Bus Drivers Prepare to Strike

The union representing Columbus bus drivers and mechanics has brought the transit system one step closer to a strike. Just past 3 o’clock Tuesday afternoon, an attorney for the bus drivers union filed a 10-day intent to strike notice.

Tuesday’s filing allows union members to strike as early as December 3rd. Theodis James, president of Transport Workers Local 208 said Tuesday afternoon that the strike notice was precipitated by a lack of progress.

“Well we’ve been at this for quite some time and it doesn’t seem that we’re making any real headway. We’re trying real hard at it but everything we’re doing seems to not be making a good fit for where we need to be,” James said.

James had recommended that members accept the latest agreement that was finalized last week. But it was soundly defeated on Sunday.

“Well they have the final say. It is their contract that they will have to work up under. And there are a lot of concessions in it.”

Last night COTA President Bill Lhota said no further concessions could be made by the company because of its budget difficulties. But both sides say they hope a strike can be averted. Union head Theodis James.

“We can always reach agreement before the strike date.”

Negotiations are scheduled to resume on Friday.