October 25, 2014

Big pride in bus, transit victories

Morr, Bonnie.2011

By Bonnie MorrVice President, Bus Department The UTU has gained a new First Transit property in Farmington, N.M., which is now in Local 1687 out of Albuquerque. Contract negotiations have begun. We also are in the initial stages of organizing some 200 workers on a transit property and a light rail property in Southern California. [...]

Federal funding announced for transit modernizing

WASHINGTON – More than $826 million will become available to transit systems in the U.S. this year for modernizing and repairing vehicles, the Department of Transportation announced Feb. 6. “An American economy that’s built to last must be built on a solid foundation, and when we have buses, transit facilities, and other equipment that’s in [...]

Repeal referendum likely in Indiana

Wisconsin Rally; Wisconsin; Rally; protest

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Mitch Daniels has signed into law right-to-work (for less) legislation in Indiana that prohibits union-shop agreements and prohibits union contracts that require those who decline to join a union from paying any fees for representation – essentially encouraging free riders and severely damaging the financial ability of unions to serve members. Contracts [...]

MLK advocated economic opportunity, trade unions

Dr. King

By Calvin StudivantAlternate Vice President, Bus Department As we follow the demonstrations of the 99 percent against the greed and wealth of America’stop one percent, I am reminded of a 1967 speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in which Dr. King advocated a transformation “from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society.” Each day jobs [...]

Random drug, alcohol test rates set for 2012

WASHINGTON – The Department of Transportation has ordered the following minimum random drug and alcohol testing rates for 2012: For workers in safety sensitive positions and whose safety is regulated by the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Transit Administration or the Federal Aviation Administration, employers must perform random drug tests on at least 25 percent of [...]

LACMTA bus operators have new contract

James Williams; William, James

Williams LOS ANGELES – The almost 5,000 UTU members employed by Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) have ratified a new contract, through June 30, 2014, by better than a three-to-one margin. The new contract provides for wage increases, a signing bonus, improved work rules, narrows the pay gap between the top and bottom [...]

Driving a bus ‘a potent stress cocktail’

Morr, Bonnie.2011

By Bonnie MorrAlternate Vice President – Bus Department Operating a bus may be the most stressful job in America. Early in November, 100 Detroit bus operators walked off the job after repeated passenger assaults. In New York, a study found a pattern of physical and verbal assaults on drivers. Add to the fear of being [...]

Bus driver cell-phone ban finalized

UTU Bus Department logo

WASHINGTON – A Final Rule has been issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) prohibiting bus (including school bus) drivers and truck drivers, operating in interstate commerce, from using hand-held cell phone while operating their vehicles. Also inncluded in the ban are drivers of small passenger vehicles designed to transport between nine-and-15 passengers. The [...]

Fighting the fight for equitable transit funding

Morr, Bonnie.2011

By BONNIE MORRAlternate Vice President, Bus Department As some in Congress seek to slash spending on public transit – the only affordable means for millions of Americans going to and from work – ridership is soaring. The American Public Transit Association says more than five billion trips were taken via public transit during the first [...]

House bill would help restore transit service, jobs

bus_news

WASHINGTON – A bi-partisan bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives to bring financial relief to distressed transit systems and to help stem cuts in transit jobs and service. Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.) and Rep. Steve Latourette (R-Ohio) have introduced H.R. 3200, the Local Flexibility for Transit Assistance Act, over concern that as [...]