A small group of service industry workers gathered at the Allegheny County Court House today to protest recent bus service cuts. Service Employees International Union local 32-B-J Director Gabe Morgan says his workers are feeling the impact of the cuts and he wants to know what County Executive Dan Onorato is going to do about it. “We endorsed Dan Onorato in the election, we want to meet with him and understand what’s going on. We need buses to get to work, we want to understand why it is always working people who seem to have to suffer in this.”
The Port Authority of Allegheny County cut service by 15% Monday and laid off 180 workers. “At some point our leaders need to step up and say we need to stop asking workers to be the one to sacrifice, we need everybody to sacrifice,” says Morgan.
Morgan says some of his members are working two and three jobs and cannot get from one to the other without the buses. “We have people at night who are stranded when they get off of work really late at night who can’t get home, they have to wait till morning,” says Morgan. “Service sector workers in particular are very dependent on public transit.”
The County Executive met with the union members following the rally, saying he agreed with their concerns. He told them he is working hard to find a solution and is meeting with union members, PAT officials and other elected leaders.