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Rock Area Metro drivers fight for higher salaries and paid time off



Little Rock, Arkansas – At the bus stop, the struggle for greater pay rages on. Drivers have been negotiating with Rock Region Metro for the past month, demanding more paid time off and greater wages.

It’s usually not too hard to get around the Capital City by bike, by ride, or on foot. On the other hand, the wait time can be greater than anticipated if you’re a sitting passenger on the public bus.

The President of Local 704 Amalgamated Transit Union reported that about thirty drivers had been dismissed or resigned their jobs in the previous two years.

According to him, this is causing problems for both individuals who are waiting for the bus and drivers who are still working.

The union president claims that due to a shortage of drivers, many routes have been completely red-lighted.

“If there’s no driver to drive that bus, that bus will be red lighted, which means the people in that area will not get picked up at the time that bus was supposed to be there so those people have to try and find a way home, a way to work, a way to the doctor’s appointment,” ATU local president Floydell Bibbs said.

The union and Rock Region Metro have been corresponding for the past month in an attempt to reach a consensus.

According to the union, their drivers should be paid at least $22 per hour. They also desire less overtime and more paid time off.

“Somebody could come to work at 4:30 in the morning and they might not leave until 8 that night,” Bibbs said. “I shouldn’t have to work all day to take home a decent check.”

According to Bibbs, Rock Region has extended its vacation days, but he is still advocating for more.
The current Little Rock driver contract expires on July 1st, so anything might happen in the next few days.

“I will continue to fight for these members. If it costs me my job, I don’t care,” Bibbs stated.

According to Bibbs, the union and Rock Region have another meeting planned for this week.





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