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CTA Bus Drivers Authorize Strike

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Chicago Transit Authority bus drivers and mechanics last night overwhelmingly authorized a strike. Workers could go on strike next month. The CTA says any strike is unlawful.

Drivers are upset with the CTA’s practice of rostering, where drivers work split shifts during morning and evening rush. Union officials say drivers aren’t paid for that time in between, when demand for bus service is lower. An official with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 241 says drivers essentially work up to 18 hours a day, but are only paid for eight.

The union represents 6,200 drivers, mechanics and support staff.

The CTA says state law classifies these workers as essential so any strike is in violation of the state Labor Relations Act. It says any grievance must be solved through arbitration.

The union says it asked for arbitration, but the CTA refused.

The two sides will meet on Friday.

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