Boston Transit Union Protests Privatization Plans

October 12, 2016 
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel

Boston, MA – Seven officials of Boston Carmen’s Union Local 589 were arrested Oct. 6 for blocking the entrance to a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority cash-collection facility here, a few hours before the MBTA’s fiscal board voted to privatize its “money room.”

The board approved a five-year contract to turn its troubled cash-collection operations over to the Brink’s company, which would terminate the jobs of about 40 union workers. “Cash collection is not a core competency of the MBTA,” acting general manager Brian Shortsleeve told the Boston Globe. “Even Bank of America, the largest bank in this country, doesn’t run their money rooms.” The deal is the first battle over Gov. Charlie Baker’s plans to privatize much of the Boston-area transit system’s operations, including driving and maintaining buses. “Even though this contract is moving forward, we’re not going to back down from this fight to stop privatization,” said Local 589 President James O’Brien. “We cannot stand by while they privatize our public transportation system and turn the key over to a private company seeking to profit from our riders’ fares and the public’s tax dollars.’’ Read more

October 11, 2016

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