The Transport Workers Union, among the first unions to support the Occupy Wall Street protesters, is going to court to prevent the city from forcing its members to drive buses carrying arrested protesters. Several empty buses were commandeered Saturday during the mass arrests at the Brooklyn Bridge and MTA supervisors ordered drivers to drive them:
But that violates the contract between Local 100 and the MTA, Samuelsen said.
“Our mission is to provide transit service to the riding public, not transport people who were arrested,” he said.
David Waldman puts this into perspective:
But as we know, depriving women of medical care is different and pharmacists have a God-given right to refuse to fill some of the most common prescriptions there are. Whereas union bus drivers should certainly expect to have to transport people lured into law-breaking by the police and then arrested while engaged in a protest said bus drivers support.
How the TWU fares in court will presumably depend on the exact language of its contract, but this has to be likely to boost attendance at Wednesday’s rally as incensed transit workers show their support.
This post originally appeared in Daily Kos Labor on October 3, 2011. Reprinted with permission.
About the Author: Laura Clawson is labor editor at Daily Kos. She has a PhD in sociology from Princeton University and has taught at Dartmouth College. From 2008 to 2011, she was senior writer at Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO.