del mundo que nos rodea, teniendo en cuenta nuestra posición en el conflicto moral, dejaremos la Convención dispuestos a luchar para que todos nuestros miembros -y porque sabemos que el sol sale para todos- luchen por los trabajadores de todo el mundo.
En esta edición hay historias de heroísmo personal: la historia del miembro de Toledo, Geraldine Mitchell, que salvó una vida mientras conducía su autobús.
Cambiaremos la manera en que llevamos a cabo nuestros negocios en nuestras Convenciones y proporcionaremos la formación necesaria para que nuestros delegados vayan a casa preparados para los próximos años de lucha.
Me siento especialmente orgulloso de las historias sobre nuestros locales en “Lo que funciona”, nuestro informe sobre las luchas de nuestros sindicatos locales. También leerá acerca de nuestro local en Providence, RI, que lucha y supera a Veolia y sobre Bangor, ME, en donde nos hemos abierto paso con la nueva organización.
Si estoy equivocado, ¡demuéstrenmelo!
Columnista invitado, ganador del Premio Pulitzer
A veces me pregunto si los miembros toman a In Transit con pinzas. Lo digo porque cada tanto la revista trae un montón de malas noticias y si ustedes no están sufriendo estas malas noticias en sus establecimientos, se podría pensar que estamos exagerando.
El columnista invitado es el reconocido autor, ganador del premio Pulitzer, Chris Hedges, quien ha dirigido su atención a nuestras luchas, incluso la fatiga del conductor, y nuestros esfuerzos continuos para garantizar una enmienda a la Ley de Normas Razonables de Trabajo para solicitar a los empleadores que paguen las horas extras a los conductores en la industria de transporte por carretera. Asimismo, en Toledo, denuncias de los conductores de autobuses sin descanso para ir al baño, ¿les suena conocido?
Acción estructural En la reciente reunión de la Junta Directiva General en Atlanta, todos nuestros funcionarios trabajaron en un plan de acción más amplio. Estamos trabajando en los posibles
May/June 2013 | IN TRANSIT
Después de todo, el Sindicato ha sobrevivido durante 121 años y como Mark Twain dijo, ha “sufrido muchísimos problemas, pero la mayoría de ellos nunca sucedieron”. Sin embargo, deben saber que la mayoría de los “problemas” que leemos en In Transit “nunca suceden” debido a que su Sindicato está luchando con éxito para evitarlos. Lamentablemente, este tipo de éxito puede hacer que la gente se sienta satisfecha, puede hacerles creer que realmente no hay mucho de qué preocuparse. Pero, aunque me puedan acusar de dar “falsas alarmas”, tengo que admitir que nunca he visto un momento como este, y que me preocupa mucho. Un poco de historia puede ayudar a explicar lo que quiero decir:
El nuevo trato frente al trato injusto En la década de 1930, la Gran Depresión dio lugar a reformas del tipo del “nuevo trato” que mejoraron en gran medida las vidas de las familias trabajadoras de Canadá y los Estados Unidos. Por consiguiente, la mayoría de nosotros crecimos en los mejores tiempos económicos de la historia de nuestras dos naciones. Naturalmente, pensamos que la existencia de la clase media que surgió durante el siglo XX es “normal”, a pesar de que es bastante singular en la historia. Ahora, en el siglo XXI, la Gran Recesión ha producido una inversión de ese proceso. Un “trato injusto”, si se quiere, es el robo a la clase media de la seguridad económica por la que tanto luchó por alcanzar en el último siglo. Bajo el control de los poderosos intereses empresariales y sus títeres políticos, el trato injusto busca incrementar la riqueza sin precedentes de los ricos, llevando a los trabajadores de los países industrializados nuevamente a las pésimas condiciones que soportaron durante la mayor parte de la historia.
Hoy clasificamos a estas personas como “trabajadores pobres”, casi como queriendo poner en cuarentena su experiencia laboral lejos de la nuestra. Sin embargo, si nos negamos a reconocer la situación tal cual es, con el correr del tiempo, la grave situación actual de los trabajadores pobres se considerará “normal” para todos los trabajadores. Me temo que los que todavía tenemos empleos con salarios dignos no nos daremos cuenta de la magnitud del problema hasta que no nos afecte personalmente y para entonces será demasiado tarde.
El desafío Sin embargo, llevo mucho tiempo en esto como para convertirme en un pesimista ahora. Por lo tanto, desafío a todos los miembros de ATU a que me demuestren que estoy equivocado.
