DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union local 1385 have been picketing since 9:00 Monday morning in front of the RTA offices in downtown Dayton.
Union members could be heard chanting things like “No work. No ride.” As passing cars drove by and honked in support, the group cheered.
Workers say they want the RTA to recognize that they want a contract because they haven’t had one in nearly two years. They say they’ve been handed insurance that they can’t afford.
The rally was held after a strike went into effect at midnight when the union and RTA officials could not reach a deal. Bus service in the city has been suspended.
Drivers and mechanics are walking the picket lines.
The union says it has a message for the 30,000 riders who are now looking for another way to work or school.
“We’re on a mission. We didn’t want to do this. We’re sorry,” said ATU Local 1385 vice president Mike Long. “The first thing we want to do is apologize to the public. We didn’t want to do this but we were forced to do this. So right now we don’t feel the cold. We feel the tension from the fact that we don’t have a contract.”
AAA says you should expect an increase in traffic as well as delays and even possible parking problems.
The union says they are ready to negotiate today.
2 NEWS will continue to follow this story and we will let you know if that happens.