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Latest News - August 2010

August 04, 2010
Union workers plan to strike no matter how long it takes
Source: KGUN9
By: April Madison

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - While the City Council and Regional Transportation Authority continue to hash out negotiations over Sun Tran, the Teamsters Local 104 told KGUN 9 News, they're not backing down.

Union member and Spokesperson, Andy Marshall, told his fellow teamsters the strike must go on, after Wednesday's city council study session meeting. But when asked how negotiations would improve if R-T-A takes over Sun Tran , Marshal told 9 On Your Side's April Madison, it doesn't matter, "I was very clear when I said we're not tying this to the RTA transition in any way, shape or form. You come up with the money to get our contract done, that's what it needs to take. I've been asking them for 18 months to take care of this transition, way prior to our negotiations. They're the ones that stalled it, and stalled it, and stalled it, both parties. I'm not defending either one."

But Dave Pruitt, a member of the International brotherhood of electrical workers and supporter of the strike, told KGUN 9, he does believe if R-T-A takes over Sun Tran it would be an improvement, "If they start providing bus transportation to the outer areas where bigger companies are building, I can take the bus out there to the job site, if RTA takes over. I don't think the city of Tucson as a government is concerned whether I can get outside the city to get to a job."

Meanwhile, those who depend solely on the bus system to survive, are left waiting in limbo. Brian Flagg, with Casa Maria Soup Kitchen, and spokesperson for bus riders, told KGUN 9 the strike is an attack on the poorest people in the community, "The city isn't going to be chumps, and just hand this system over. They're going to stick up for, at least we hope, that the bus system isn't crippled. Because there's no money, short term or long term, in the RTA budget for keeping that bus going. The most practical way they say of funding the bus, is doubling the bus fares in 5 years, totally unacceptable."

KGUN 9's April Madison asked Marshall, "what do you say to the bus riders that are being affected by this?" Marshall's response, "vote in a new city council."



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