If you voted yes to a Denver transit strike ...

… then get off your lazy ass and walk the picket line like the rest of us who DIDN’T vote to strike but are supporting employees’ right to better pay.

I mean seriously, this isn’t a fucking vacation. I’m essentially unemployed as a result of the vote. But 55% of you wanted this strike, so now isn’t the time to bury your head in the sand and expect the 45% percent who didn’t want the strike to walk in support of it FOR YOU. But that’s what they’re doing. They’ve volunteered their time to walk the picket lines, to stand together in support of the majority vote because it’s the right thing to do. Because we deserve a pay raise. Because we deserve at least one day off per week.

If you voted NO to the last contract and still refuse to walk a picket line, you should be deeply, deeply ashamed.

Grow some fucking balls.

Margie steps down from her soapbox

Hey, I’m sure you’ve noticed, but they’re not exactly the svelte-est workforce in the state. I bet walking is the last thing they want to do.

Congratulations on your well-thought-out and intelligent contribution to this thread.

You deserve one? If I may ask, how much do you make?

You’re seriously telling me that you get no time off from work?

From here:

There are people that would give their left arm for a deal like that. And people wonder why there are people like me that don’t like unions.

And you honestly think any of those people who are willing to “give their left arm” for that would get an offer anywhere close to that without a union? Your irrational hatred of unions blinds you to the fact that without collective bargaining, nobody in a labor type job would get those kinds of benefits.

There was a reasonable offer on the table and they turned it down because they want more and are trying to chisel it out of the transit authority with a strike (that 45% didn’t want any part of). That’s not irrational hatred, that’s quite reasoned hatred. A small majority is holding a large minority over a barrel and making them look like jerks.

$13.69 an hour. Employees who’ve been driving with the company for 20 years make $18.05 an hour. That’s the ceiling.

Yes. Many drivers have not had a single day off for 6 months. They receive mandate letters forcing them to work on their days off or they can be fired.

You failed to include a link to the first part of that story.

I don’t know any people who would give their left arm to work for poor wages with no days off, while being responsible for the safety of countless passengers every day.

The $1.80 wage increase over 3 years that they’re offering will be less than what we’ll have to pay in increased health care coverage.

I have walked picket lines for unions other than my own, because we were both members of the AFL-CIO, and also to show support for the people who do the work and deserve to be paid a fair wage.

I’m with ya, on this one Marge.

Airman, take your irrational dislike of unions and shove it up your ass. Unions exist for a reason: without them, employers would pay a pittance for labor or services performed, screwing anyone and everyone for the Almighty Dollar.

Unions make the United States a better place to live and work.

Well, to be fair, 13.69 an hour for driving a bus is not wholly unreasonable. Corrections Officers in Ohio start at 13.90 an hour, max at 19.20 (after 10 years) and had NO pay raises for 3 years. So I wouild not typify the wages listed here as “poor”. But, as for your drive to get more as a union, I do not know enough to comment. But, I felt it prudent to put some perspective here. Corrections officers work one of the most dangerous jobs, in one of the worst environments and are responsible for the safety of every American. In states like Indiana, they make about 12 dollars an hour. In private prisons they make about 8-10 dollars an hour.

Most didn’t feel that it was “reasonable,” even those in the 45%. Many in the 45% that I talked to said they didn’t want a strike and were willing to accept the meager offer because they didn’t want to be without a paycheck–couldn’t be without a paycheck–even for only just a week. Others said they thought it was all we would ever get, and had just resigned themselves to it. But most DO believe they deserve more than they’re getting from RTD, whether they voted to accept the contract or not. Many of us simply cannot afford to be unemployed, and we were willing to accept what we could get–for now.

Now we’ll just have to see what happens.

We aren’t talking about just those new drivers with a starting wage of $13.69. We are talking about drivers who have provided their skills and services for TWENTY YEARS and can still only make $18.05 an hour. We’ve also had no pay raises for 3 years, and no cost-of-living increases, either. And I would imagine that Corrections Officers get two days off every week, with somewhat regular schedules.

My point is that if 55% in this union are going to shoot down the contract and essentially vote to strike, they need to get their asses out here on the picket lines.

That’s a good chunk of change. Much more than my base pay in the military, in fact. Extrapolated out, that’s about $28,000 with benefits. Which ain’t bad. I object more to the word “deserve” than anything else. A pay raise is nice, but I’ve always considered them to be earned rather than deserved.

Now that is interesting. I’ll take your word for it and say that yeah, you’re getting the shaft on that one.

You failed to include a link to the first part of that story.


In the interest of fairness, here’s the quote:

I’m interested to know how they can get away with that. Truck drivers have restrictions on their driving, don’t bus drivers? Isn’t it considered workplace intimidation to issue mandate letters like that? You’re telling me that this is the only remedy? I’m skeptical, but I usually am when it comes to unions.

Those aren’t poor wages or benefits, and if I got a job offer like that right now I’d pounce at it. There are lots of people that are doing much worse than that.

And your share has a much lower impact on your pocketbook than mine does, considering that I’ve never had a job where insurance was offered except for the military, which goes away when I demobilize.

You’re not getting a raw deal. To my eyes that looks pretty good. Ijst wonder where this sense of entitlement comes from, the “I deserve” idea that you threw out there.

And just out of curiousity, what part of Ohio? I’m wondering about the cost of living there, the median home price, gas prices, etc.

They sure do, if you’re in the union. If you’re not you get the dick until you join up, if you’re even allowed to.

