Some CARTA Employees Plan To Protest Working Conditions

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Some CARTA workers were planning to stage a rally in downtown Chattanooga on Tuesday to bring attention to working conditions.

The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1212 represents more than 100 CARTA workers in several different areas of the operation.

Union officials said some drivers are required to work too much overtime.

There are also claims of discrimination by management, and complaints that bus drivers are not given enough time for bathroom breaks.

The rally was schedule for the City Council building on Lindsay Street at 2:30 p.m.

CARTA Executive Director Lisa Maragnano said, "CARTA has been informed that ATU Local 1212 will be holding a rally tomorrow regarding the following claims:

"1. Bus Driver shortage and forced overtime: in the current environment of extremely low unemployment, CARTA like other employers is having difficulty hiring replacement employees. We have been working diligently over the last few months to hire drivers, but it has been difficult to find people want to work in our industry. CARTA always puts safety first and having to ask our drivers to work on their days off is not something we want to do but we need to provide service to the customers who rely on CARTA. We will continue to work at hiring more drivers so that we can allow the operators to have their time off. We are following the mutually agreed upon union contract for covering open routes.

 "2. Drivers are not allowed sufficient time for bathroom breaks: Chattanooga does not have a central transportation center where the drivers can utilize the restrooms. However, we have a list of over 40 different locations for the drivers to use the facilities. Drivers are allowed to stop and use the facilities whenever they deem necessary.

 "3. Management is applying disciplinary rules inconsistently: CARTA like any employer has a Code of Conduct that we follow regarding disciplinary actions. We follow the Code of Conduct consistently for all CARTA employees. No one is treated any differently.

"The safety of the public and our employees is always our number one concern and will remain our main focus."

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