CARTA employees protest overtime from driver shortage
CARTA employees and their union have planned a rally for Tuesday afternoon.
CARTA employees and their union have planned a rally for Tuesday afternoon with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1212 at the City Council building in downtown Chattanooga.
The union represents more 100 CARTA bus, shuttle, paratransit and incline operators and maintenance workers.
The employees allege a driver shortage is having a negative impact on safety and is requiring drivers to work overtime.
The drivers also charge that CARTA management is discriminating against African American and females, treating them differently than other workers at the transit agency.
CARTA shared a statement with Channel 3 that reads:
"CARTA has been informed that ATU Local 1212 will be holding a rally tomorrow regarding the following claims:
1. Bus Driver shortage and forced overtime: in the current environment of extremely low unemployment, CARTA like other employers is having difficulty hiring replacement employees. We have been working diligently over the last few months to hire drivers, but it has been difficult to find people want to work in our industry. CARTA always puts safety first and having to ask our drivers to work on their days off is not something we want to do but we need to provide service to the customers who rely on CARTA. We will continue to work at hiring more drivers so that we can allow the operators to have their time off. We are following the mutually agreed upon union contract for covering open routes.
2. Drivers are not allowed sufficient time for bathroom breaks: Chattanooga does not have a central transportation center where the drivers can utilize the restrooms. However, we have a list of over 40 different locations for the drivers to use the facilities. Drivers are allowed to stop and use the facilities whenever they deem necessary.
3. Management is applying disciplinary rules inconsistently: CARTA like any employer has a Code of Conduct that we follow regarding disciplinary actions. We follow the Code of Conduct consistently for all CARTA employees. No one is treated any differently.
The safety of the public and our employees is always our number one concern and will remain our main focus."