Brothers and Sisters,
In the next few days we are going to experience a heat-wave into the triple digit range.
Dehydration is a real possibility, especially if you are experiencing fatigue, headache, nausea, and dizziness. Water is number 1 in staying hydrated, but there are alternatives to help with hydration such as watermelon, celery, cucumbers, strawberries, lettuce, coconut water, and to a smaller extent sports drinks, coffee, and homemade smoothies.
I wish this post was about the staying hydrated, especially during triple digit heat. This story is about a problem that was brought up by our union sister Kathleen Brown in front of the Board of Directors and Trimet Management.
The issue was ignored by both governing agencies that oversees the outsourced agency that operate Trimet Lift. This issued came up again with the public shaming of a fellow union member (http://koin.com/2017/06/21/bus-driver-seen-defecating-in-beaverton-parking-lot/) in the news. Although no one wanted to acknowledge that there are working conditions that can lead up to this type of event, instead the story only shamed the individual and not the possibility of bad conditions. In talking to sister Kathleen, per our conversation concerning UTI and Transit workers. It seems that the problem is more systemic than I thought originally. We must continue to raise awareness of this disorder in our industry.
Just to let everyone know that we are doing the best we can to keep up with all the calls in the system, unfortunately we can only keep up with about 1% of the calls. We will continue to do our best we can to keep everyone informed when things happen.
We heard a call that came in from Lift concerning operators having to use the restroom and was denied, and had to relive themselves on themselves. We will not give names, times, or dates (other than to union representatives).
A stressed-out operator and was denied a comfort break after 5 hours of work and into the second 5 hours had to beg for a break, but by then the operator relieved themselves (on themselves) without a restroom. The operator felt embarrassed and stressed out while operating a vehicle in that condition (which is a bio-hazard).
In the public embarrassment of the other Lift operator, the parent agency Trimet stated, “it will work to ensure this doesn’t happen again.” In this case, if doesn’t make the news then the employee’s welfare doesn’t matter. This speaks to what sister Kathleen said about the working conditions.
To all our Lift follow union members or all the transit agencies that fall under the ATU 757 banner, if you have these types of issues within your districts, make sure your Stewards, Liaisons, E-Board officers, and the Union Hall know. Work-place safety is just as important as collective bargaining.
Be vigilant be safe and always communicate