Metro Transit Union Says No Strike 4th of July Week
ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–The transit union representing drivers for Metro buses and Metrolink trains says it has no plans to strike over the 4th of July week.
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 788 Representative Darrell Pulliam says despite management passing out fliers to passengers warning of a possible work stoppage as soon as next week, there are no plans to strike.
“We are not going to strike,” Pulliam said, ” We don’t want to put the public under duress.”
Metro CEO John Nations has warned there could be potential disruptions in Metro service during the Fair St. Louis festivities , citing a recent increase in drivers refusing to take overtime hours to keep the system running.
Pulliam says there is no systematic effort to decline overtime, but adds that individual drivers do have the right to decline overtime hours if they have already worked 40 hours.
At issue in the contract dispute, management wants new union members to enroll in a 401k instead of a pension. Drivers say they also want a raise after five years without one, and they don’t like proposed reductions in medical benefits.
The union and management remain arbitration.
Metro CEO John Nations is warning there could BE a strike next week, and he may have to shut down train and bus services if too many workers walk out. Nations claims riders are reporting Metro drivers are telling them there will be a strike on Monday.
“The strike would be illegal but short of a strike anything that would deny us the manpower to put the service on the street would obviously be a big issue” Nations told KMOX.
Its illegal for metro workers to strike, but Nations says drivers could cause “significant disruption” to the system next week by refusing to work overtime hours.