Metro workers voting on arbitrator recommendations

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Metro’s main union, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 788, is voting Tuesday morning on what could be important findings by an arbitrator.

The recommendations focus on the ongoing labor dispute between the union and Metro.

The vote started at 6:00am Tuesday at the Soulard union hall and will continue until 6:30pm.

In the report, the arbitrator rules against Metro’s attempt to replace the union’s current pension plan with basically a 401(k) plan for all future hires.

The report also sides more with the union on raises.

Metro says the arbitrator’s recommendations on raises would cost more than $20 million and would require either a major service reduction or a massive tax increase.

Metro says the current pension plan threatens the company’s financial future and the arbitrator provided only 'band aid' solutions.

The report does side with Metro in its proposed plan for active and retiree health insurance.

Union president Mike Breihan is recommending members accept the wages and pension conclusions, but reject the insurance findings.

Tuesday’s vote is basically symbolic since the arbitrator’s conclusions were non-binding.

Breihan says there will likely be more bargaining sessions after this vote is done.

The union has already approved a strike vote if it comes to that. Breihan says he does not expect a strike this month but says it could happen next month.

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