Both OTS and Union representatives have told the other side to call when they’re willing to be reasonable. No new talks are scheduled.
Mayor Harris has considered the idea of dismantling OTS and running TheBus as a public service. Some council representatives, including East O’ahu councilman Charles Djou, are skeptical. He said, “Mandatory binding arbitration seems not to take into the kind of fiscal realities government and taxpayers face and has always had a very strong upward pressure on wages.”
A little more than half of the Handi-Van drivers reported for work today. (Handi-Van is a system to get elderly and disabled passengers to necessary medical procedures.) Most of those that did were unwilling to cross the picket line, but would work if the buses were brought to them by management.
City Van service has been wildly popular. The maximum capacity of 1,000 passengers was reached hours before the strike began. The city expanded the program today.
Jitney service was fairly underused yesterday. Taxi companies attribute that to the delay in getting information out – full route information was not published until the day before the strike. Also, many TheCab (no relation to TheBus) employees were not trained in time for the strike, reducing the number of available vehicles.
In a slightly humorous development, it turns out that the City is saving $1.5 million every week that the buses don’t run. Mayor Harris was quoted as saying, “Now, obviously, that’s not a way we want to save money. We’d rather have the bus drivers go back.”
P.S. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin has begun using “TheStrike” in their newspapers. Although I coined the term a day earlier than the paper, I have no problem with them using it. I’m sure it was developed independently of Waileia.