Solidarity appeal for striking transit workers in the Twin Cities, Minnesota, March 8, 2004
At a mass meeting two weeks ago, we in the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005, which brings together 2,200 drivers, dispatchers, maintenance and clerical workers, voted by a powerful 94% to reject management’s final offer and to strike. At 2:00 am on March 4th we walked off job and onto picket lines.
We are facing the most serious attack on our living standards in the history of our union. Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty and his appointee Peter Bell, the top bureaucrat at Metro Transit, are determined to force us to pay for their state budget crisis. Their final offer would mean huge jumps in our monthly health care premiums, from $175/month for family coverage to over $400 by next August. This is combined with a meager 1% raise over two years, further restrictions on access to retirement benefits for current employees and the complete abolishing of retirement benefits for all new-hires, along with a host of other attacks on our living standards and working conditions.
Pawlenty and Bell try to paint us as an over-paid workforce with a “Cadillac health plan.” But quality health care is a basic necessity and a basic right, not a luxury item. While Pawlenty and Bell give top management fat raises, most transit workers are left struggling to pay the bills and maintain the basics of a decent life. We simply can’t afford and won’t accept this unfair contract offer.
Send Letters of Solidarity
If you are part of a union or a labor-friendly organization, or if you are in touch with prominent, labor-friendly figures, please have letters of solidarity sent to boost the moral and confidence of our union brothers and sisters. Please send solidarity letters to email@example.com, and copies to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Letters and Phone Calls of Protest
Please send letters and make phone calls of protest to Governor Tim Pawlenty, and to Peter Bell, Chairman of the Metropolitan Council (which runs Metro Transit). Tell them you support the striking transit workers and demand they end the strike by offering a just contract.
Governor Tim Pawlenty
Fax (651) 296-2089
Peter Bell, Met Council Chairman
Fax (651) 602-1358