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Greyhound Workers Push Back on Management’s Directive to Open Front Row, as Cases of COVID-19 Skyrocket

October 30, 2020

ATUAs infections and deaths from COVID-19 skyrocket again, Greyhound workers are pushing back on the company’s directive to open up front row seats, which threatens the health of both workers and riders.

Represented by Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1700, the workers’ demand comes in reaction to a Greyhound email and text on new “guidelines for flexible front seating.” The company told workers “if we have a heavy load and are not able to run a double or we have last-minute ticket sales then the front row needs to be ‘flexible’ and not be blocked.”

“Greyhound has been packing buses and riders aren’t following the mandatory mask policy, now with the pandemic getting worse, management wants to open up the front row further jeopardizing the health of workers and riders,” said Local 1700 President Karen Miller. “Our members have been risking their lives each day on the frontlines of this global crisis since this pandemic began and many lost their livelihoods after being laid off. We have had three of our members die from this deadly virus. Management needs to put the health and safety of workers and riders first. We have families to go home to.”

Since March, the ATU has lost 90 brothers and sisters – including the 3 Greyhound workers – to COVID-19 and thousands more have been infected or exposed. The Union has been on the forefront of pushing Greyhound, transit agencies, private employers and elected officials to move quickly to deliver needed protections, policy changes and funding to keep transit systems running and workers safe.

The ATU has also been mobilizing to urge the U.S. Congress to pass the Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (CERTS) Act to provide the highest level possible of direct emergency funding to Greyhound and other intercity bus companies that have been devastated by COVID-19. More than 800 Greyhound workers are still laid off or furloughed. Unlike city transit agencies, the motor coach bus industry was not included in the U.S. CARES Act that provided $25 billion in emergency funding for transit systems.

“Our members have been and will continue to bravely report to work,” Miller continued. “But it’s time for Greyhound to make health and safety a priority as this pandemic gets worse.”

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