AC Transit bus Drivers, members of ATU Local 192 have rejected a second concessionary contract brought to them by their leadership by a vote of 561 to 369. This is a very important development as it will undoubtedly boost BART workers who are nearing the end of the 60 day cooling off period imposed on them by the courts. It will strengthen labor and weaken the bosses.
It is another opportunity for the unions to go on the offensive but this can only happen if the obstacle of the leadership and their concessionary policies is overcome. As we have pointed out on this blog throughout this process, what is needed are mass meetings of the locals involved, the formation of a joint strike committee which would include community members, building links with the rest of labor particularly the public sector and the communities as well as the unorganized. This struggle has to be generalized.
The rejection of the contract by ATU 192 members will also send the union officialdom back to the drawing board to figure out how to keep the ranks of the various unions apart and how to get a contract passed and a return to stability. They will try to wear the workers down. It's not the time to play defense as they say.
The Transport Workers Solidarity Committee has been active playing a
role in helping rank and file workers involved in these disputes,
flyering and communicating issues as well as supporting their struggle
in general. While the anger is there among the workers in mass transit there is no doubt the activity of the solidarity committee is having an effect. The bosses are certainly keeping an eye on things.
Thanks to the members of ATU Local 192 for setting an example. But it has to be built on and that means joining forces with them.
If you want to get involved, contact the solidarity committee at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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