On Wednesday, TriMet employees protested outside Smith Memorial Student Union to raise awareness over ongoing labor disputes, including safety issues and a shortage of drivers.
On Wednesday, TriMet employees protested outside Smith Memorial Student Union to raise awareness over ongoing labor disputes, including safety issues and a shortage of drivers. During the picket, the TriMet Board of Directors met inside SMSU.
According to Jonathan Hunt, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union, transit employees have chosen not to withhold service and therefore overtime has occurred among employees.
In addition, though TriMet has created a task force to deal with safety, union members claim that they have been left out of the discussions.
Hunt said TriMet employees have reported being electrically shocked on buses and trains.
“TriMet has known about this, but they’re not doing anything about it,” he said. “We have people that are getting injured, and they’re either losing work or they’re driving around in pain [and] being distracted.”
Employees also disputed a recent article published by The Oregonian that reported some of its members make over $100,000 a year.
“We’re here talking about this ridiculous statement that has been in the press lately that our members are making over $100,000 a year,” Hunt said. “The bottom line is this: Our members make a decent wage. To make $100,000 a year, they would have to work over 70 hours a week.” ?