You probably heard of all the Union vs TriMet wars stuff. It is really getting on my nerves, mostly because a lot of this stuff is out of my league. Trust me, I'd hate that people are losing their benefits, but to be honest, the way some of them plan on taking this out is just... wrong.
Tons of Transit Drivers may or may not be planning a sick out tomorrow. Now for those of you who don't know of this, from what I gathered, it's when a bunch of employees call in sick in protest to something the company is doing, i.e. in TriMet's case, the benefits problem.
Now let me say that a Sick-Out is a horrible thing to do in this case. Hundreds, if not thousands of people will be inconvenienced or totally screwed over if the bus runs less. This seems almost... selfish. Trust me, it's frustrating not being heard, trust me, I don't think the board really listens to my work or anyone else's speeches when they speak. They've proved this time and time again by hearing a heartfelt speech by someone who wants the best for their community and unanimously voting yes on what said speaker was protesting and not even noticing half the room moan in disappointment and hopelessness.
Yeah, yeah, it seems overdramatic, but that's pretty much it. The TriMet board are made of nice enough people who don't have a clue about Transit and only about construction. They are by far my least part of TriMet and what make it so hard to be TriMet's ally.
But where was I? Oh yeah, the sick-out.
I know that doing a sick-out will get you heard, but you know what they hear? They hear "These drivers are unreliable and rebellious. We told them not to do a sick-out and they did anyway." They'll fire you and any driver that really is sick. Or, since it's about Bus, they'll just *insert a joke about them being anti-bus here*
Ahem... sorry about that.
But there's better ways to get a voice heard, and you've already planned one- a Board Meeting Protest outside the Portland Building. I say, rant and bullhorn through that entire meeting! If they don't pay even a sliver of attention to you guys, there's leverage for you to use. You can say the board doesn't care about bus drivers.
And if they do pay attention, and actually listen, then that's obviously good in obvious ways. Things may actually get better.
Doing a sick-out means nothing gets better. It just gets worse, for drivers, for TriMet, for passengers, pretty much everyone in the city. And this isn't Union-approved, far from it, The ATU president actually said "Don't do it." He knows better.
So, I urge the few drivers who do read this, please don't do it this way. You're only going to harm yourself.