February 13th, 2013 | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: PDX News, Transportation, Legislature, Health

Video: Why Neil McFarlane Wants to Allow TriMet Bus Drivers to Strike

news3_3915NEIL MCFARLANE - IMAGE: V. Kapoor

 TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane stopped by our office last Thursday for an interview before giving his "State of TriMet" report this morning. 

That report was more like a war council, with McFarlane offering his opening tactic in a contract battle with TriMet's employee union: Accept smaller healthcare benefits, or the transit agency will have to cut 70 percent of bus service by the year 2025.

"Are we a healthcare provider or are we a transit agency?" McFarlane asked at this morning's meeting.

But Amalgamated Transit Union 757 isn't likely to start quivering at the threat of service cuts and layoffs. So when McFarlane visited WW, we asked him about where he's going to push that agenda next: in the Oregon Legislature.

In this video clip, McFarlane says he's trying to persuade Salem to end binding arbitration and allow bus drivers to strike—essentially forcing the union to settle more quickly.

We were skeptical.


 
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