Six members of the Springfield City Council have signed onto a letter sent to National Express and the Pioneer Valley Transportation Authority (PVTA) in support of paratransit drivers who are currently engaged in their first union negotiation for a contract.
“Paratransit drivers provide essential transportation services to many of our constituents who need it most, including the elderly and the disabled,” said At-Large City Councilor Jesse Lederman “They have continued to work through the COVID-19 pandemic. They deserve a fair contract, a living wage, and hazard pay.”
Councilors Jesse Lederman, Tracye Whitfield, Adam Gomez, Melvin Edwards, Victor Davila, and Orlando Ramos all signed onto the letter which urges the employers to bargain in good faith with their workers. On Thursday, Councilors Lederman, Gomez, Davila, and Ramos joined UFCW members for an information picket in front of PVTA headquarters.
“Essential workers deserve hazard pay, especially ones who are constantly in harms way,” said Ward 1 City Councilor Adam Gomez, “During this pandemic not bargaining in good faith sends a message that employees are not respected. The union has gone above the call of duty. The time is right to do the same for our essential drivers.”
“Now more than ever it is important to protect workers rights,” said Ward 8 City Councilor Orlando Ramos, “These hardworking men and women have the right to organize and make sure that each one of them is being compensated fairly, and that they feel safe on the job. That’s not too much to ask.”
“Essential Workers have stepped up and helped maintain core services. National Express not bargaining in good faith is an insult to the drivers and to all essential workers,” said Ward 6 City Councilor Victor Davila.