F1 in Austin
- F-1 Is Over But Traffic Woes Remain
- UT Football And F-1 Take Over Austin
- Traffic Hassles Pile Up As F1 Crowds Head Downtown
- Public Safety A Priority For F1
- City of Austin, Cap Metro, ABIA Prepare for Formula 1
- F1 Fans Pushing Austin Flood Victims Out Of Hotels
- Austin Fan Fest Line-up Announced
- Multiple Big Events To Snarl Downtown Traffic This Weekend
- UT's 2013 Football Schedule Shows OSU Game During F1 Weekend Race
- Austin Airport Busy With F1 Attendee Departures
- Austin F1 Race Over, but Debate on Tax Subsidies Continues
- F1 Weekend is a Tax Windfall -- For Some
- Central Texas Hotels Already Gearing Up For 2013 Formula One Race
- Retailers Outside Austin See Spike In Sales For F1
- 117,000 Fans Attend Austin's Inaugural Formula 1 US Grand Prix
- Brit Lewis Hamilton Wins Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix In Austin
- Things Run Smoothly At F1 Track
- 82,000 Attend Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix Qualifying In Austin
- Business Down For Some Downtown Austin Stores Due To Fan Fest
- Fans Mellow So Far At Austin Fan Fest
- F1 Fan Fest Draws Big Crowds To Downtown Austin
- Austinites Check Out 1st Day Of F1
- Download F1 Road Closures Map
- Turning Laps In The Sky For Austin F1
- KEYE TV News Tests the F1 Shuttles For You
- 24 Hours Emergency Operations Center Open For F1 Weekend
- F1 Austin Fan Fest Begins Today
- Officials Make Final Austin F1 Traffic Plans
- Fan Fest Chaos Poses Challenges For Downtown Austin Businesses
- Austin Fan Fest Street Closures Continue
- Law Enforcement Offers Austin F1 Risk Assessment
- Formula 1 Track Shows Off Race Day Emergency Plan
- Cap Metro Makes F1 Backup Plans As Union Threatens Strike
- South Austin Neighborhoods Not Happy With F1 Helipads
- Austin Council Eyes F1 Helipad Code Changes After Neighborhood Outcry
- Austin Council Annexes F1 Race Track Land
- Bike Route Planned From Downtown Austin To Formula 1 Track
- Austin Formula 1 Racetrack Opens Saturday For Running Event
- Capital Metro To Provide Free Bus Service Around Downtown For F1 Weekend
- F1 Marks First Lap, Leaders to Discuss Preparedness
- Helipads Approved In South Austin For F1
- F1 Announces More Bands For Race Weekend
- Police, Nonprofits Bracing For Human Trafficking Increase
- How To Avoid Buying Counterfeit Tickets
- Austin F1 Transportation Plan Announced
- Austin Race Track Gets Green Light As Deadline Nears
- Pflugerville Wants To Study Impact Of F1
- Nelly Joins Aerosmith As Top Acts At F1 Grand Prix Concerts
- Condo Owners Wanting To Make Some Quick Cash Could Be Fined Thousands
- Festivals Planned During Austin's F1 Race Weekend
- Tens Of Thousands To Flock To Downtown Austin For F1 Grand Prix Events
- F1 Bringing Aerosmith To Austin During Race Weekend
- Texas Gov. Perry Promotes Austin F1 Race During Italy Trip
- Workers Needed For F1 Race
Cap Metro Makes F1 Backup Plans As Union Threatens Strike
Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 05:06 PM CDT
A threat to put the brakes on Capital Metro’s F1 plans: bus drivers and mechanics in Austin’s transit union have voted to authorize a strike. It’s against McDonald Transit, the company that provides drivers for more than half of Cap Metro’s routes. Union officials say it could happen in the next week, just in time for F1 weekend.
To beat the traffic during F1 weekend, public transportation is a key part of the city’s plan, one that could be at risk.
"We'd like to see Capital Metro step up to the plate," said Jay Wyatt, president of ATU Local 1091. Wyatt mentions lower starting pay, increased health premiums, and issues he calls unfair labor practices that are at the root of the potential strike.
Wyatt says he thinks they’ll make a decision on whether or not to strike “in the next week or so.” As for how many employees could potentially strike,
“I think somewhere in the area of around 500 people."
Capital Metro spokesperson Dan Dawson says he’s confident his agency can handle any outcome.
“We have a number of contingency plans ready to go,” said Dawson. When asked about what the plan for the worst case scenario would involve, “I can't really comment on the specifics of the plans because right now they're still in negotiation so we don’t want to disrupt that but what I can tell you is that we do have plans to move as many of people as possible.”
Dawson says F1-related transit routes get priority. To fill in the gaps, the agency will pull workers from their other contractors, with overtime pay where necessary.
"Strike is not something we really want to do,” said Wyatt. “It's just the only tool we have to try to resolve deadlocks."
We reached out to McDonald Transit to get a response to the union’s concerns. An official declined to reply to specific grievances, telling us the company never discusses ongoing negotiations.
Dawson says Cap Metro is not a party to any of the negotiations and cannot interfere. He added that Metro Rail, UT shuttles, and Metro Access would not be affected by a strike.
Mike Martinez, Cap Metro Chairman and City Council Member Place 2, issued the following statement Friday in response to the union’s strike authorization vote:
“This is a critical time for Capital Metro. We’ve righted our financial ship and we are in the middle of making great strides to provide a higher level of service to our ridership. While I respect the decision of the ATU members to self-determination, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that ATU asked for the current labor structure, and our contractor has been negotiating to provide both protections and an opportunity for our drivers to succeed as we restructure. This action, at such a critical time for the agency, will undoubtedly harm not only our ability to provide service to those who rely on Capital Metro the most, but also to the ATU members who are putting good faith negotiations at risk.
Strikes should be utilized as a last effort after discussions break down, not a first knee-jerk reaction before all other options are considered. It is my hope that the members of ATU continue their amazing service and remain at the bargaining table with McDonald in order to resolve remaining issues.”
By Adam Bennett
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