Cap Metro Aftertaste: No Love Lost
Wounds still fresh from Cap Metro/ATU conflict
Wyatt said he's pleased with the wage increases secured: 3% per year through 2011, which he described as consistent with the national average for transit workers. However, the union accepted a $1,200 bonus this year instead of getting a 3% raise retroactive to 2007 and had to accept increased insurance costs. "A lot of the employees, even though they voted to accept this contract, were upset about the fact that they didn't get the retroactive pay back to 2007, and they didn't want to see the insurance change," Wyatt said. "But we had to tell them this was the best we could do under the circumstances."
Wyatt also leveled some serious accusations at Capital Metro about its conduct during the strike. "They lied to y'all and told y'all that they had a quarter of the people back to work," he said. "They brought in people from out of town that weren't even driving the buses. They were taking the buses out on the streets and parking them on the streets. They weren't picking up people. ... They were taking buses out and parking them, because they didn't know the city and were getting lost all over the place.
"Look at all this tax money they wasted," he went on, accusing StarTran of paying replacement workers high wages "to bust this union" and putting them up in hotels. "They could have just negotiated the contract."
Contacted for a response, Capital Metro chose not to directly address Wyatt's allegations: "Now that StarTran and the union have a contract, it's time for all of us to move forward and renew our efforts to provide high quality and critically important transportation services to the citizens of Central Texas," said spokesman Adam Shaivitz.