Friday, December 18, 2009

Council Of Senior Citizens Organization COSCO News

Council Of Senior Citizens Organization representing 75+ Senior Organizations and numerous associates had the following in their last News

COSCO calls on TransLink to step in and help restore HandyDart services
The intransigence of an American for profit contractor has unneccessarily lengthened a strike by HandyDART employees, and is disrulting the lives of seniors and people with disabilities, the Council Of Senior Citizens Organization of BC (COSCO) said today.

"While MVT's negotiators have gone back to California, thousands of men and women who depend on HandyDart to get to medical appointments and pick up their groceries are virtually trapped in their homes", said Lorraine Logan, Chair of COSCO's Transporation Committee.

A strike by HandyDART workers, members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1724 began Oct. 26 following ten months of unsuccessful negotiations. The American contractor hired by TransLink - MVT bus - says the drivers, office staff and maintenance workers must agree to give up their pention plan before it will return to the table. [soething that they wanted for many years took five rears to negotiate. JB]

"It's time for TransLink to get involved and help restore this service," said Logan. "TranslLnk is responsible for HandyDART. It can't duck its responsibility to seniors and people with disabilities by signing a contract with an American corporation."

"It is evident in the work they do, and the personal assistance they provide to their clients, that HandyDART drivers care deeply about the people they serve. They have also made a very unusual offer by proposing binding arbitration to settle the contract. This would immediately get the service back in operation," she said.

"Seniors with disabilities, and HandyDart workers are saying it's time to get the buses back on the road. The for profit contractor says no. And while thousands of individuals struggle to get around and keep their lives together, TransLink is hiding behind a wall of silence. It's time for that silence to end."

Under a picture of a "walk" sign the article says, "HandyDART users have been left with nowhere to turn - and walking isn't an option. It's time for TransLink to step in and help end the dispute."

[appolofgies for any typos. I tried to catch them all. This blogC site does not allow a 'select and paste' system. It has taken me almost two hours to type this blog out! JB]

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