[Colorado-talk] Update on RTD Strike

RyanO ryano218 at comcast.net
Fri Feb 27 03:51:53 UTC 2009

Good news, folks!

>From yesterday's Denver Post:

Strike blocked; RTD, union may go to arbitration

By Jeffrey Leib The Denver Post

Posted: 02/25/2009 12:30:00 AM MST

State labor officials ruled Tuesday that the transit workers union will not 
be allowed to go on strike when its RTD contract expires Saturday.

The decision of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment means that 
if the Regional Transportation District and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 
fail to reach agreement on a new labor contract, unresolved issues will be 
submitted to binding arbitration.

The union delivered a "notice of intent to strike" to the labor department, 
but at a hearing Thursday, union officials said a walkout would affect the 
peace, health and safety" and strike authorization should be denied in favor 
of arbitration.

RTD officials argued the opposite - that a strike would be an 
"inconvenience" to transit users but not rise to the level of threatening 
public health and

Advocates for the disabled supported the request to prevent a strike.

In Tuesday's ruling, senior labor department official Michael McArdle agreed 
with the position of the union and advocates for the disabled.

"I have concluded that a strike by the ATU would in fact interfere with the 
preservation of the public peace, health and safety," McArdle wrote. The 
to strike against the Regional Transportation District is denied."

McArdle ordered RTD and ATU to submit names of arbiters who might decide 
unresolved contract issues between the parties.

"I'm just glad that they gave us this option," Local 1001 chief Holman 
Carter said of the ruling.

"We really want to sit down at the table with RTD," said Carter, whose union 
represents about 1,900 RTD employees. "This saves our riders the concern and
worry of a potential strike."

The union had said it was looking for a "modest increase in wages," while 
RTD management has proposed a three-year freeze in wages.

Jeffrey Leib: 303-954-1645 or
jleib at denverpost.com


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