DeCamp Strike Over For Now, More Details Come In

As we reported last night, DeCamp management and its union have negotiated a “cooling off period” that will allow commuter service to start up again on Wednesday morning. Union leaders say the fact that strike benefits would have kicked in on Wednesday was not the reason for the settlement.

Strikers insurance benefits would have been automatically payable on Wednesday, as is standard procedure if a strike continues past 14 days. But according to Larry Hanley, an international vice president of the ATU, that had nothing to do with the decision to go back to work.

“Assemblyman Giblin was the reason,” Hanley told us by text message. “There are many moving parts and strike benefits were never a consideration. This was done because Assemblyman Giblin approached the company and the Union with a proposal to retain staus quo and get the riders their buses so that talks may continue.”

“The drivers are glad to be going back to work on Wednesday and grateful to Assemblyman Thomas Giblin for brokering the deal between both sides,” said Jorge Maldonado, Local 1317 president for the striking DeCamp workers. “We never wanted to have to go on strike in the first place.” Maldonado said the Amalgamated Transit Union meets in Orlando in two weeks, and the DeCamp situation will continue to be discussed there. He expects details with DeCamp management to be ironed out in the coming two to three months.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. “Maldonado said the Amalgamated Transit Union meets in Orlando in two weeks, and the DeCamp situation will continue to be discussed there. He expects details with DeCamp management to be ironed out in the coming two to three months”

    What takes 2-3 months to figure out? By then it will be time to negotiate another new contract or strike again!

    Oh, and Orlando?

  2. People shouldn’t Monday-morning-quarterback situations like this. It’s always easy to sound smart when you don’t have the facts. This is a complex situation, and very possibly everyone stands to lose. I’ve watched the posts since this started (I’m a DeCamp commuter) and a lot of people just seemed to want to find someone to blame. The press wasn’t providing the kind of facts an insider would have (and not even those that were easily available to an outsider). A few simple conclusions:1) The union wouldn’t have struck if they hadn’t felt desperate and seen no better alternative. 2) The company wouldn’t have refused to negotiate with the union unless the didn’t think they could reach an acceptable agreement. 3) The company would have increased fares to pay for the union demands if that were a viable alternative. 4) Riders wouldn’t have picked DeCamp unless it seemed like the best alternative for them. Given the above, it’s hard to pick a bad guy. One thing is pretty clear, this has cost everyone so far and will probably go on to cost everyone in the end.

    Dan Bresnahan

  3. 3) The company would have increased fares to pay for the union demands if that were a viable alternative.

    This could very easily happen. I would not put it past them to do this.

    4) Riders wouldn’t have picked DeCamp unless it seemed like the best alternative for them.

    Since DeCamp monopolizes many of its bus routes, riders don’t have a lot of choices. It’s less a matter of “picking” them than just not having alternatives.

  4. at dmbtiger

    This is actually an incredibly simple situation that now requires a very complex solution given the behavior of the drivers and the union. The simple situation is, the driver’s feel the are entitled to more. Without going into why they feel this way or whether they are or are not entitled to more and keeping in mind it is way easier to defend the “are not entitled to more” position, they went on strike. It is a simple situation because we are an entitled people and pretty much everyone feels they are entitled to more. It became a complex situation in this case when those who felt they were entitled decided that they were not going to work. This could be written the other way. (ie Decamp felt their drivers were entitled to less). Either way arguing the actual entitlement is pointless. It is now a tricky situation and the answer is tough, but this is a result of a strike that is rather childish. Yeah we all get it, they have a right to do it, collective bargaining is a right granted to us under the constitution, yada, yada, yada…. Burning Korans is also legal, it does not mean it should ever actually be done (I know this is an extreme comparison). The point is, the strike was pointless and childish, bottom line. In terms of Decamp, should they just capitulate? GM capitulated everytime, worked out well for them. Its not the 1920s anymore worker safety, health in the workplace, 100 hr weeks are not really issues. Is management really supposed to give everytime the workers want more $, better health coverage, better pension, etc?? I would say no, they are not supposed to move an inch. The US does not negotiate with terrorists for the same reason. (again extreme, but the idea is no concession should be given)

  5. DeCamp’s routes are established by the company and the state. that’s why NJT doesn’t buses operate in Montclair. Do you want two competing bus lines? is that safe for traffic? Sounds like an inefficent use of resources, too. why shouldn’ DeCamp raise fares, if its costs have risen? I took NJT bus. cheaper than Deamp. But, NJT is subsidized by the state. Even with the big increase it instituted this year, the fare remains cheaper than DeCamp. Which means the entire state is subsidizing NJT. Is THAT fair?

  6. Essex county has nearly a 12% unemployment rate. The bus drivers weren’t desperate. They’re arrogant. They’re getting paid 50k a year to drive a bus. They pay a mere $44 dollars a month for their health care. In short they’re coddled and they forgot that we’re in the middle of a serious recession. They probably settled the strike because they couldn’t get any of their demands.

    If they pull this stunt again I hope they all get fired. They’re essentially public employees. They should not be legally allowed to attempt to blackmail commuters into giving into their demands to be exempt from the economic realities that govern the rest of us.

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