Members of IAM Local 264 in Boston are leading the fight against deep cuts to the city’s public transportation by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). The proposed cuts would reduce access to essential workers and others who rely on public transit more than ever during these difficult times, ultimately slowing economic recovery and putting more people in harm’s way.
IAM District 15 Assistant Directing Business Representative Mike Vartabedian recently wrote an op-ed for Boston’s NPR station, WBUR, explaining how the cuts would negatively impact the community and outlining ways the Massachusetts Legislature could fix the budget shortfall and avert the need for any cuts to service.
“Members of Local 264 always rise to the occasion when their community needs them,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “We can’t let state lawmakers use this pandemic to make cuts to public transit that attacks labor and leaves riders out in the cold to fend for themselves.”
This isn’t the first battle with cuts for the nearly 450 mechanics, fuelers and other skilled professionals of IAM Local 264 working for the MBTA. They were victorious in a historic two-year privatization fight against Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker in 2018.
Local 264 is joining forces with other unions and community groups as part of Public Transit Public Good, a coalition of transit workers and riders throughout Massachusetts fighting for the future of public transit.