Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Updated Board Speech

Hello. I'm Cameron Johnson, 16 year old bus rider WITH OPAL's BUS RIDERS UNITE! CAMPAIGN. However, this time I am not speaking just for OPAL Bus Riders Unite. I'm speaking for everyone who is even the slightest involved with TriMet. Because it's no longer JUST Riders or JUST Union members.

Recently a letter was released from General Manager McFarlane to the Union regarding the LOOMING health CARE debacle. In the form of a veiled threat stated that if the workers didn't comply to the new healthcare, that TriMet would execute another $10,000,000 in service cuts. Now I'm sure that I'm not the only one who thinks this sounds like a devious threat.

Think about it. It's borderline extortion. If the Union were to still press on for their benefits, TriMet would open up the trapdoor on Bus Riders, and be able to say “If only your bus drivers had only complied to our terms, then you would not have suffered.” Then everyone's going to go up in arms against the drivers and the union.

But if riders go up in arms about this, the Union will see this as a force to concede and swallow the pill of a harsh blow to their benefits, then the riders are spared, but the drivers are going to have the riders to blame for their suffering.

Or it could go neither way. The Union presses on, riders get cut, and then they still screw over the drivers in the end. Then everyone's fighting with everyone. What you are forcing in this really cruel negotiation ploy will all but end in a riot. In some places, There's already an unfortunate schism between the general public and bus drivers

Don't tell me for an INSTANT that you can't get 10 million anywhere else. Do I need to bring up over-the-top salaries? Massive planning and consultants into future capital projects? Advertising “WES Works!” on buses in Gresham? ALSO, HOW ABOUT THAT YOU ACTUALLY SPEND MONEY PLAYING CLASSICAL MUSIC ON THE MAX? I mean, I'd much rather know my bus works than a train I'll probably never ride which never works anyways.

My point is, instead of fessing up and being responsible, you're starting to blind the riders and drivers of TriMet into fighting each other while hiding the fact that the only culprit here is you. You need to realize what your riders and drivers are worth. They are your backbone. They are your profit. It's high time that you took a moment and tried to benefit them instead of screwing them all over in one fell sweep when there are so many other ways you can get $10 million. We all do so much for you. Isn't it time you really did something for us?

Anyway, will upload my Twitter coverage of the meeting later.

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