The union representing thousands of Chicago Transit Authority workers is demanding permanent restroom facilities instead of port-a-potties workers say are dirty and often in unsafe locations.
A union leader said Wednesday bus drivers don’t have enough time to use other restroom options during their shifts. The CTA places the port-a-potties at turn around points and parks.
“So instead drivers decide not to relieve themselves an even in a few cases, have resorted to wearing diapers,” says Tommy Sams, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 241.
The CTA says it shares the union’s desire to improve the facilities. The transit agency also says some of the older, smaller port-a-potties are being replaced.
The CTA says building permanent restroom facilities is a logistical and financial challenge. The agency did not give an estimate on what the financial cost would be.
“It is essential that all employees have regular access to sanitary bathrooms,” said Linda Jennings of National Nurses United. “So they can utilize the facilities without coming into unnecessary contact with bodily fluids and can was their hands.
The CTA also says 100 other permanent restroom options are available for operators—which supplement the portable units.
A spokesperson for the CTA said the agency looks forward to continuing the discussion with the union.