Phoenix Bus Union Strike: Good Idea?

Categories: Morning Poll
Hope you don't need this today.
If you're depending on a bus ride to get somewhere in Phoenix, good luck with that.

The Amalgamated Transit Union went on strike this weekend to protest contract issues with Veolia Transportation, the French-based company that's under a $388 million contract to run the city's buses.

As of 6:45 a.m. today, Veolia Phoenix was operating at around 14 percent of its typical weekday service level, which isn't quite a high-efficiency Monday.

According to the union, the workers' contract with Veolia expired in October, 2010, and the drivers have been working since then, despite the failure to come to a new agreement.

The union maintains that Veolia's screwing the pooch on this one, saying it's been engaging in "serious and pervasive conduct" throughout the negotiations.

Since Tempe drivers have now joined in on the strike, we're talking about more than 100,000 riders that could be affected by the strike -- and they're the ones who get to deal with the problems as well.

Click here for updates on bus routes affected by the strike.

"Our members have continued to show up to work every day because they know the people of Phoenix and Tempe need to get to work too," said Bob Bean, president of ATU Local 1433 in a statement issued late Friday. "We've been trying to negotiate with Veolia for a long time in both cities - long after expiration."

Our question for this morning: is the bus union's strike a good idea?

Cast your vote below:

My Voice Nation Help
Fire them all
Fire them all

These are tough economic times and there are tons of people looking for work.  They get no sympathy from me. THEY HAVE A JOB.   

I saw the news coverage and the bus driver said looking at a stranded bus rider "Its not fair that they should have to suffer for this"   WHAT???  What does the rider have to do with the bus driver wanted more money or benefits than the poor rider?  That's equivalent to holding a gun to a kids head and saying, give me a raise or the kid gets it.

There are plenty of unemployed people that would GLADLY take those jobs.  The bus drivers are getting spoiled and asking for more now seems selfish during these tough times. 

I, for one, would've listened a bit if they went on strike when times were better, but not now.

Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland

I agree. This hurts more people than it helps.


 The above comments are just what Veolia is hoping for. Phoenix bus drivers already have a pay scale which is below that of other metropolitan areas and the company is hoping that stalling to the point of a strike will bust the union. Then watch as the company will further suppress wages and get rid of benefits.


 WRONG!!  Even the union itself acknowledges that valley drivers are the highest paid in the southwest United States...they even posted this on their website while saying that it isn't about wages at all, but rather about unfair negotiation tactics.

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