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BRTA Workers On Strike, Demand Higher Wages

This is a picture of a Berkshire Regional Transit Authority bus
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Employees at the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority have been on strike since rejecting a contract Sunday, complicating plans for travelers in the county.

Victor Santiago, the business agent of the Teamsters 404, says the paratransit and fixed route drivers are holding out for better wages.

“The community, they wind up paying the price for something the company is doing," he told WAMC. "We don’t want to be on strike, we have tried not to be on strike – we’ve been in negotiations since June – I mean, actually, since May, the contract expired in June.”

Only the 15 paratransit drivers are on officially strike, while the 38 other BRTA employees represented by the union are refusing to cross picket lines.

The BRTA did not respond to requests for comment, but posted updated route information on its website.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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