Ya existe una parte creciente de la población que está haciendo un trabajo agotador por salarios ridículamente bajos, sin sindicatos, sin licencia por enfermedad, sin cobertura de salud, sin vacaciones, sin jubilación, con normas laborales injustas o sin normas laborales, en condiciones laborales inseguras, etc.
Los insto a que se unan a nuestra lucha contra el trato injusto aunque aún no les haya tocado de cerca. Vayan a la reunión del sindicato local, involúcrense con su consejo sindical local, apoyen a los candidatos que están a favor del trabajo, hagan todo lo posible por defender y ampliar los derechos de los trabajadores.
¿No son estas las condiciones laborales que existían entre finales de 1800 y principios de 1900? ¿No pensamos que habíamos superado este tipo de esclavitud asalariada en la década de 1960, si no es que fue en la década de 1950?
Esto es importante, no solo para ustedes, sino también para sus hijos y nietos y, de hecho, es importante para el bien de nuestras naciones.
For the latest ATU News and Action Alerts please check out the ATU’s social media network Facebook: facebook.com/ATUInternational
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In Memoriam Death Benefits Awarded March 1, 2013 - April 30, 2013 1- MEMBERS AT LARGE ROBERT M HARDIN JR RODNEY E MEZEL VIRGIL O SANDERS RUDOLPH H VARNEY 19- COLORADO SPRINGS, CO LEO R MORRIS 22- WORCESTER, MA LINDA A BROOKS KAREN M CHABOT ROBERT A MOQUIN 26- DETROIT, MI NICHOLAS JOHN COUREY DAVID L HOWTON CARL D JOHNSON EDDIE ROBERTSON BETTY SHEPHARD JESSE J WILLIS 85- PITTSBURGH, PA EUGENE T BUNGERT ROLAND COLAGUORI JAMES R DEES EDGAR R LAURIE HOWARD W LINDBERG JESSE J MANNING MAURICE J MC CARTHY WILLIAM A MC CARTNEY THOMAS M MISKIEWICZ RICHARD A MORGAN JOHN MOSURA FRANK NIKLAS LAWRENCE M O’CONNOR THOMAS O’LEARY FRANK M O’NEIL LAWRENCE J PHILLIPS RUDOLPH PLAIKNER THOMAS F PRILL JOSEPH LYNN TRUJILLO LETTIE M WALLS 107- HAMILTON, ON MAX EUGEN AHLFORS STEPHEN E FORESTER JEFFREY T JOHNSTON COLLEEN TOLL 113- TORONTO, ON MICHELLE S BEDWARD JOHN GERALD BRADLEY THEODORE H CARLISLE FRANK CHIRCOP ROCCO CORNACCHIA NICOLA DI RENZO RUSSELL HOWARD EWLES DAVID FAIRWEATHER FRANKLIN GEROUX WILLIAM FRANK HASLER FREDERICK W HAWTHORNE LOUIS I HICKEY JOHN JOSEPH KEARNEY EDWARD LANSDOWN ANTHONY LOCILENTO JOHN MAGEE BARRY N MORTON WILLIAM DENNIS O’BRIEN ELGIN PEPPIN CHARLES PRICE JOHN SCHMUCK JOHN A SMITH JOHN D SPEARS ROBERT STEWART KENT TAYLOR 192- OAKLAND, CA EUGENE ARNETT LAWRENCE JAMES BIRT
SANDRA L COOK HAROLD E HAGLER ANGELINA A LAGUER ANDREW C NEAL PHILLIP JORDON NELSON HERSCHEL A PLEASANTS THOMAS JOE SANDOVAL JR JOHN P UNDERWOOD MACLETUS THELMA WATSON 241- CHICAGO, IL MAURICE BANKHEAD KELLY BELL HAVARD L BLANKS STANLEY E BROWN WILLIE J COCHRAN CHARLES E DIAL JOSEPH A GORECKI DONALD E JACKSON FRANCIS J LAMBERT ROBERTA S LEWIS JACK MARTIN VICTOR R MOORE CARROLL C PORTER BRUCE PRICE MITCHELL P ROMAS ROBERT I STEWART WILLIE R STRICKLAND HENRY SYKES DAVID A THOMAS DORRIS WILSON JR 256- SACRAMENTO, CA DAVID R BLENKHORN CURTIS THOMAS JR 265- SAN JOSE, CA CARROLL W ADAMS JESSE J CISNEROS VINCENT LANZAROTTA MATTHEW PAULIN 268- CLEVELAND, OH CHRISTOPHER BATTLE SAMUEL M KISNER ROBERT EDWARD KRAUSE 279- OTTAWA, ON DENNIS P ARPIN GEORGES GRANDMAITRE JODY A STEELE STEFAN R VORONEY 308- CHICAGO, IL WILLIAM B BROWN DOROTHY M DISMANG BRIAN R DOE EDWARD JOSEPH FREEMAN CARL C MEYER ULYSSES S PRITCHETT SAM STIMAGE WILLIAM THOMAS THOMAS WALKER BETTY J WATSON PRIMES WEST E M WILIEKO 312- DAVENPORT, IA LAWRENCE E FOX 382- SALT LAKE CITY, UT FRANK D RICHINS 416- PEORIA, IL GREGORY S CHURCH 569- EDMONTON, AB JAMES W HUFFMAN ALBERT LUETHE GERARD MARINGER NORMAN L SAX
