CHICAGO, Sept. 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 150 paratransit drivers, dispatchers, schedulers and reservationists represented by Teamsters Local 727 are prepared to initiate an unfair labor practice strike on Oct. 1 against their employer, MV Transportation, Inc. Local 727 members based out of MV Transportation's Chicago facility yesterday voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike in protest of the company's unlawful behavior throughout negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement.
Despite the union bargaining committee's honest efforts to reach a fair agreement, MV Transportation management has repeatedly failed to bargain in good faith with the union. As a result, Local 727 has filed multiple unfair labor practice charges against MV Transportation over the company's implementation of unilateral changes and bad faith bargaining. All charges are currently pending with the National Labor Relations Board.
Throughout negotiations, MV Transportation has concurrently experienced a surge in service requests and a worker shortage. Presently, the company reports it is operating with 33 percent fewer employees than necessary to fully staff its Chicago facility.
"Our members are responsible for protecting the most vulnerable of Chicago's residents," states John Coli, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727. "Operating with such an enormous shortage places the special needs community, those passengers who depend upon our members, at grave risk."
In light of the shortage in workers, MV Transportation has disregarded its legal obligation to bargain with Local 727 and unilaterally manipulated wages. Simultaneously, the company has refused to negotiate with the union over raises for veteran drivers. Instead, MV Transportation has pushed blame for its actions onto suburban Chicago school bus provider Pace Suburban Bus, claiming it is unable to address such matters with the union while Pace delays renewing MV Transportation's current paratransit contract.
"These paratransit drivers have broken their backs to meet the heightened demand MV is experiencing, yet they can barely survive off their paychecks," asserts Coli. "The company's refusal to bargain with the union and pay their employees a living wage only exacerbates the staffing shortage and risk to the Illinois special needs community."
"MV's disregard for the danger caused by their actions is reprehensible," argued Coli. "It is long past time for MV to step up and treat our hardworking members with the dignity and fairness they deserve."
The more than 150 Teamsters Local 727 members employed at MV Transportation's Chicago facility have been working without a contract since May 31.
Teamsters Local 727 also represents 115 MV Transportation employees based at the Company's facilities in Loyola, North Cook, and Westmont, Illinois. These members are covered by separate collective bargaining agreements which remain in effect.
Teamsters Local 727 represents nearly 10,000 hardworking men and women throughout the Chicago area.
SOURCE Teamsters Local 727