For Washington, D.C., residents, the long-rumored streetcar in the H Street corridor may seem like a mythical creature. We've heard about it for years. We've seen the tracks. We've even seen streetcars going down H Street with no passengers in them. Lots of people have been left wondering what's going on and why things are taking so long. The culprit, it seems, is a common impediment to progress across the country—outsourcing.
The Highway Trust Fund that helps states pay for transportation and transit construction and upkeep is running out of money and layoffs could begin in July. Late last month, more than 1,000 Transport Workers (TWU) and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) members and their allies rallied on Capitol Hill to urge Congress to replenish the Highway Trust Fund and reauthorize the Surface Transportation Act. Here’s the TWU video of the action.
Sunday was the first outdoor, cold weather site Super Bowl in the game’s 48-year history. The frigid weather in the weeks leading up to the game didn't stop the thousands of union members who brought you the game. On the scene at MetLife Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands or behind the scenes at many facilities in the Metro New York-New Jersey area, union members made the nation’s national party day possible.
What happened when about 165 elderly residents and residents with disabilities had to be evacuated from their Toledo, Ohio, apartments because of a top-floor water main break earlier this month? Union members and the Toledo Region of the American Red Cross came to the rescue. UAW Local 12 opened its hall to those in need of shelter. Volunteers who pitched in to help included members of the UAW, the Ohio Nurses Association, UFCW—and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) members, who transported the displaced residents to the shelter.
The 2,500 workers at Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) remain on strike today after BART management’s last-minute contract demands forced the workers to the picket lines Friday morning. No new talks are scheduled, said Antonette Bryant, president of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1555, who told the San Francisco Chronicle:
The 2,500 workers at Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) were forced on strike early this morning after BART management “demanded new sweeping powers to endanger and exploit our workers—all of this at the last minute,” said Antonette Bryant, president of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1555.
This is not a union strike. This is a management strike brought on by absolute arrogance.
Negotiating a fair contract is a complex process that involves hard work and commitment from both labor and management. When both sides bargain in good faith and share a goal of securing a deal, a deal eventually gets done. I’ve personally been involved in many tough negotiations that ended with a fair deal both parties could live with. It takes patience and willingness from both sides to compromise.