Media Center

Jan 30

Bloomberg Administration Snubs Offer to Suspend Strike

1181 Would Support a Two-to-Three-Month Reprieve to Focus on Cost-Savings


Contact:
Maggie McKeon: 212-691-2800  -  mckeon@sunshinesachs.com
Chris Licata: 212-691-2800  -  Licata@sunshinesachs.com


NEW YORK CITY – This morning ATU Local 1181 President Michael Cordiello was joined by ATU International President Larry Hanley, and other supporters in labor in announcing the Union’s latest attempt to bring City Hall to the table to end the two-week old strike.

Earlier this week, Local 1181 met with Justice Milton Mollen and City’s bus companies and explained they would support a two-to-three-month ‘cooling off’ period if the city was willing suspend the opening of the special education bid and come to the table. The offer was then relayed to the Mayor’s office through Justice Mollen, where it was rejected and the City has subsequently continued to refuse to meet with Local 1181 and the bus companies.

During the City bus driver and matron strike of 1979, it was Justice Mollen who brokered the settlement of the strike with the city, union and bus company owners – the same parties who should collectively be at the table now – that created the Employee Protection Provision (EPP) for these contracts, and which led to 33 years of labor peace and safe transportation of New York City school children.

“I am extremely disheartened that Mayor Bloomberg continues to abdicate his responsibilities to the city of New York,” Cordiello said. “The Mayor has just as much of a responsibility to end this strike and get our City’s safest and most experienced drivers and matrons back on the road as anyone else. Instead, Mayor Bloomberg continues to put the safety of the City’s children at risk by ignoring decades of history and the actions of his predecessors by falsely claiming he is unable to come to the table.”

During the proposed “cooling off” period Local 1181 drivers and matrons would return to work, and union leadership would actively participate in discussions with the city and bus companies on how the city could trim costs from the current system, and protect the job security of the most experienced professionals. The idea was inspired originally from Central Labor Council President Vincent Alvarez.

Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, said: “We need all parties to come to the table and negotiate in good faith. The City could end this tomorrow, but instead continues to take us down this irresponsible path. By rejecting the union's offer to return to the job while working toward a long-term resolution, the City is demonstrating a total disregard for children, parents, workers and all New Yorkers.”

Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO, said: “There are real consequences as a result of the Mayor’s refusal to come to the table and negotiate. Children and parents are suffering, and working class families have been forced to fight for their livelihoods. It’s time for the Mayor to stop being unreasonable, and start working with the union to get the workers back on their routes providing safe and reliable service to New York City school children.”

“The union is prepared to offer assistance exploring new cost-saving measures that do not unfairly place a burden on the backs of the men and women who are tasked with daily transportation of our City’s most precious cargo,” said Cordiello.

 

About the ATU

The Amalgamated Transit Union is the largest labor organization representing transit workers in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1892, the ATU today is comprised of over 190,000 members in 264 local unions spread across 44 states and nine provinces, including 3,000 workers at Greyhound Lines, Inc. Composed of bus drivers, light rail operators, maintenance and clerical personnel and other transit and municipal employees, the ATU works to promote transit issues and fights for the interests of its hard-working members.

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