Bus drivers’ union says it did not organize MetroBus drivers to miss work

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ST. LOUIS – The union representing Metro transit bus drivers in St. Louis said Monday it was not behind the action of several drivers not showing up for work.

In the Monday morning rain, MetroBus riders had to wait longer than usual for the bus after an unusually high number of drivers called off work.

The drivers had been working without a contract for about a month. Reginald Howard, president of the Amalgamate Transit Local 788, said the drivers did not call in sick and the action was not approved the union.

“We have no idea. I couldn’t answer that question cause I don’t know why they didn’t come in. It was nothing that was orchestrated by the union,” he said.

An already scheduled negotiating meeting got underway Monday but union representatives said Metro’s offer of new pay raises over three years is not acceptable. Both sides agreed to take a break in negotiations.

The Metro negotiating team huddled for three hours before resuming talks. Union drivers said they feel pressured to work overtime by Metro and that it’s taking a physical and mental toll.

Fox 2 reached out to Metro for comment but has not heard back from them.

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