The union representing about 2,500 bus and rail operators in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, the site of the 2018 Super Bowl, authorized a strike for Super Bowl week when the city will be bursting with football fans.
The union would strike for a 10-day period ending February 4, the actual date of the Super Bowl.
The union objects to a proposal that would eliminate the current 30-hour cap for part-time bus drivers and another that would require employees to pay more toward the cost of tools, with only a small increase in the current tool allowance.
Ending the 30-hour limit is problematic because it could allow Metro Transit, which operates the transit system for the Twin Cities, to get full-time work from bus drivers with part-time benefits. Some part-time bus drivers also don’t want to work additional hours.
“We have bus drivers that get assaulted, spat on, have stuff thrown at them,” not to mention verbal assault.” (I hadn’t realized all the similarities between my job as a management-side labor lawyer and a bus driver.) The union wants the transit system to address this issue by creating safety barriers for bus drivers.
Matt Austin owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can reach Matt by calling him at (614) 843-3041 or emailing him at Matt@MattAustinLaborLaw.com.