Muni driver no-shows could affect commutes

If Muni passengers are stuck waiting a long time for their buses or trains today, they can be pretty sure it’s the result of an operator sickout.

Earlier this month, a mysterious flier was circulated around San Francisco that called on members of the Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, which represents 2,200 Muni operators, to call in sick for work today through Friday.

The type-written pamphlet, which was not endorsed by leaders of the union, cited a list of grievances, including recent changes to operators’ work schedules, a new rule that requires the workers to pay for their parking and alterations to sick-day protocols. Recently, the union lost an appeal to prevent service restorations.

Although no one has laid claim to the letter, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, sent out an internal memo reminding operators that any work stoppages are strictly prohibited.

SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said the agency expects workers to show up today, but has crafted some contingency plans. If a sickout does occur, the SFMTA will direct passengers to other local operators, such as BART and Golden Gate Transit. And the agency will contact operators not scheduled to work and ask them to fill in. Lastly, the SFMTA will coordinate with taxi companies to get commuters to work.

“There is no real way to replace a service that boards 700,000 passengers a day,” Rose said. “But if anything does happen, we’ll be ready to try and provide the best possible service we can.”

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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