Update: TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch says the above interpretation of McFarlane’s statement is “inaccurate” and that “it’s premature to say that’s our strategy.”
She says McFarlane’s comments about the no-strike rule, and its
attempts to begin a debate about it in the legislature, should only be
interpreted as comments about the slow advance of the current
“Does TriMet have any interest in changing the strike law?” I asked.
“Our focus right now is to get this resolved,” Fetsch replied,
referring to the ATU contract that’s been in negotiation for several
years. “The focus is to have the legislature bring the ATU to the table
to resolve this contentius contract.”
I asked Fetsch how the legislature would help bring the ATU to
the table, if not through its implicit power to change the 2007 law
requested by the union. Fetsch said “the union listens to the
legislature and vice versa. … Obviously the legislature can reach out to
the union to encourage that this long-delayed process move along.”
I said that in this context, it seemed that raising questions
about the no-strike law are a tactic to bring the union to the table.
“We don’t have that tactic,” Fetsch said.
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