CTA, Rail Union Reach Deal to Reinstate Laid-Off Rail Car Servicers

December 1, 2011
Terms Also Extend CTA Employment Program for Ex-Offenders, Others For Two Years
CTA rail car servicers laid off two years ago will return to work before the holidays, and a program to give ex-offenders and other jobless individuals entry-level job opportunities at the CTA will be extended, under an agreement reached Wednesday between the agency and its rail union, officials announced Thursday.
ATU Local 308 president Robert Kelly and CTA president Forrest Claypool announced the negotiated agreement, which settles a longstanding union grievance while also protecting the employment initiative, known as the Rail Car Servicer Apprentice Program—a priority of the administration.  Individuals participating in the apprentice program include sheltered women who’ve suffered domestic abuse, ex-offenders who’ve been convicted of non-violent crime, and individuals recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, among others.
“This was a win-win situation for all involved and I am pleased that our negotiations will help return formerly laid-off CTA employees to the workplace,” said Claypool.  “I am also very pleased that we will be able to continue to offer our vital apprentice program, especially in this economy, for those who so desperately need it.”
“This shows that good things can happen when CTA management sits down with the Union to solve problems. The hardworking CTA employees who were laid off almost two years ago now will return to work before Christmas, and the second chance program will continue giving others an opportunity help improve their lives. At a time when so many are struggling, it was great that the Union and CTA were able to work together to make this a happy holiday for all,” said President Kelly.
Since its creation in November 2007, nearly 500 individuals have gained employment through the CTA’s Rail Car Servicer Apprentice Program, which provides full-time jobs for a nine month period to individuals referred from nine social service agencies.  The program was set to end this year.
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