School Bus Strike – A Crisis of the City's Making

State and City Labor Movements stand hand in hand with ATU Local 1181 workers in their fight for the safety of New York City children

ALBANY, NY (01/14/2013)(readMedia)-- Statement by New York State AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento:

"School bus drivers and crews are going on strike for one reason and one reason only; the Mayor has decided to put his pride over the safety of New York City children. Rather than admit that he created this problem and can solve it simply by putting safeguards in the bid, he is hiding behind an unrelated court decision that he falsely claims is forcing his hand. The only hands that have been forced are those of school bus workers, whose only choice is to stand up to the City's utter disregard for safety and demand that children are driven by the experienced and highly skilled workforce they deserve.

"No one is more disappointed by the need for this strike than the workers who have dedicated their careers to serving school children and their parents, but sometimes difficult and painful decisions must be made in order to protect what is fundamentally right. The Labor Movement stands proudly with our brothers and sisters in ATU Local 1181 as they fight to ensure that New York City children's safety comes first."

Statement by New York City Central Labor Council President Vincent Alvarez:

"The impending strike has been a manufactured crisis from the beginning. This is a completely avoidable situation that the City could solve in an instant if it only had the willingness to do so. It is unconscionable that City Hall is putting our children's safety at risk by removing contract language that has been in place for thirty years, and that the City has advocated for as recently as 2011. We need to make sure that only the most experienced and highly skilled workforce is responsible for transporting our most precious cargo day in and day out. At the end of the day that is what this strike is about."