DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Transit Union officials and RTA management were at the bargaining table early Sunday. Both sides are hoping to reach an agreement, otherwise, workers say they’re going on strike.
The RTA’s busy bus hub in downtown Dayton could be empty Monday. However, State lawmaker and other groups are speaking out, working to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“To me, this is a bigger issue than what is good for the Union or the RTA,” Ohio House Representative Niraj Antani said. “What this is really about is making sure the RTA is functioning on Monday. I don’t care if they put together a 6-month deal, we just need a deal.”
Rep. Antani is echoing what many riders are hoping for — a deal. One that means buses will be running Monday morning for the roughly 30,000 people relying on RTA for rides.
“If the RTA strikes on Monday, there will be people who have no way to get to work,” Rep. Antani said. “If they can’t get to work, they risk getting fired. If they get fired, they might be thrown into poverty and that is absolutely unacceptable.”
The Transit Union is asking RTA officials for better benefits and improved health insurance. The RTA says it’s not financially possible, but the Union isn’t backing down. They’re threatening to strike beginning midnight Sunday if officials don’t give in. Rep. Antani says at this point he isn’t taking sides.
“I’m not really concerned about which side gets the better deal,” Rep. Antani said. “I think that they need to make a fair deal, but I am concerned about the thousands of workers and students who are going to be stranded on Monday without a ride to work or school if they don’t achieve a deal by tomorrow.”
RTA service will continue Sunday, but after that it’s hard to say what will happen. Both sides begin contract talks Sunday at 9 a.m.