Saturday, August 02, 2008

CONTRACT VOTE TOMORROW

I am going to the Convention Center tomorrow to hear what the 2nd contract offer is. I am VERY curious, but haven't heard any buzz about it.

The first offer was turned down by a whopping 95% of the workers that voted. There's a clue. Think there's something wrong with the contract???

I've seen on the news they want to say it is due to the slap-in-the-face raise increases they offered. 1% , 1% and 2% over 2 years when some management has gotten OVER 4% this year alone. I don't knock management. Overall, I think they do a fantastic job. However, when is the last time ANY of them has had their life threatened over a quarter or been punched, spit on, egged or any number of other abuses drivers are subjected to daily? They already make MUCH more than we do and to keep spreading the gap is really unfair.

Anyway, the big sticking point really isn't the insulting raise issue. It is the fact they slipped in a paragraph that would allow the supervisors/managers to drive the light rail trains "in case of emergency". What entailed an "emergency" wasn't specified. The way a lot of us read that was that if we were to have to go on strike in the future, they would keep the trains running. That would have a huge negative impact on our striking efforts. Besides, there could be negative results from agreeing to this on a more regular basis. Why pay overtime to a regular train driver when you can stick a salaried supe/manager on the train and save money? I just think they either need to remove that paragraph/idea entirely or they need to be VERY specific on what exactly is considered an emergency.

I've already decided, if that issue remains then so does my "no" vote. I really hope they fix it. No one wants to go on strike...except maybe the people that REALLY hate Governor Pawlenty and want to strike during the Republican National Convention just to make him look bad. I have to agree...it really would embarrass him nationally. Who wants a Vice Presidential candidate that can't keep mass transit running in his own town???

Anyway, wish us luck! Hopefully, they offer a contract that is fair to all and we can just keep doing what we love to do!

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