Planned service cuts and employee layoffs continue to loom as a Friday afternoon meeting between union officials and Chicago Transit Authority management failed to make any progress.
The meeting was called by Mayor Richard Daley in an attempt to save 1,100 jobs and spare riders the hassle of finding new routes starting Sunday.
The unions have been playing the blame game and stating that CTA management have been uncooperative. Retiring Chicago Federation of Labor President Dennis Gannon earlier in the day wasn't optimistic about the outcome.
“Any time you meet with the mayor, it’s a hopeful sign,” Gannon said. “But there’s got to be some will on both sides to get something done. At the present time, I don’t see the will from either side,” reported the Sun Times.
Daley stepped in to try and prevent the potential of political backlash from angry riders that will have to wait longer times and may not get a seat if CTA cuts occur.
The plan is for a $95 million cut. These cuts will eliminate nine express bus routes, longer wait time for 119 other bus routes and shorter hours on 41 other routes. Almost all of the L’s will have longer wait time as well.
Hopefully the mayor’s help stepping in will save jobs and keep CTA riders happy. “It’s unusually difficult times for people. If it will help avoid these cuts and layoffs, of course, he’s willing to do it,” said mayoral press secretary Jacquelyn Heard.