Union Drivers Plan Martha’s Vineyard Bus Strike Friday

Photo: Martha’s Vineyard Regional Transit Authority

EDGARTOWN – The union representing Vineyard Transit Authority bus drivers said they would strike on Friday after failing to reach an agreement on a new contract.

The Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1548 said in a statement that the VTA’s private contractor, TCI, continues to, “commit unfair labor practices.”

The job action would come just days before the busy July 4th holiday during which the Vineyard will be packed with summer visitors looking for ways to get around the island.

The union claims the company refuses to offer drivers a contract with “livabale wages.”

“We don’t want to strike, but after five long years without a raise, TCI and VTA has done everything in their power to bust our union,” said VTA driver Richard Townes.

“We are left us with no other option but to strike. We deserve a living wage and fair benefits, and we will settle for nothing less.”

There was no immediate comment from the VTA.

Prior to Friday’s planned strike, the union said workers would be leafleting riders and telling them how they can support the workers.

This past Saturday, more than 50 bus drivers, residents, community activists, and TCI officials packed a Transit Town Hall at Martha’s Vineyard High School in Oak Bluffs.

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