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AC Transit Workers & Riders Unite: We Have The Same Enemy & the Same Fight

Wednesday, July 28, 2010
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Event Type:
Emeryville Division FightBack Committee
Location Details:
1600 Franklin - Oakland

AC Board of Directors are trying to bust AC bus drivers Local 192 and they are fighting back. Drivers and riders will rally on 7/28 at the AC Board of Directors meeting to let them know what they think about union busting.

7/28 Action: AC Transit Workers & Riders Unite: We Have The Same Enemy & the Same Fight

7/28 Action: AC Transit Workers & Riders Unite: We Have The Same Enemy & the Same Fight

AC Transit Management, like managers at SF MUNI and the Hyatt Hotels, are making workers and bus riders pay for the Wall St. banking fraud, tax cuts for the rich, and rising war budgets. In addition to higher fares and less service, AC is holding workers responsible for the 300% increase in health insurance premiums in the last 10 years. AC Managers have imposed a contract radically changing our work shifts. Over 80% of us have reluctantly worked them, but some drivers have been unable to adjust. We ask for your understanding and support during the next trying week of the imposed contract. Unilaterally, AC management is:

Operating short staff, refusing to replace retirees with full-time workers. AC plans to bring in part-timers who won’t be able to support their families.

Falsely counting workers on long-term illness,disability & military as “sick”

Taking away the right of ALL bus drivers to work 5 days per week of the same shift. New shifts are all over the map: 6am to 7pm one day, 12pm to 12am the next. You will no longer see your same driver the entire week.

Forcing new shifts on drivers who must pay more for child care; married workers can no longer commute together; others caring for elderly or disabled family members simply cannot so quickly adjust their lives

Making drivers who have vision problems due to diabetes work night shifts

Taking away up to 2 hours pay per day ($51) for the same shift worked

Taking away up to 35% of vacation and holiday pay as well as 3 holidays

Making us pay up to $2735/yr in health premiums and hundreds more in co-pays - with no wage increase. AC Transit workers are paid $3.85hr under the average pay of other Bay Area Transit workers. We have already paid for our benefits with lower wages.

PROTEST: AC Board of Directors Meeting

Wednesday July 28th – 6pm – 1600 Franklin - Oakland
Emeryville Division FightBack Committee

With Friends like the ATU, Who Needs Enemies?
With Friends like the ATU, Who Needs Enemies?
On Tuesday June 29th @12:30pm in San Francisco, the ATU Leadership - new Int’l President Ron Heitzman, FST Oscar Owens, and Local 192 President Claudia Hudson – all confidently proclaimed that the union would not make concessions to transit management. Heitzman said that SF Mayor “Newsom has his head up his ass” for demanding concessions from Muni drivers who twice rejected them. He was tired of bosses “trying to balance their budgets on the backs of the workers” and said “we aren’t giving up shit.” President Hudson reiterated that “we have nothing to give.”
Less than 9 hours later they e-mailed a contract proposal that saved nearly $10.5 MILLION in the first year to AC Transit. ATU claimed it was only $9M but forgot to add in the impact of a wage freeze. AC routinely budgets for a 3% annual wage increase @ $1.1 Million for every 1% increase. Right now the annual inflation rate since June 2009(CPI-W) is 1.4%. Using that figure, a wage freeze saves AC another $2.86 Million and cheats each $50,000 worker $700/yr. Remember, ATU 192 is already $3.85 per hour under the average of Bay Area Transit bus drivers. (See box for details).We’ve lost at least $4000 per member – not counting attendance bonuses and opt-out. Lastly, the cut to AC’s contribution to the Retiree Medical Trust takes away the chance of increasing the benefits to cover the spouse of the employee. Most other ATU and TWU 250A Locals have some retiree coverage for the spouse.
• WAGE FREEZE = LOSS OF 1.4% (CPI-W): $50,000/YR X 1.4 = $700 -- $60,000/YR X1.4 = $840 $70,000/YR X 1.4 = $980 -- $80,000/YR X 1.4 = $1120
• VTA = $29.75 – BART = $30.05 – MUNI = $30.15 – SAMTRANS = $28.20 - AC TRANSIT = $25.68
• HEALTH PREMIUMS @ 10% OF TOTAL: HEALTH NET EMPLOYEE & SPOUSE = $379/WK OR $38 per week X 4.2 weeks - $160/mo X 12 = $1920/YR - HNET FAMILY $2770/YR+ $10 CO-PAYS. ADD DENTAL/VISION HEALTH
• HOLI DAYS: VETERANS DAY = 12 HOURS MIN X $25.68 = $308. 2 FLOATERS = 16 HRS = $411
At the July 14th meeting President Hudson said she did not understand why AC Management was not negotiating in good faith. AC bosses know the ATU has not prepared its members and the riders for a strike. By threatening to impose a garbage contract, they have pressured ATU leaders into a concession proposal that will now become their bottom line in arbitration. AC bosses know from their victories in the vault pullers’ and the OSHA heat illness decisions that arbitrators are falling for the “budget deficit” and “economic climate” excuses to justify upholding contract and legal violations.
The US capitalist class is determined to crush the standard of living of union workers to increase their profits and reverse their declining position in the world economy. They are also spending trillions on wars to defend the interests of Chevron, Exxon and BP. Democrats from Obama to Newsom demand that government workers “share the pain.” Government agencies like AC Transit cut services, raise fares and attack workers rather than tax the banks, corporations and the wealthy. They are the cause of the financial collapse and rising unemployment. This results in the decline in property, income, and sales taxes - and thus the $56 Million AC budget deficit. In addition, Gov. Swarzenegger outright stole $70 million of dedicated gas tax and State Transportation Assistance funds from AC in the last two years. He did this to guarantee interest payments to rich bondholders - which is mandated by “law.” Some people aren’t “sharing the pain.” While Mary King, Louis Clinton, Kathleen Kelly, and Ken Scheidig are also being paid handsomely to cut the workers’ throats, they are merely the lackeys of the ruling class.
The ATU believes that capitalism will recover and return to treating workers with dignity. That’s dreaming. Unlike the 30’s when the US was growing relative to Europe, US capitalism is now in a long-term decline relative to emerging capitalists like China and Russia.
Added to the calendar on Sat, Jul 24, 2010 4:45PM
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