April 5, 2021
During impact bargaining with Transdev GM James Folk and his various lawyers & BPS advisors every day last week, USW Local 8751’s Executive Board and International adamantly maintained the drivers’ insistence that Transdev continue its agreements of Sept. 2020 to the Union’s “Emergency COVID-19 Safety Operating Procedures” (ESOP), including strict physical distancing on the busses and a monitor on every bus.
Local 8751 was outraged on Good Friday when Folk sent a cowardly email to the E-Board and a direct-dealing notice to drivers announcing that Transdev was immediately, unilaterally and illegally imposing new pandemic work rules on the members, throwing physical distancing and monitor safety requirements out the window and under the bus.
Folk also threw the Union’s paid holiday calendar in the trash, refusing to pay us for Good Friday and cancelling the agreement for Paid COVID-19 leave to quarantine. As of Friday, at least two more drivers tested COVID-19 positive with others on mandatory quarantine, now effectively suffering unjust pandemic discipline of unpaid suspension due to the virus.
Transdev’s attacks come as some BPS schools like the Lee and Otis have imposed whole class and school quarantines due to outbreaks of COVID-19 among students and staff.
Transdev claims it is under orders to now pack students on the busses for the sake of private, many for-profit BPS charter and other private schools who have ill-advisedly – while the COVID-19 pandemic is surging again especially in school age children and young adults – decided to rush to fully open in-person learning today. These private schools are opening contrary to BPS’s own state-approved waiver to wait until at least April 26th to offer in-person classes to all BPS students for safety preparations.
News headlines are today full of warnings from U.S. and international medical authorities urging people around the world to maintain Health & Safety protocols, especially distancing, and to first vaccinate all frontline workers to slow the rapidly spreading virus and its variants.
USW Local 8751 protests the gross and dangerous violations of the National Labor Relations Act, the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the parties’ established Health & Safety protocols by GM Folk and his $6-figure, anti-Union, anti-worker advisors. We are today meeting with our legal team to file actions to defend our Union agreements & rights, our lives, and the health of our families and the communities we serve.
Local 8751 warns Transdev and the City that we will take all actions necessary to defend our rights and our lives, including our contractual right to refuse to drive an unsafe bus. “Not One More Death!”