Transit Union Votes to Reject Newest MCTS Contract; Authorizes 'Work Action'
On Monday, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 998 members voted 92% to reject the latest contract proposal from Milwaukee County Transit System and authorize a work action, if necessary, as determined by the Executive Board.
The union has sent a letter to MCTS requesting they come back to the bargaining table to resume negotiations.
Brendan Conway of MCTS released a statement saying,
"MCTS remains committed to reaching a deal that is fair to drivers and mechanics while also ensuring a fiscally sustainable and strong transit system for the tens of thousands of people who rely on it every day. The contract that was voted down included millions of dollars in wages and benefits and represented months of hard work by MCTS, ATU and the federal mediator, who helped negotiate this latest proposal."
President of ATU Local 998, James Macon released the following statement.
“It’s time for MCTS to come back to the table and work honestly toward a fair contract that Milwaukee transit workers can accept in good conscience–one that retains full-time, professional transit workers and does not compromise the quality or availability of service. Today, ATU Local 998 members sent a strong message to MCTS and County Executive Abele that we will not stand by and let them turn our careers into part time jobs. We will not be accepting the company's outrageous demand for part-time bus operators that would work unlimited hours without benefits. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Milwaukee transit workers deserve full-time, family sustaining careers; not part-time poverty! If Dan Boehm had spent half as much time drafting a fair contract as he has writing deceptive letters to our members, we’d probably have reached an agreement by now. Return to the bargaining table, take it to arbitration, or take your chances with the workers you insulted with this proposal. Those are the options for MCTS and Chris Abele at this point.”