CHICAGO — Paratransit services in Cook and DuPage counties are in danger of being suspended due to a possible work stoppage because of Cook DuPage Transport’s bad faith bargaining for a first contract.
Despite the company’s sky-high profits, CDT management is refusing to bargain over reasonable wage increases and affordable health care for paratransit drivers, porters, dispatchers and customer service representatives seeking their first union contract.
The Chicago-based paratransit company has increasingly seen rising profits over the last two years.
“Our members are integral to the success of the company. Our drivers are the faces of CDT and work with some of our communities’ most vulnerable residents. When customers call, they hear our members on the phone,” said John Coli Jr., President of Teamsters Local 727, which represents more than 600 CDT employees. “But the company has shown it does not want to share with our members and only cares about its bottom line by delaying negotiations over well-earned increases. Frankly, the company’s tactics are insulting to the very men and women who are the lifeblood of CDT.”
The Teamster-represented CDT workers transport and facilitate the transport of disabled and elderly passengers throughout the Chicagoland area.
“We’re out there every day. The streets are more dangerous than ever, we’re doing more trips than ever, and the cost of living has gone up,” said CDT driver Jesse Hudson. “We’re not just asking for someone to fill our pockets, it’s something we feel we deserve.”
The union has begun to make preparations for a possible work stoppage over such bargaining tactics. The next negotiation meeting is scheduled for Dec. 11.
“The union deeply regrets the massive inconvenience this could create, but if the company continues to bargain unreasonably, they will have given their employees no other choice,” Coli said.
Teamsters Local 727 represents more than 7,000 hardworking men and women across the Chicago area.