Bullshit. Talk out your ass some more, why don’t you?

Unions raise wages even for non-union workers in the same industry. That means more people make more money, regardless of their union membership. And yeah, unions take care of their members before they take care of others… what’s wrong with that?

Why don’t you try talking about something you know, rather than just making glib comments?

I’m sorry the military didn’t pay you more, Airman, really I am. (You might share with us how much you made above the “base pay” that you mentioned, so that it’s an honest comparison.) I’m glad you feel that $28,000 with benefits “ain’t bad,” but if you’re trying to buy a home or support your family in the Denver area, good luck with that. I don’t much care how you feel about my use of the word “deserve.” I think someone who’s given 20 years of their lives committed to providing safe transportation to the public DESERVES more than an $18 an hour ceiling. They’ve EARNED that.

Oh, gee, thanks. Just knowing that I have your support on that issue is going to make me sleep so much better tonight.

Yeah, me too.

Apparently not. We are restricted by DOT regulations. I’m sure you can find them on the Internet, Airman.

By whom? And what could a driver do, all by his lonesome?

Um, no. Please show me where I said that it was “the only remedy” or a “remedy” at all, in fact.

Really? You are?

Well come on down! They’re down 200 drivers at the moment and are hiring the absolute bottom of the barrel. I wonder why they’re down 200 drivers? I’ll bet if you think real hard for a few hours, you’ll have an answer for us.

I never said what we pay for health care coverage per month. And I’m curious about how you can determine what that financial impact is for me. Do you have access to my monthly expenses, as well?

It sounds like the Regional Transportation District needs to be investigated by the Feds. Being forced to come in on your day off? That sounds like the kind of shit that happens in Japan, where employees get fired if they don’t work unpaid overtime. What’s next, a “retirement plan” that consists of being worked to death? I’m not normally pro-union (especially regarding the United Auto Workers, which must certainly win the award for Most Foolishly Short-Sighted Labor Union), but it sounds like you guys do have real problems over there.

Still, I’m with Airman Doors on the wage and health care issues. The economy around here is in the toilet, and those wages would look damn nice to a great many people, as would a job that provides any sort of health care. I’m not trying to criticize you, just give a reality check.

You’re definitely right to be upset that the guys who voted to strike aren’t walking the picket. That’s hypocrisy of the worst sort. How much you wanna bet they’re out lining up temporary jobs while you guys are spending all day picketing bus stops?

Thanks to you and Snowboarder Bo for the support.

For the record, I was very happy with the wage they were paying me. The cost for health care has me peeved because I’m single and have to pay the same amount as an employee with six children. However, I’ve asked around, and many of my single friends are paying more for coverage with their companies, so I can’t complain about the pay and benefits that I’M receiving.

However, I do NOT think it’s right that someone who has devoted 20 years to providing safe transportation to the public should only be allowed to make only $18.05 an hour. That’s only about $4 more per hour for new hires. How is that a fair wage?

Additionally, $13.69 sounds less and less fair when you are working 7 days a week for several months in a row. It’s hard to imagine what that really feels like until it happens to you. Your schedules are too irregular to do basic things like make doctor’s appointments or attend get-togethers with friends. Pretty much everything must be done spur of the moment. And often, it’s very difficult to get 8 hours of sleep a night, as they only have to give you 8 hours off between your end time and your start time: that doesn’t include drive time home, or the time it takes to wind down before going to bed. And you can forget about laundry or grocery shopping. When the hell do you have time to do that?

It’s the same for corrections officers. After twenty years, they would still be at $19.20 per hour, with no further wages.

I’m not saying you’re wrong-- I fully support your rights to fight for higher wages. I just wanted to note that there are other dangerous and unpleasant jobs which don’t pay much more.

The pay is the same, state-wide. Just like any state, Ohio has its expensive areas and its cheap areas to live. The pay that a corrections officer recieves is enough to survive and raise a family, but it’s not a luxurious lifestyle by any means.

How much do people make that drive themselves to work? Considering the intense skill it takes a driver to get them downtown on a bus, they should be rightly compensated over and above their salaries.

If I have a union job, with a union taking my dues and looking out for me, I would hope to make more than $18.05 an hour after TWENTY YEARS OF SERVICE!!!

I would hope to be looking at retirement. After 20 years, if I top out and have to work another decade at that pay rate? I have to start looking at who’s running the pension fund. After 20 years on the job performing vital and stellar service? I’d be a bit pissed at the union leaders “protecting my future”.

Didn’t we cover this in the NY transit thread?

No, you don’t “deserve” a raise. Raises are earned based on merit. You may be the bestest bus driver ever. But in a union you’re in “collective bargaining.” The top half of warkers are equal to the bottom half.

This is where so many people in unions get frustrated.

The top half are equal to the bottom half. look at it this way. If you are the top employee in your local, you’ve helped bring the worst employee up to your level. You may have earned a $1.00 an hour raise, but he only earned a $0.10 an hour raise.

Collective bargaining puts you both at a raise of $0.55. You agreed to it, deal with it.
And I saw today that 50% of the workers are still, um, working. That’s half the workforce (as you call it) shuttling the rest of the workforce to, you know, work. They don’t have time to stand around waving signs at pissed-off commuters heading to the office to pay for your salary. And the salaries of your union bosses.

Go to work. If you don’t like the pay, leave. Eventually, if you’re that good at your job, the PTB will realize how much they need you and pay you what you think you deserve.

Until them, shut the fuck and go to work. The rest of us do.