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Thread: (Atlanta, GA) MARTA, union appear far apart

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Dharmster's avatar
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    (Atlanta, GA) MARTA, union appear far apart

    The union official violated a fundamental rule, that is you don't bit the hand that might feed you:


    ajc.com > Business > Horizon
    MARTA, union appear far apart

    > By JULIE B. HAIRSTON
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    > Published on: 05/16/05
    Sharp exchanges between a leader of the union representing MARTA workers and a state senator suggest that metro Atlanta's largest transit system and its drivers, mechanics and other skilled workers are far from agreement on the terms of a new contract.

    During a meeting last week of MARTA's legislative oversight committee, state Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) asked MARTA and union officials to outline differences between leave policies and health care benefits offered to union employees and those offered to nonunion employees.

    Ernie Brooks, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 732, bristled at the request and reiterated his commitment not to discuss the substance of the ongoing contract negotiations in public.

    The current union contract expires June 30.

    "I smell something a little funny. Personally, I smell a rat," Brooks said.

    Fort told the labor union president that he has a record of sympathy for labor issues, but that such sentiments are in short supply in the General Assembly.

    "There are folks that don't want either of you [MARTA or labor] around," Fort said. "I'm saying to both of you that if y'all don't find a way to cooperate, you've got a very cloudy future."

    In the 10 meetings MARTA and union officials have held so far, the two have exchanged lists of issues. MARTA's list contained 22 items and the union list contained 33, according to Dave Hudson, MARTA's director of labor relations.

    "I would describe our negotiations at this point as very open, very frank and very serious," Hudson said.

    Hudson also disclosed to the committee that the question of how sick days, leave and vacation are managed has been a topic of discussion.

    He also acknowledged that the negotiators also are discussing health care.

    State Rep. Jill Chambers (R-Atlanta), chairwoman of the legislative committee, created two study committees. One will examine MARTA's capital assets, including its real estate holdings, and the other will conduct a labor cost analysis.

    The next legislative oversight committee meeting will be a daylong session June 9.








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  2. #2
    Cyburbian AubieTurtle's avatar
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    MARTA needs to go on strike. Not because the employees need better benefits but because until the metro area is forced to suffer traffic hell a couple of months without MARTA, they are never going to appreciate it. Most people here think MARTA has no effect on them or their commute. Since as many trips are made on MARTA each day and the two busiest roads in Atlanta combined, they'd find out real quick.

    Of course, a lot of people who rely on MARTA would end up suffering. Not everyone can just go out and buy a car or can have their health suddenly improve to a level that will allow them to drive an automobile. But the short term pain would probably be worth the long term gain of educating the public of just how much MARTA means to the metro.
    As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. - H.L. Mencken

  3. #3
    Cyburbian LorenzoRoyal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by AubieTurtle
    MARTA needs to go on strike. Not because the employees need better benefits but because until the metro area is forced to suffer traffic hell a couple of months without MARTA, they are never going to appreciate it. Most people here think MARTA has no effect on them or their commute. Since as many trips are made on MARTA each day and the two busiest roads in Atlanta combined, they'd find out real quick.

    Of course, a lot of people who rely on MARTA would end up suffering. Not everyone can just go out and buy a car or can have their health suddenly improve to a level that will allow them to drive an automobile. But the short term pain would probably be worth the long term gain of educating the public of just how much MARTA means to the metro.

    Exactly. In L.A., the MTA went on strike twice in the last five years. In the last strike (2003), traffic went up 9% on the freeways but delays went up a whopping 32%. So no matter what people say about not caring--it didn't seem like it here because of the supermarket strike that went down at the same time--a transit strike will have a negative impact on people everywhere. I cannot imagine the Atlanta freeways with MORE traffic. Not everyone can drive, and the lack of transit would slow the ATL's economy for however long MARTA's union is on strike.

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