CTA Rail Operators Favor Strike in Preliminary Union Vote

CTA officials said the preliminary strike vote came as a surprise

The results of a preliminary strike vote show a majority of Chicago Transit Authority rail operators would be in favor of going on strike if a contract is not reached, the group's union unveiled Monday.

"Approximately one-third of our membership participated and produced a 98 percent calling on the strike vote," ATU Local 308 President Kenneth Franklin said Monday at City Hall.

Union leaders said contract negotiations continue to stall over healthcare, safety and the 1 percent wage increase CTA has offered, noting negotiations have been going on for 18 months.

CTA officials said the preliminary strike vote came as a surprise, saying the transit agency has offered a competitive wage to the members of Local 308.

"CTA has continued to negotiate in good faith, fairly and honestly," CTA spokesman Steve Mayberry said.

As for talk of a strike, the CTA said state law and the contract prevents the union members from walking the picket line.

"It is part of the contract that they cannot strike," Mayberry said, "so we are not sure what he is talking about.”

No exact strike date has been set.

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