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SF TWU 250a Suspended Pres On Attacks On Transit Workers and The Union
by Labor Video Project
Tuesday Mar 19th, 2019 9:28 AM
San Francisco TWU 250a suspended president Roger Marenco talked about the attacks facing transit workers and privatization of public transit in San Francisco. Following this interview the supporters of the past union leadership suspended Marenco with the support of the TWU International.
San Francisco TWU 250a represents 2000 transit workers in San Francisco. Roger Marenco, the suspended president discusses issues facing him and his members and also the recent action to suspend him from his position by opponents in the TWU 250a executive board.

These officials were responsible for the previous concessionary contract that have created a staffing crisis because of the length of time needed to reach the top pay scale.

Marenco also discusses the threat to public transportation by deregulation and the expansion of UBER Lyft and other private services.

Additional media:

President Suspended
Report: Poor pay for SF TWU 250a bus drivers caused ‘chronic staffing deficit’ that led to summer Muni meltdown

Production of Labor Video Project

Internal disputes in SF TWU 250a used by TWU international to suspend Muni union president Rodger Marenco just as contract talks begin

The internal union battle could have wide implications for the salaries of some 2,000 Muni operators. The conflict has even earned the ire of the Transport Workers Union of America, the national body that oversees the local Muni operators’ union.

“For the last year, our great Local 250-A has been embroiled in infighting and dysfunction among its elected leaders,” TWU of America wrote, in a February 25 letter to the union. “As a result, local officers are unable to carry out the essential functions expected by union members after any election: LEADERSHIP.”

The latest conflict took place only five days before the first day of negotiations between The City and its largest labor unions, including TWU 250-A.

Marenco, who took the presidency in April after a landslide vote by Muni operators, was — at least temporarily — removed from office last Thursday following a complaint by some union members that he improperly endorsed a candidate for recording secretary during a union meeting, prompting suspension by the local itself.

SEE RELATED: New Muni union president to take office after dispute

Marenco declined to comment for this story, but sources with knowledge of the situation said the complaint ultimately stems from internal strife with allies of the last TWU president, Eric Williams, who have sought to challenge Marenco’s presidency since the day he won office.

Indeed, the letter from the TWU of American said the central conflict is taking place between Marenco and Terrence Hall, secretary treasurer of TWU Local 250-A ,who sources say is a political opponent of Marenco’s.

Hall was one of the officers walking into negotiations with The City as Marenco was suspended.

Whoever is ultimately found to be at fault, the first day of city negotiations has been severely impacted, explained Fred Glass, City College of San Francisco labor professor and author of From Mission to Microchip: A History of the California Labor Movement.

“The timing couldn’t be worse for members,” Glass told the Examiner. Seeing the union divided “never makes sense for membership when just before going into negotiations,” Glass said.

The TWU of America echoed those sentiments in their letter to the Muni union local.

“Local 250-A is about to begin contract negotiations,” they wrote. “These challenges cannot be met by a divided leadership.”

Indeed on Tuesday, Marenco was set to walk into negotiations, utilizing plans and allies he had built over the last three years at least. He has built a following of hundreds of Muni operators in a group text message system, and educated those union members in his YouTube video series “The Transit Talk.”

He even led the Muni union to rejoin the San Francisco Labor Council for the first time in years, gaining crucial allies ahead of negotiations. After Muni operator pay was exposed as a leading cause of Muni service shortages systemwide, Supervisor Vallie Brown vowed to help operators receive full pay that Marenco had agitated for.

Instead of Marenco, Hall and Seigfried “Ziggy” Henderson, another TWU Local 250-A union officer, walked into negotiations in his stead.

Glass said that the actions by the union officials may have far-reaching implications for all of its membership.

“It looks as if they’re putting their political interests ahead of members at the moment,” Glass said. “It’s bound to be disruptive.”

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