By an overwhelming majority, members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005 have voted to reject a contract offer from Metro Transit.
The vote, which took place Sunday and Monday, was 95 percent in favor of rejecting the contract, with only 5 percent voting to accept the offer, according to the union’s website.
The three-year contract proposal, termed a “Final Offer” by Metro Transit, offered wage increases of 1 percent in the first year, 1 percent in the second year, and 2 percent in the third year.
Those proposed wage increases don’t keep up with the rate of inflation, especially with rising costs of gasoline, noted one member as he left the polling place at the United Labor Centre Monday.
Last Thursday, the Local 1005 executive board voted 18-0 to recommend members vote to reject the contract.
A “no” vote was not a vote to authorize a strike, said Michelle Sommers, Local 1005 president. She reported that negotiations would resume immediately. Negotiation sessions already were scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday of this week, she said.
The contract covers about 2,200 workers, including bus operators, train operators, mechanics and others. The current agreement expires July 31.
Steve Share edits the Labor Review, the official publication of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation. Visit the federation’s website, www.minneapolisunions.org