NY School Bus Drivers Threaten Strike

NY School Bus Drivers Threaten Strike

From the New York Times: “For the second consecutive year, a showdown between New York City’s largest union for school bus drivers and City Hall is threatening to strip 150,000 public school students of transportation just after the holidays. The issue prompting what the Bloomberg administration says is the “strong possibility” of a citywide strike by the union, Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union, is the same as last year: the loss of job protection for the most experienced yellow-bus drivers when the transportation vendors who employ them lose city contracts. And, just as he did a year ago, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg stood on Friday with senior city officials at a news conference to lay out contingency plans.

“In a year when our students have already missed a week or more of school because of Hurricane Sandy, striking against our school children, we think, would be totally irresponsible,” Mr. Bloomberg said. “Going through with a strike now,” he added, “would be unfair to our kids and absolutely unacceptable.” It is far from certain whether the bus drivers who work for the companies that serve the city will stage a strike, since not all of them are unionized. Michael Cordiello, the president of Local 1181, which represents 9,000 affected members, did not return phone calls on Friday seeking comment.

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In a statement the union said it was “prepared to take any action necessary to protect the safety and security of New York City school children.”

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