Management & Operations

Striking mechanics meet with transit agency

Posted on October 22, 2003

Negotiators for striking mechanics were scheduled to meet with officials from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) through a state mediator Wednesday after the MTA earlier refused to take over the union's troubled healthcare fund.

According to the Associated Press, negotiations lasted for about six hours Tuesday with the two sides going back and forth through the negotiator. Representatives of the strikers asked for more details on a proposal made by the MTA but have not yet offered a counterproposal.

In the latest offer, the MTA agreed to make a one-time contribution of $4.7 million to the healthcare fund and increase monthly payments. The transit system also proposed equal representation on the board that oversees the nearly bankrupt fund.

"This is the fifth contract proposal we've given to the mechanics," MTA spokesman Marc Littman said. "We've gone as far as we can go. We're ready to negotiate around the clock."

The strike began on Oct. 14, when 2,200 members of the Amalgamated Transit Union walked off the job. The MTA system serves 500,000 riders a day.

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