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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

ATU Local 1001 - RTD Arbitration

RTD week long strike in April, 2006.

It's three years later but it's the same old cast in more troubled economic times.

What were the gains other than public resentment?

Link to the 2/24/2009 Colorado Department of Labor and Employment order denying the RTD employee members of ATU Local 1001 the right to strike and ordering arbitration.

The employees did strike for a week in 2006 at the end of their last contract. It's unclear to me if there were any actual gains. As I recall, the employees were out for a week and ended up with pretty much what RTD initially offered. Did any of the union bosses or lawyer Jones give up a penny? I think it's also important to remember that union officers (including shop stewards) are paid for x hours per month at the top rate for their respective occupational group so their own raise is going to be larger money-wise than most/all of the grunts actually doing the job. Who's interest is being served?

I wonder how much sympathy there is for the employees in today's economic climate and with RTD needing at least another .04% sales tax increase from the citizens or face a $2.2 billion deficit by 2017, mostly the results of Cal Marsella's pet project - Fastracks.

Do I think that the RTD employee members of ATU Local 1001 are overpaid? ABSOLUTELY NOT! If I were an RTD bus driver or mechanic, I'd want a raise and the benefits I was promised. As a Colorado voter, will I vote for another sales tax increase in 2009 or 2010? ABSOLUTELY NOT! We fell for the B.S. in 2004 when the sales tax increase was the answer to all of RTD's problems so fool me once "shame on you" - fool me twice "shame on me".

With boss and head cheerleader Marsella leaving for greener pastures in the private sector, it'll be interesting to see what direction RTD takes. Only time will tell what RTD's future is but I believe it's a pipe dream to think that the voters will approve another increase. I'll also wait and see what comes of the arbitration between RTD and ATU Local 1001.

In the meantime, there is a way for the members of ATU Local 1001 to ensure themselves a raise (almost $600 per year for RTD employees, less for private contractor employees but a raise none-the-less) before there is an arbitration decision and new contract - PETITION FOR DECERTIFICATION and throw "dem bums" out in an election. The folks at the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundations will be happy to help.

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