Transit Workers' Strike

(Based on my comments before the MTA board of directors on October 26, 2000.)

I hold the MTA board of directors in contempt regarding the recent strike by its employee members of the United Transportation Union which, for 32 days, brought this county to a near standstill, mobility-wise, and cost countless numbers of transit-dependent citizens their jobs.

MTA CEO Julian Burke had a settlement worked out before the strike happened, but the board -- refusing to eliminate the possibility of creating transit zones in their districts -- would not consider that settlement. So instead it took Governor Davis, by signing SB 1101, to discourage those ill-conceived zones. They didn't even get what they wanted ... but for 32 days, we got to suffer the loss of normal transit service!

When are these politicians going to realize that when they are sitting as the MTA board of directors, they are not mayors, city councilmembers, and county supervisors? They are MTA directors when they sit in those seats, and they have a responsibility to think beyond the boundaries of their elected offices.

MTA's mission statement says the Authority, in part, is charged with reducing congestion and increasing mobility. In reality, for 32 days the MTA board of directors achieved precisely the opposite as those who would normally ride Metro Bus and Metro Rail increased the number of vehicles on the road. The strike impacted not only the Metro System's passengers, but also those who drive our county's freeways and arterial streets, who had to deal with that additional vehicular traffic.

The politicians should be ashamed of themselves ... but they won't be.

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