Union notifies COTA of intent to strike
Transport Workers Union Local 208, which represents Central Ohio Transit Authority bus drivers and employees who maintain vehicles and facilities, filed a 10-day notice Friday, June 22, of its intent to strike.
If union members walk off the job, all COTA fixed-route bus service will stop at 3 a.m. July 2, COTA officials said.
The potential walkout puts into jeopardy the daily commutes of up to 25,000 riders who represent 65,000 bus trips.
“We are very disappointed that the union has signaled its intention to walk off the job,” W. Curtis Stitt, COTA president and CEO, said in a prepared statement.
“We will sit down with the union at any time to try and avert a service disruption,” Stitt said.
COTA has been negotiating with its drivers, mechanics, bus cleaners and other support workers since August 2011.
By February 2012, COTA management and union leadership had worked -- with the help of a federal mediator -- to reach agreement on 25 of 26 contract articles.
The factions have not come to terms over work rules and management’s ability to assign employees to certain duties in the maintenance division, said Marty Stutz, COTA spokesman.
After the fact-finder issued her report, union management recommended membership reject the entire package, which it did.
Union officials could not be immediately reached for comment about this story.