Strike looms for bus drivers ahead of F1 race weekend. (hear full interviews)
Newsroom
11/8/2012

Formula One shuttles provided by Capital Metro could be idled, to an extent, next weekend as the inaugural F-1 race for Austin is set to happen.

"It's very simple.  All they have to do is agree to what they've already agreed to," Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1091 president Jay Wyatt tells KLBJ.

But Capital Metro says they have planned for this.  "We've done a lot of planning for that and luckily, we have more than one contractor and so we will be able to pool from other contracts and put that service out," the bus agency's Dan Dawson tells KLBJ.  "Capital Metro has several different ranges of plans that we could implement, depending on how many people actually go out on strike.

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(Hear KLBJ's Jarrod Allen's full interview with Jay Wyatt here:)

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(Hear KLBJ's Jarrod Allen's full interview with Dan Dawson here:)

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The drivers' union claims Capital Metro and their contractor, McDonald Transit, are trying to pull a fast one on a contract which was signed on January 19, at about the time StarTran, Capital Metro's now-defunct subsidiary, was wiped off the books by the bus agency's executive board.  Wyatt believes Capital Metro wants to reneg on contract terms by imposing higher insurance premiums, not collecting union dues and bringing in other employees earning lower wages as a way to bust the union.

"Capital Metro is playing the same ballgame.  Saying 'we ain't got nothin' to do with it', but we know they know everything that's going on in these negotiations, every day," Wyatt says.

We asked Wyatt out of all times to strike, why now?  "I guess if you stop and think about it, it might help them to make a better decision on trying to resolve issues when you don't have to go down that road," he answered.

"We will always put out as much service as we humanly can, based on the number of people we have available," Dawson says.


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