Those who cannot remember the past . . .

Are doomed to repeat it.

George Santayana said that, and now the saying apparently describes the CCTA Board of Commissioners.

 According to Vermont Digger, the CCTA Board is poised to escalate an already hostile situation to one of extreme bitterness. They voted today to hire scabs to break the three-week-old bus drivers' strike.

 Here's the operative language in today's resolution:

 In the interest of restoring transit service as quickly as possible, the Board authorizes staff, subject to the Board’s subsequent approval, to secure temporary drivers until the negotiation is resolved. The Board requests that staff prepare an action plan that includes options for legal action to end the strike.

 People who have lived in Vermont long enough will remember the 1985 Hinesburg teachers' strike, which eventually went on for eighty-seven days. In that strike not only did the school board hire scab teachers two weeks into the staff, but the board chair, Rita Flynn Villa, tried to throw out teacher pay scales, eliminate teacher grievance protection, and generally tried to bust the union.

The teachers were ultimately reinstated, but not without causing bitter divisions between teachers, management, and parents in the town.

This year it's not the teachers, it's the bus drivers, and they and their supporters have already been complaining about what they consider unfair and unbalanced press coverage of the positions of the two sides.

Hiring scabs, while it may look like an attractive short-term solutions, will only further poison relations with the drivers. The company may be legally justified in taking this action, but they should recognize that there are already calls by community groups to replace management, and those calls will only increase if the board goes nuclear. 

4 thoughts on “Those who cannot remember the past . . .

  1. That is the point.  That is exactly what the CCTA board wants to do.  The last thing the CCTA Board wants is to settle with the drivers.  Better to replace them all with minimum wage schlubs or better yet, unpaid interns.

    The board hates the very notion that workers are – somehow – human beings. The three major points of the drivers underscore that truth.

    WGOP devoted about .05% of the recent report that I saw to the driver’s position, the entire rest of the report was all about how awful it is that people think they should be paid for their work and believe they should be respected as human beings.  WGOP found plenty of riders who jumped on the Screw The Workers position, and a CCTA person got nice close ups while talking about those mean drivers and their ridiculous demands.

  2. Whatever flavor of the month CEO rakes in millions or billions as ‘compensation’ and are heralded as geniuses and held up as beacons of our capitalistic system.

    Bus drivers and your neighborhood school teachers in BTV are villains (according to some) for wanting to better their lives, their work environment, and make a bit more $$.

    Amazing, how we can hold corporations and the wealthy in such high regard, yet so easily throw our neighbors under the bus.

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