Transit workers in St. Louis appear poised to walk off the job as members of Local 788 of the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union continue a strike authorization vote Tuesday. The union represents public transportation workers and any job action could effect Metrobus and Metrolink service.
Nearly 600 of the 1,500 members cast ballots on Monday. Bus drivers, mechanics, Metrolink operators and clerical staff have all been working without a contract for two and a half years.
Local 788 President Mike Breihan says he hopes it doesn't come down to a work stoppage. "You know we really don't want to hurt the public," Breihan said. "The people out here that ride the bus, they're like our family. And you know we don't want to hurt any of them, but we're going to have to do whatever we can do to protect our own."
"This vote was just strictly to show that we are united and we're ready to move forward if we have to, to do whatever we need to do to get a contract," Breihan said. "You know we're not trying to rob the bank. All we're trying to do is make a decent living for our members and our families."
Breihan says no action will be taken until after a mediator, who is reviewing information submitted by both the Union and Metro, issues an opinion at the end of the month.