Brochure Text from Picket
this text is from a brochure by University of Texas Shuttle Drivers obtained at their informational picket on February 9th 2004 in front on the MLK Statue on the UT Campus
Support UT Shuttle Workers
"We/ve been hit hard. There's too much lip talking and not enough action. If we stand together, we can get anything we want." -Rev. Charles Barnes
Connecting the Dots: The Capital Metropolitan Transit Authority, National Express/ATC and UT
ATC/Vancom of Texas (ATC), a part of National Express Corporation, a part of National Express Group, a British corporation, acts as a subcontractor for the Capital Metropolitan Transit Authority in operating the buses of UT shuttle routes. National Express/ATC has steadily eroded the benefits and conditions of its employees. Workers' concerns include no pay raises for senior drivers, mechanics, and fuelers in three years; increases in the cost of health insurance; no sick days; and inadequate time for bathroom and lunch breaks. These are simply a few of a long list of grievances for which the Workers are seeking redress. The UT Shuttle System began operating in 1971 by Transportation Enterprises. Today the Shuttle System is run with buses provided by the Capital Metropolitan Transit Authority and drivers provided by National Express/ATC.
On January 26th , Fred Gilliam, of the Capital Metropolitan Transit Authority, declared that there was nothing he could do to alleviate the oppression of Workers by UT Shuttle subcontractor National Express/ATC, effectively washing his hands of the UT Shuttle Workers. The Workers believe it is in the UT students' best interest to wash their hands of the Capital Metropolitan Transit Authority, and National Express/ATC.
Because of Bus Fires:
Metro has bragged that they are the best source of buses for the UT Shuttle. Decide for yourselves. The fleet of buses used for the UT Shuttle has had five bus fires under National Express/ATC. This is after none in the 27 years prior. After five fires the Capital Metropolitan Transit Authority investigated and found that if certain bolts are not tightened every 6000 miles the vehicle may catch fire. You are riding in a tcking time bomb! Do you trust the companies that can't even fit all the passengers on the buses to defuse the bomb?
Because they Mistreat Workers:
National Express/ATC has refused to increase wages for over three years. They are now charging employees for health care that they agreed to pay for. The cost of living has gone up dramatically in this time, and Workers are suffering while National Express/ATC prospers. The latest revenue increase was +12% while providing 1000 hours less bus service! They gave their supervisors an 8% pay increase last year and a similar increase this year. The Workers have filed hundreds of grievances, ranging from sexual harassment to unjust termination, and National Express/ATC has been accused of numerous Unfair Labor Practices.
Because Metro is an Unnecessary Middleman:
The Capital Metropolitan Transit Authority reaps huge amounts of federal dollars from the UT Shuttle ridership . Yet all they provide is an expensive layer of bureacracy, and unsafe buses.
Take back control of your bus system now. Call UT Parking Czar Bob Harkins at 471-PARK, and tell him how you feel. Tell him that it should be the prime directive at UT to "PAY PEOPLE WELL." Treating Workers with dignity and respect will not only enhance the bus service, it will ultimately enhance the entire UT community.
Come to the next organizing meeting. Meet with the Workers and their supporters, Wednesday, February 11, 2004 at Double Dave's--3000 Duval, at 6:30 pm.