The union representing COTA bus drivers on Friday filed a 10-day notice of its intent to strike.
The Transportation Workers Union Local #208 represents nearly 700 workers, including bus drivers, mechanics and support staff, 10TV's Kristyn Hartman reported. Union President Andrew Jordan said that a key issue centers around equal pay for equal work.
Jordan said that it takes seven years for transportation workers to receive top pay and said that in many cases, a worker can do the same job, have the same skill set and make less than the person working next to him.
W. Curtis Stitt, President and CEO of COTA, said the notice did not come as a surprise and COTA expected such a notice to come Friday.
If an agreement is not reached, a strike could come in 10 days, affecting those relying on COTA for fireworks transportation on July 3.
COTA officials said that if drivers and staff walk off the job, fixed-route bus services would stop on July 2 at 3 a.m.
Stitt said there was not another plan to offer safe and efficient service to the July 3 festivities if there was a strike, Hartman reported.
A Red, White and Boom! spokesman said they would be talking about potential back up plans and different traffic patterns.
COTA representatives said that both parties signed more than 25 tentative agreements, but union members rejected a fact-finder's report that recommended a resolution of the final article of the contract.
If the strike went into effect, COTA's paratransit service, including mainstream, will call and non-ADA service would continue to operate.
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