Uh, oh. I guess I won’t be using the bus for a while. Look at what I found in The Register:
Orange County bus drivers could go on strike at midnight tonight, but Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called for a 60-day cooling-off period and lawyers for the state are expected to seek a court injunction today that would stop an immediate walkout.
The bus drivers earlier authorized a strike and will be without a contract at midnight, with no further talks scheduled, according to Teamsters Local 952, which represents about 1,100 Orange County Transportation Authority bus drivers.
So what does this mean for the 200,000 plus people who ride OCTA buses every day? And what might happen to the drivers? Follow me after the flip for more…
So what does this mean for the workers? Another snippet of the article gives us a clue:
Meeting Friday, representatives of the bus drivers union and OCTA failed to extend the driver’s old contract, said Patrick Kelly of the Teamsters.
The contact expired last Monday, but was extended for a week when Schwarzenegger ordered a seven-day cooling off period, which expires at midnight.
Today, attorneys for the state are expected to ask an Orange County judge to prohibit a strike for 60 days more, Kelly said.
More than 200,000 people a day ride Orange County buses.
If the judge determines a walkout would not significantly disrupt public transportation services and endanger the public health, safety or welfare, and does not issue an injunction, the bus drivers are ready to walk off the job just after midnight, Kelly said.
So what happens to everyone riding the bus? Does this mean that I can’t take Route 57 from my house to Newport? Does this mean I can’t take Route 1 from Newport to Laguna? What happens to all the workers who use the bus? What happens to the disabled folks who depend on OCTA to get around?
I’m really disappointed that OCTA could not make an agreement with the Teamsters. Not only are they putting the livelihoods of these bus drivers at risk, but they are also jeopardizing the livelihoods of all the many thousands of workers who depend on OCTA to get to their jobs on time. I have a feeling that this won’t work out for anyone.
Too bad that OCTA and the County of Orange allowed this labor dispute to become a transportation nightmare.