CFL News
November 04, 2011

Transit workers make appeal to CTA riders

An open letter to Chicagoans addresses the attacks on CTA rail and bus employees by management

In an open letter to the people of Chicago printed in Friday's Chicago Sun-Times, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308 clears up misinformation put forth by CTA management blaming union workers for the agency's budget deficit. 

The letter, signed by President Robert Kelly, says CTA President Forrest Claypool's claims about the union members "simply don't add up." The notion that union employees receive extravagant floating holidays is misleading.  Both union and non-union CTA employees receive the same holidays.  Yet non-union management employees receive additional benefits, such as fully paid maternity leave and fully paid sick days.  "Great ideas, Forrest--and guess what, your operating employees get sick and have families too--why don't you extend those same good ideas to your hardworking front line employees?"

After addressing claims of bathroom breaks (rail employees get a total of 30 minutes per day for meals and, yes, bathroom breaks) and coffee breaks (operators perform safety checks before pulling the train out), Kelly concludes by asking Claypool to discuss the budget face-to-face, not through the media. 

"We invite Forrest Claypool to sit down with the unions to begin working towards solutions so you can keep the safe, reliable transit service you rely upon and that you deserve."

Click here to read the full letter