August 3, 2016
By WNYLaborToday.com Editor-Publisher Tom Campbell
Buffalo, NY – You couldn’t miss five-year-old Tyler Pawlowski standing out in front of the Downtown Buffalo Bus Terminal on Thursday (July 28th) with his father – an Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1342-represented mechanic employed by the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) – wearing a t-shirt that read on the front: ATU Kid! – while holding a sign with a clock on it that read: Time’s Up NFTA! Fair Contract! Full Service Now!
“He wanted to ‘help’ his dad,” explained Kevin Pawlowski, 30, who told WNYLaborToday.com about his son’s interest in participating in a rally that circled the bus terminal and included an effort by more than a dozen ATU Local 1342 Leaders and Members to attend an NFTA Executive Board Meeting that was being held on the inside of the building.
Local 1342 represents 1,100 NFTA Workers – employed by the public transit system as Bus and Light Rail Drivers, Mechanics, Electricians and Clerical Staff – who haven’t had a new contract for nearly seven years now. With the current starting rate for NFTA Bus Drivers at just $13 per hour, ATU Leaders tell Your On-Line Labor Newspaper it makes it “extremely hard” to recruit new Drivers. They also say the NFTA’s last contract offer contained an unbelievable six zeros in terms of yearly wage increases, and that the NFTA wants its Union-represented Employees to agree to pay 10% of their health care coverage, as well as new hires paying 15% of their health care costs, without a cap.
“This is becoming a ‘family affair,’” said Pawlowski, who’s worked at the NFTA for about a year. “It’s ‘not just me’ who’s ‘suffering.’ Its ‘our families too!’ The ‘whole’ family is ‘suffering’ and we ‘both’ (father and son) wanted (the NFTA Commissioners) to see ‘both’ of us. And because the NFTA (is short-staffed), I’m working ‘a lot’ of overtime, so it’s an ‘opportunity for us to be together.’” To read more click on the following link