Hundreds of RTA workers prepare for possible strike

(WDTN Photo/Justin Kraus)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Hundreds of RTA workers are preparing for a possible strike. After weeks of negotiating, both sides have not reached an agreement.

Hundreds are preparing to strike which would leave thousands of riders without transportation Monday. RTA buses are still operating throughout the city but it could be a much different story in the coming days.

Starting Monday, 30,000 people could be without transportation. That is if RTA officials and the Transit Union don’t reach a deal before midnight Sunday.

“No one wants to see transit disruptions hurt workers, students, disabled riders and local businesses,” Ohio Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown said in a statement released Saturday. “We owe it to riders, taxpayers and the entire Miami Valley to do everything possible to avoid a strike. I hope all sides will come to the bargaining table ready to reach a fair agreement to keep workers on the job and local transit moving for the Miami Valley.”

School board officials are also weighing in, worried students won’t have a ride to school.

“Our District’s high school students rely on RTA to deliver them to and from school,” Dayton School Board Vice President Sheila Taylor said in a statement released Saturday. “If RTA cannot solve this labor dispute with its workers by Monday, a significant portion of our high school students will be stranded in the cold and without the opportunity to come to school.”

RTA estimates they carry about 1,000 DPS students on an average weekday. School Board Member John McManus hopes both sides will reach a deal.

“The Greater Dayton RTA is a tremendously valuable asset to this community, our students, and our constituents,” McManus said in a statement released Saturday. “We want RTA to be successful, but we also need our high school students to have reliable transportation to their classrooms every single day. Vice President Taylor and I are imploring the leadership of RTA to bring an end to this labor dispute so that our children won’t lose valuable time in the classroom.”

Contract talks between both sides will begin Sunday at 9 a.m.

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