ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - There is still no word about whether metro transit employees may go on strike, but Fox 2 has exclusive details of how the Transit Workers Union plans to get around the Missouri law forbidding strikes by public employees.
The Transit Workers Union still says they won’t strike until an independent arbitrator delivers a ruling on their contract dispute with metro.
That ruling could come any day and Metro riders are nervous. Metro management, meanwhile, continues to insist that any strike would be illegal.
Nevertheless, the Union has sent a memo to its members saying it does have the right to strike.
If Metro says it’s illegal to go on strike, how can the Union even consider it? Easy, Fox 2 has learned that the Union is going to claim that none of its members driving these buses or MetroLink, are public employees. The Union can claim that because they say Metro doesn’t get one penny from the state of Missouri, therefore how can they be state employees when they don’t get any money from the state?
It’s not quite nothing. For every $1,000 metro brings in, Missouri kicks in two bucks. The vast majority of Metro’s $207 million budget comes from the state of Illinois, counties in Illinois, St. Louis city and county, the federal government and metro riders.
But Metro still claims a strike is illegal and that any strikers can be fired and the Transit Union by saying workers are not Missouri public employees is almost daring Metro to try it in case of a strike.