Union notifies COTA of intent to strike
Transport Workers Union (TWU), Local 208, representing Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) bus drivers and Vehicle/Facilities Maintenance employees, filed a 10-day notice this week of its intent to strike. If TWU members decide to walk off the job, all COTA fixed-route bus service will stop on July 2, 2012, at 3 a.m.
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. Both parties signed more than 25 tentative agreements indicating their approval of negotiated items. Members of TWU then rejected a fact-finder’s report that recommended a resolution of the final article of the contract.
“We are very disappointed that the union has signaled its intention to walk off the job,” said COTA President and CEO W. Curtis Stitt. “We will sit down with the union at any time to try and avert a service disruption.”
While regular bus service would stop if employees go on strike, COTA’s paratransit service would continue to operate normally.
If customers have purchased fares that they cannot use due to a strike, COTA will offer refunds based upon days that service is unavailable.