Loss for Bloomberg, School Bus Strike Ruled Legal

February 4, 2013
Marc Bussanich and Joe Maniscalco

The National Labor Relations Board's Office of General Counsel recently ruled that the strike called by school bus drivers of Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union does not violate the National Labor Relations Act. Read more and watch video

More than 20 bus companies filed a charge with the Board claiming that the strike was illegal because the union’s primary dispute was with the city’s Department of Education, which signs the transportation contracts with the employers.

But the Board ruled that the companies are indeed primary employers because they’ve been collectively bargaining with the union for many years before contracts expired in December.

In an Advice Memorandum issued on Friday, the Board also ruled that the city’s DOE is another primary employer.

“It is well established that more than one employer may be a primary employer” under the NLRA,” according to the memo.

Michael Cordiello, President of Local 1181, said in a statement, “The NLRB’s decision not only supports the legality of the strike, but validates 1181’s longstanding position that the NYC Department of Education, along with the bus companies, is a primary employer associated with this work stoppage. I hope that Mayor Bloomberg recognizes the impact of today’s decision, and decides to come to the table with the union and bus companies to resolve the strike.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke on Friday morning before the memo was issued at Grand Central Terminal to commemorate the transit hub’s 100th birthday. LaborPress had the opportunity to ask the Mayor whether he will sit and talk with the union.

He argued, as he has since the start of the strike, that the city cannot legally negotiate with the parties based on a state Court of Appeals ruling and said the city needs to save money on school transportation costs in order to pay teachers. Watch the video

February 4, 2013

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