CTA workers demand fair contract during ‘Day of Action’

CHICAGO --  CTA workers protested Wednesday and called for a fair contract.

Three protests were held by the amalgamated transit unions.

Union workers from transit union 308 and 241 gathered at at CTA headquarters this afternoon at Lake and Jefferson Many, if not most of the men and women in the demonstration, drive the buses and operate the trains.

They are calling it a “day of action” to protest what 241 Union President Tommy Sams calls “stall tactics over current contract negotiations and regressive, discriminatory contract offers.”

Earlier Wednesday morning, the group protested outside the law firm of Jackson Lewis, the law firm the city hired to negotiate on its behalf.

The union says CTA proposals include no pay raises, elimination of two holidays a year and an 18-percent increase on health insurance premiums.

Dorval Carter is the CTA president and says at best, the union is misleading the public. There have been 20 negotiating sessions since January including one held today.  Seven more have been scheduled.

The CTA is aiming for a 2 percent raise, which in today's economy Carter believes is fair.

As for the elimination of the two paid holidays those are paid time off for birthdays and anniversary hiring days, Carter  calls them practices held over from a bygone era.

"The operators here at CTA are the second highest paid in the country," Carter said.

CTA hasn't had a fare increase in eight years