According to a report in the Daily News, approximately 100 bus drivers who were given a pink slip two months are back on the job. Pete Donohue reports that these bus drivers were asked to return to work to “fill vacancies from retirements and promotions” and that the move to rehire these drivers wasn’t an unexpected one. “It’s good to see people back to work, especially with this economy,” TWU official J.P. Patafio said. “We never understood why they were laid off to begin with.”
Buried within the article though is a glimpse of some dismaying news from the labor front. Donohue says that attempts to renegotiate the contract between the TWU and the MTA have fallen apart. Although the authority offered to “maintain staffing levels if the union agreed to re-open the contract and grant longer-term concessions that would lower MTA costs,” the two sides could not reach an agreement. I have to believe the labor relations will grow further strained next year as the end of the TWU’s current three-year contract arrives.