580- SYRACUSE, NY RICHARD A DE PIETRO 583- CALGARY, AB WILLIAM CYRIL JULLYAN COLEMAN A LANDER WILLIAM A ORR RICHARD THOMAS WALKER 587- SEATTLE, WA JACK A BUCHANS PAUL A CONSIDINE DAVID E FARNHAM MICHAEL FLICKINGER RUSSELL W HARRIS ROBERT L MC ALPINE EARL STANLEY RADFORD HONORIO A STA CRUZ 589- BOSTON, MA JAMES F CANNON MAXWELL C CURRY JOSEPH S FORTINO JR CHARLMER G GROVES THOMAS W HARDING THOMAS F KELLEY ALBERT W NEWCOMB WILLIAM V RICHI 618- PROVIDENCE, RI WILLIAM J FURICH REGINALD HILL CARLOS S MEDEIROS JUAN OTERO RALPH VITALE 627- CINCINNATI, OH JERRY L PARKER DEBORAH THOMAS 689- WASHINGTON, DC WILLIAM ALSTON NORMAN W BAYLOR JR JOSEPH E COULTER JEFFREY A GASTON KURT ALFRED HEINZ JR JOHN B KEILLOR TAE H KIM MITCHELL L RICHARDSON ARTHUR J SHUGARS ROY G STANFORD SHIRLEY TWITTY DONTE C WASHINGTON JOSEPH J YAVULLA
757- PORTLAND, OR JOHN W BROWN JOREE JACKSON JASON A JANES KENT K KALWEIT JOHN D MITCHELL SR VIRGINIA F PUTNAM
DONALD J REED MARY ROMSKI MANLIO R SANTORO ROSE MARIE SIMON WILLIAM H SMITH JODI SURIANAGA JEANETTE VARGETTO
758- TACOMA, WA CLIFTON A FOURNIER HAROLD A GERBER
1225- SAN FRANCISCO, CA HAROLD NEAL MC ELROY FRED G RICH
819- NEWARK, NJ LEONA P DAVIS TAHEESHA HORTON PATRICK J PONTRELLI JOSEPH A SEMATAVAGE
1235- NASHVILLE, TN DAVID L LOWE
825- ORADELL, NJ FRANK O ROMA 880- CAMDEN, NJ DENIS M FARRELLY AUGUSTUS HOLMES 966- THUNDER BAY, ON DON DUBOIS 998- MILWAUKEE, WI GEORGE R CASTRO RICHARD CHOMICKI CHARLES J CUNNINGHAM VINCENT C DIKIARA GOLDIE E JOHNSON-YOUNG HARVEY O SCHERR EARL M SEYBOLD JULIA M THOMAS LEONARD J WILHELMI 1001- DENVER, CO JANICE FAYE STANLEY 1005- MINNEAPOLIS & ST. PAUL, MN JOSEPH J DITSCHLER RONALD E FONTAINE ANTHONY D FRANKLIN ELDON K TURNER 1037- NEW BEDFORD, MA CHARLES A LAGOA 1070- INDIANAPOLIS, IN WALTER J DIXON
690- FITCHBURG, MA ALAN C EASTMAN
1177- NORFOLK, VA MELVIN COTTON
694- SAN ANTONIO, TX GASPAR S GARCIA RAYMOND Q VALENZUELA
1181- NEW YORK, NY NANCY A AULL FRANK N CAPECI RAFAEL COLON SHEILA CRUPI FRED DAVIS ANNA DI FIORE MARGUERITE DI MICELLI BETTY D FILMORE WILLIE FRANKLIN WILLIAM FREY INEL GAILLOT RAYMOND HAUGES RUSSELL F JONES MARY KARSEBOOM THOMAS P KELLY MICHAEL LUCIANO GRACE MAIORANO LAWRENCE MAURELLO MADELINE MONTI LUCILLE PAWIAK CLORINDA PORTSCHELLER
713- MEMPHIS, TN JOHN H LEWIS 725- BIRMINGHAM, AL FRANKLIN H ANDERSON 726- STATEN ISLAND, NY DOUGLAS BALL ALFRED BEYER ROBERT P CARROLL GILBERT MONTALVO ARTHUR TAYLOR 732- ATLANTA, GA DONALD HAYFORD FERNANDO KELLEY CHARLES W SNOW
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1277- LOS ANGELES, CA THOMAS E DOTSON ROBERT LEE NELSON 1285- JACKSON, TN SHADY O MOORE 1300- BALTIMORE, MD FRANK DANIELS ROBERT L MC GRONAN MIKE TAKESIAN JOHN A THOMAS 1309- SAN DIEGO, CA KAROL R FERRIS MARGARETA A MULLEN 1321- ALBANY & TROY, NY JAMES W KEECH 1342- BUFFALO, NY RICHARD W ROGERS 1345- READING, PA C GEORGE ZAPF JR 1374- CALGARY, AB GORDON IRWIN STEINMAN 1433- PHOENIX, AZ SALVADOR G GONZALEZ 1436- HARRISBURG, PA PHILIP C CREA 1447- LOUISVILLE, KY DENNIS M CHAPMAN 1505- WINNIPEG, MB LLOYD GEORGE BISSETT JASWINDER SIDHU KENNETH V SMITH HENRICUS N VAN DE MOSSELAER 1575- SAN RAFAEL, CA JAMES CLINCY JR 1576- LYNNWOOD, WA PATRICK R HILL 1700- CHICAGO, IL HUGH E SMITH IRVIN THOMASTON 1729- PITTSBURGH, PA PAUL R GEORGE 1753- VENETIA, PA RICHARD P BOTTLES JOSEPH HENRY
