In addition to penning workers behind barricades and blocking them from mounting effective picket lines at bus yards, New York City cops have come to the direct aid of strike-breakers.
A striking bus driver from the Bronx has provided the World Socialist Web Site with photographs of members of the New York City Police Department directly scabbing on striking mechanics, attempting to make repairs to a broken-down school bus sent across their picket lines.
“Bloomberg wants to be in charge of everything,” said the bus driver. “He’s even got the cops fixing broken-own buses to scab on the mechanics.”
“He’s bringing out the police not just to watch us, but to try and keep the buses running,” he added. “But can they really fix buses?
The striking driver told the World Socialist Web Site: “They are starting to get private companies to pick up the kids. Bloomberg just wants us to roll over. You can’t beg to him.
“The media tries to paint us as unskilled. We have to be very professional. We can get fined $60-$80 if we show up without a clean shirt. And that comes out of our paychecks. We only get two shirts a year.
“In Yonkers, they get paid in cash. It means they don’t all have to get background checks like we do. We are a very professional group.”
“The media lies when they say we don’t care about the kids. We check every kid who gets on our bus. We check for bruises on their faces, we make sure to get rid of candy so they don’t choke on it and we make sure they are in their seats at every red light. We have kids in wheel chairs and autistic kids and we make sure that they get to school and then back home safely.”
He also expressed anger at Local 1181 for its conduct of the strike. “To get the EPP, we should have struck last September,” he said. “The union sold us out. They gave the city time to prepare.
“Now, the union may make it so that the pension and EPP are taken from those with less than five years on the job.
“There are also scabbing unions. Local 91 and Local 854 are sending out workers to drive our buses. I don’t believe in the union anymore.”