Like Rest Of City, Transit Employees Go To Work ¿ And Wait
12/16/2002 09:08 AM
After a midnight deadline came and went without a contract deal or a strike, it was just another Monday morning at the Queensbridge bus depot in Inwood. Like others in the city, transit employees awoke to learn talks are continuing, so they must continue working.
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“We’re glad that we’re able to provide service,” said one worker directing city buses out to their routes. “We have a lot of confidence in [union president Roger] Toussaint, and hopefully the MTA will understand and they’ll agree on something.”
In the meantime, transit workers say, they’re in the same boat as the rest of the city — waiting with uncertainty and hoping to avoid a strike.
“We’re just sitting patiently and waiting,” said another bus worker. “We all wish it was over. We have families, bills to pay and so forth. Like everybody else, we would be stranded ourselves if there was a strike.”
“It would be very hard on us getting to work and getting around,” said one bus driver. “I hope they solve it soon.”
“It’s not good for anybody, so let's hope they settle,” said another transit worker.
Because a strike would be illegal under state law, transit workers face fines equal to two days’ pay for each day of work they miss. The rank-and-file say they still remain ready to go to the picket lines if the call comes.
But don’t worry about being stranded in the subway if there is a strike. Bus and subway workers would finish their routes before walking off the job.