Transit workers union hopes to keep MTS as county transit service provider

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by Keith Meka

MILWAUKEE -- Amalgamated Transit Union Local 988 represents more than 900 workers who have been working without a contract since March 31st. As they union votes on a new contract, they're paying more attention to which company gets the transit service contract with Milwaukee County.

The union would like to see Milwaukee Transit Services, the company they currently work for, to stay on as the provider when its contract comes up at the end of the year. MTS is bidding against for-profit companies, some with ties to Europe, to stay on as the service provider of the Milwaukee County Transit System.

Union President Alan Simonis says, "Being for profit they have to make a profit, and by so doing that they either cut wages, they cut service, and they raise fares."

Any provider could possibly reduce wages for workers, but a raise in bus fares or route cuts need to be approved by the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors and the Milwaukee County Executive.

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