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Rail News: Passenger Rail

California Governor asks UTU members to return to work

United Transportation Union (UTU)-represented bus and train operators at Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) met Oct. 4 at 11 a.m. (PDT) at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in south Los Angeles, where UTU General Chairman James Williams told members that Gov. Gray Davis requested they go back to work.

"There was a resounding ‘no,’" says MTA spokesman Edward Scannell.
Negotiations were due to resume at 2 p.m. (EDT), but as of 3:40 p.m. (EDT), UTU members had not arrived.

"Our people are there, but the union is taking their time," says Scannell. "This has happened a lot during these negotiations."

Although MTA abandoned its proposed 10-hour, four-day work week and Davis signed a bill guaranteeing UTU workers wage and benefit retention in the even of a transit zone creation, other stumbling blocks remain — primarily MTA’s plan to reduce the amount of overtime pay by hiring more part-time operators and "very old work rules," says Scannell.

Kathi Kube

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More News from 10/5/2000