Special To Labornet.org
SF TWU 250A Union Tops Go After Dissidents
For Telling The Truth
Union officials of TWU 250-A which represents 1800 muni drivers and other transit workers have filed union charges to expell two union activist drivers Victor Grayson and Bari McGruder for going public about the anger of drivers and a possible wildcat strike on July 1.
Grayson and McGruder in the June 17th 2005 issue of the San Francisco Examiner said that the "Union leadership and Muni management have been in bed for years - it's time to put the cards on the table and say it's time to stop," Grayson said.
Grayson and McGruder publish a rank and file newsletter called Driverıs Action Committee.
They said they "have talked to hundreds of operators and estimated that up to 75 percent of the workforce would participate in a wildcat strike June 30, the same day BART's labor agreement with its unions also expires.
They also charged in the newsletter Driverıs Action and also in the SF Examiner that the leadership of TWU 250A had refused to disseminate a resolution against the cutbacks that the Muni management are seeking to institute and to organize against the over 150 layoffs of drivers. "It has become crystal clear that some of the leadership of Local250-A is with management against, the membership of local 250-A" Driverıs Action Committee May 2005 Newsletter.
The resolution passed by the May membership meeting had urged operators not to cooperate with managementıs effort to cut runs by refusing "to sign up for any new schedules that reflect service cuts and demanded that the agency retain its existing schedule". The union leadership according to Grayson and McGruder instead of implementing the resolution were working with Muni management to silence those who had helped pass it including calling the SF police on union members.
"Our Union leadership also displayed this type of Gestapo behavior at the April TWU meeting. President Bill Fisk arranged for the SFPD to be present as the members arrived. He said that he wanted them as "sergeant of arms". They left when Bari McGurder made a "point of order" that they were not union members.
Joining in on the attack on these drivers was the Executive Director of the Municipal Transportation Agency Michael Burns. (He has recently accepted another job with the Santa Clara Transportation Agency).
Burns in a letter on June 23, 2005 threatened Grayson that if any strike or work stoppage took place the "employees who engaged in such a job action is subject to dismissal." He also said such action was in violation of the "TWU Local 250-A MOU, Article 34, (No Strike Clause) states in party, "Strike, slowdowns or work stoppages are prohibited during the term of this MOU."
The growing anger against the cutbacks and the apparent collaboration of the TWU 250-A officials in these cutacks is creating a potential explosive situation this summer as the BART workers and other transportation workers face threats to their wages, healthcare and other conditions.