Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I found out some information from a third party concerning two cases of Hepatitis B, although I do not know the people involved it is not surprising that this possibly could occur on the “dirty buses/trains” that “we” occupy. In one of the cases, I heard that one of the persons went to management and stated that they contracted it from their bus/train. Management promptly told them that they would have to prove that they contracted it from their job. The employee would have to take blood tests daily in order to get proof, other words, saying, “You” didn’t get it on the job. In the long run our Brothers/ Sisters have to pony-up, and pay the extra expense that should be covered by an on-the-job injury.
With all this being said, “We” are put into a position that “our” so-called union (in name only), will fail to protect “us”, in this and all other issues, with the “dirty bus/train.” Too many times “we” have gotten nothing but “lip service” from those “we” pay to represent “us”. They (“our” paid employees) are out of touch with the problems that we face on a daily basis. Their reason for keeping “our” benefits boils down to schedules. This is a ridiculous statement that gets laughed at by management and the board, every time “our” paid employee speaks. They (“our” paid employees) don’t address “us” in all communications that “we” use, they tell “us” to look at the union (in name only) web site, which shows “us” nothing of worth reading, as in “when will we get “our” contract done!!!!!” Far too long, they ignore the obvious, and compromise “our” strong position as a powerful union (as in “united”). All “we” have to do is look at the video on the “occupy Trimet”, maybe less than 25 people showed up (Occupy looked like they has more people attending), this is a shame, because everyone should be involved in an informational protest, this is a problem, with more and more Brothers and Sisters, disinterested in being involved. A couple of obvious things I saw where, no press releases handed out (from the video). Luckily channel 6 decided to be there and give “our” paid employee some air time.
Trimet knows what “our” paid employee will say and do, and they get away with everything they want. Like having “our” paid employee to sign off on mini-runners being allowed to work extra, thus screwing those that wanted to go full-time. “Our” paid employee doesn’t listen to others suggestions. “Our” paid employee only answers to his close allies, true story, one of his allies said that they could not contact him at that time of day because he was busy. We made a gentlemen’s bet that he could not get him, and guess what, he did, in 2 rings. Go figure. Another thing “our” paid employee doesn’t do, is go to the community meetings that Mr. McFarlane goes to. True story, at that meeting (about 2 weeks ago or so) one of lovely rider advocates asked him about driver breaks and are they getting enough time to eat and rest, McFarlane replied that the drivers get adequate breaks. IF “our” paid employee, was there representing “us”, the public would see “our” side. “our” paid employee did think that “our” situation would get better if “we” had more community involvement and support, meaning, if the board would not hear “us”, then the communities that “we” serve will, changing the way “we” are viewed. This too is a failure of “our” paid employee. This company, if fearful of public perception, “we” should be giving them a reason to fear, “we” are not.
The “dirty bus/train”, is the one reason that the board cannot ignore. The fact that “we” are exposed to higher and higher levels of toxic/biohazard, due to the busses not having their duct work cleaned regularly (as explained to me by Brother rob) as well as the heater core (non A/C) and the condenser and evaporator (A/C). Actually they should look at installing a hepa filter in the vent by the operator and regularly pressure test the defroster core. If the defroster core is leaking the operator will be breathing in antifreeze all day long if it is in use! (as explained to me by Brother rob, I've seen more than 1 bus come in repeatedly for a bad smell where we found a leaking defroster core). All that being said, the union (in name only), doesn’t keep records of illnesses in the vehicles “we” operate, I have never heard of a union NOT having statistics in regards to illness, so that if there IS a glaring problem, it could be handled in an appropriate swift manner. So far, it escapes “our” paid employees. “If there is nothing offered, there is nothing gained”.