Muni Drivers Conduct Sickout

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SAN FRANCISCO—Many residents were left waiting to get to their destination on Monday, June 2 as hundreds of Muni drivers conducted a sickout over the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A labor agreement. The disruption left commuters waiting for hours for transportation to arrive and in most cases the buses were packed with patrons. The effects of Monday’s sickout, impacted transportation on June 3 and June 4 as delays continued to be reported by patrons.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority tweeted on Thursday, June 5, that “all service, including cable cars, are returning to regular routes today.”

In a press release from the SFMTA on June 2 from Alicia John-Baptiste, Chief of Staff indicated, that a work stoppage is prohibited under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the SFMTA and Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 250-A (9163), and operators who participate in such conduct are not expected to receive paid sick leave, could face disciplinary actions and could result in termination.

The TWU Local 250-A (9163) MOU, Article 28 No Strike Clause states in part, “Strikes, slowdowns or work stoppages are prohibited during the term of this MOU.” That agreement remains in effect until June 30, 2014.

SF Mayor Edwin M. Lee released the following statement on June 3 in response to the sickout: ““I join Muni riders throughout our City in their frustration at Muni drivers who irresponsibly abandoned their jobs and intentionally disrupted our City’s public transportation system. This cannot continue. I say to our drivers, ‘People count on you to do your job so they can get to theirs.’

As public servants, we are obligated to serve the residents of this City, not punish them when you disagree with the amount of your raise, or the contributions you must pay toward your pension. There is a clear and agreed upon process in place to arbitrate the agreement you are disputing, a process the union has agreed to and the voters put in place. The public should not be punished any longer. I would like to thank the drivers who did not participate in this illegal action and did their best to keep our City moving.”

By LaDale Anderson