CTA union talks stall; layoffs threatened (Crain’s Chicago)

November 13, 2012 – Contract talks between the Chicago Transit Authority and two union locals that represent bus and train workers have hit a big bump, with the agency reportedly moving to lay off workers as binding arbitration looms. “It looks like we’ll start arbitration on Friday,” said Robert Kelly, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308, which represents El motormen and other train operations personnel. “We were very close, but it just doesn’t look like we’ll get there.” Arbitration would not necessarily lead to service snags for commuters. In some past years, arbitration has taken many months, with workers receiving a retroactive wage hike months or even years after the original contract expired. Mr. Claypool is set to unveil the agency’s proposed 2013 budget Thursday morning and is under pressure to keep costs down and to avoid a fare hike.

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