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In part of an apparently labor dispute, approximately 80 transit union employees staged a sick-out this morning impacting MARTA bus service. This prompted the transit authority to file a court injunction to end the slow-down
The injunction seeks to end the sick out and demanded that union leadership disavow certain member’s actions by demand they return to work, according to MARTA materials.
This comes on the heels of an all-day collective bargaining session that concluded late Saturday night which resulted in a signed agreement between MARTA and Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 732 leadership over wages, benefits, and parity pay adjustments for bus and rail operators, MARTA materials indicate.
Union leadership, it seems, does not condone the actions of the members who called out sick today. In a Dec. 27 letter to union members, obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the ATU encouraged members to remain on the job and to “continue to provide the quality service that has earned us the respect of not only the community and MARTA management but every person who encounters a MARTA employee.” It appears today’s sick-out was organized by members who did not take that advice.
“I am deeply disappointed in the actions of some ATU Local 732 members,” said MARTA’s General Manager and CEO Jeff Parker. “MARTA put a deal on the table that I believe is the best arrangement this union has ever received. After months of negotiations and finally coming to a wage agreement, ATU has caused a significant disruption to MARTA’s bus service today.”
The agreement would give MARTA’s union employees a pay raise of 3 percent per year for three years, and an additional $0.25 per hour longevity premium to all employees with more than 20 years of service, according to MARTA materials. The deal would also put into place a parity pay adjustment of $0.50 per hour for all bus and rail operators and a $1.00 per hour increase for skilled technicians.
It’s unclear if the sick outs will continue, but MARTA leadership told the AJC they do not expect MARTA service to be disrupted during the Super Bowl.