Stand Firm OCTA Drivers; OCTA Board Think of the Riders

Matt “Jubal” Cunningham over at Red County/OC Blog has a post calling on the OCTA Board to stand firm and not agree to the reasonable wage demands of the Bus Drivers in their contract negotiations. Matt writes;

So, with minutes to go before the cooling off period expired, Teamsters Local 952 (the bus drivers’ union) president Patrick Kelly responded to an OCTA concession by increasing his demands.

Matt, I wonder if maybe the change in wages demanded by the Teamsters was an offset to a reduction in some other benefit made by OCTA?

Above all, an OCTA employees union cannot be allowed to dictate policy to OCTA. If the bus drivers’ union wins via a strike, you can bet the union will resort to it more readily in the future.

So what you are saying Matt is that the drivers should be happy with whatever they are offered. That is certainly not a negotiation.

OCTA should begin replacing these drivers as quickly as possible. Striking drivers should be invited to cross the picket line and accept the wage-and-benefit package spurned by union prez Kelly. The rest should be given a deadline to return to work — and any who return after the deadline should do so as entry-level drivers. Union demands are geared to the benefit of the senior drivers, so such a stance would be a powerful incentive to return to work.

Heck Matt, given your perspective here, we may as well simply outlaw the premise of collective bargaining. If workers could simply be replaced if they went on strike then, there would be no reason for OCTA to negotiate.

And as far as the free market is concerned, I presume you mean the Laissez-faire, unregulated, free market. The one that OCTA has already contracted with to provide substitute drivers and provide sub-standard service to those who use OCTA’s ACCESS Van service.

Yeah, that makes sense Matt. From your perspective it is always the fault of the union, or employee greed. Never is it the fault of Laissez-faire captialists like you and your Republican colleagues who run the OCTA Board.

However with that said, we over here at urge OCTA and the Teamsters to go back to the table and find a path that will lead to a mutually agreeable solution. 

The drivers deserve a reasonable pay increase, the public deserves and needs reliable public transportation, and the taxpayers deserve a transit system that includes both.