PA School bus local awaits decision on grievance local made a fair contract offer to the school district that legally required the district to continue negotiating.
‘They will not talk to us’ The local accepted the report, and the district rejected it. “They will not talk to us,” says Local President Lori Krapf.
enn Hills, PA, school bus drivers have been waiting for a resolution of their labor dispute with Penn Hills schools since the district broke off negotiations with Local 1552 in May 2011. The school system ceased bargaining in order to contract its student transportation work out to private operator First Student. A fact-finder commissioned by the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board (PLRB) concluded in 2011 that the
The local filed a grievance with the PLRB, accusing the district of prematurely ending negotiations. A PLRB hearing on those charges ended in June 2012, but the board still has not issued a final ruling. If the Penn Hills local receives a favorable ruling, the school district could be ordered to buy its school buses back from First Transit, rehire all of Local 1552’s drivers, mechanics and bus aides, and pay Local 1552 members two years’ back pay – much more than what it would have cost to simply negotiate with the local in the first place.
— S AV E T H E D AT E —
ATU/MS Research Funds
28th Annual Tournament
OCTOBER 6 - 7 , 2013 MUSKET RIDGE GOLF CLUB, MYERSVILLE, MD FOR THE BENEFIT OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS RESEARCH
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Amalgamated Transit Union
AFL-CIO/CLC 5025 Wisconsin Ave., NW Washington, D.C.20016 www.atu.org
NON-PROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID LANCASTER,PA PERMIT #1052
PRINTED IN U.S.A.
YOUR HELP NEEDED AGAIN ATU DISASTER RELIEF FUND ATU members stepped up for Hurricane Sandy, Now Brothers and Sisters in Oklahoma in need! When Mother Nature unleashed her wrath with Hurricane Sandy, ATU members stepped up – as we always do - to help our brothers and sisters impacted by donating the ATU Disaster Relief Fund (see chart). In May one of the worst tornados in history savaged an area in around Oklahoma City. The devastating wind and rocketing debris wreaked havoc on the region, shattering houses and flattening supposedly solid school buildings. The cyclone left hundreds injured, and at least 20 residents – including 9 schoolchildren – dead in its wake. Unfortunately, homes and property of ATU brothers and sisters and their families living in the area have been destroyed and damaged, as well. When crisis hits, ATU members do what they do every day on the job, in their communities, and in their places of worship. They just help out. You can help your brothers and sisters who have been hurt by this year’s tornados by contributing to the ATU Disaster Relief Fund.
$149,698.16 Total Raised Since Hurricane Sandy
$155,100.00 Total Disbursed in Hurricane Relief 156 members from 16 Locals received assistance
How to Donate Donations can be made online by visiting www.atu.org, or by mailing a check to: Amalgamated Transit Union Disaster Relief Fund 5025 Wisconsin, Ave., NW Washington, DC 20016 Attn: Lawrence J. Hanley U.S. contributors: Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent provided by law.