The school bus drivers of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 are on strike but, the cause of the standoff won’t make it into the corporate news. It’s an attempt to bust the bus drivers union by Billionaire Mayor Bloomberg who would eliminate unions and privatize every corner of public education, if he could.
The workers are fighting to maintain the Employment Protection Provisions in their union contract. Bloomberg seeks to destroy the EPP’s which make sure that qualified and experienced union bus drivers safely transport the precious cargo of children over the unpredictable streets of NYC.
Union drivers and bus matrons are well- trained and highly skilled to deal with all aspects of their job: caring for special- needs kids, conflict resolution on the bus, providing first aid and much more.
Without the EPP’s in place, private companies could and would pay poverty wages, gut safety measures, and cut workers’ benefits.
It’s very trendy right now to blame the budget crisis on overpaid union workers. But nobody becomes a bus driver to become a billionaire! The problem here is that the big banks that caused the ‘08 crash remain untouched and unregulated, and are back to making huge profits.
The rest of us are still reeling from the last crash, and waiting for another.
Unions are the only shield the public has to defend a living wage and benefits in the current race to the bottom, driven by union-busting corporations and the politicians that answer to them.
Mayor Bloomberg: Why pick on workers barely making a living wage? Why don’t you tax some of your buddies on Wall Street instead?
We have got to hold the line with the bus drivers for decent jobs with decent pay. With support from the community, families, and the larger New York City labor movement, we can win this fight!
Freedom Socialist Party
Freedom Hall, 113 West 128th Street, New York, NY 10027