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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesST. CROIX VITRAN WORKERS OFFER A 4-DAY WEEK

ST. CROIX VITRAN WORKERS OFFER A 4-DAY WEEK

Unionized Vitran workers on St. Croix have agreed to cut back to a four-day work week, as well as to forgo sick-leave and holiday pay, in order to prevent the layoffs of half the transit system employees and cutbacks in service that are scheduled to take effect territorywide on May 10.
In order to reduce costs and save the jobs of almost half of the Vitran workers on St. Croix, the public transit employees said Wednesday they are willing to cut their hours to four-day week.
At a press conference at the La Reine bus transfer station, Ralph Mandrew, president of the V.I. Workers Union, which represents non-managerial Vitran workers, said 40 of the 48 Vitran employees on St. Croix voted to work four days a week to cut costs for the ailing bus system. The union hopes the move can save the jobs of 23 people slated to be laid off on May 10.
Mandrew also said the workers are willing to take time off without pay and forgo holiday work.
"We intend to do all we can during this period to keep public transportation alive and keep these employees employed," Mandrew said. "The employees and the union are making gestures, overtures, to the government."
On St. Croix, 13 drivers, one air-conditioning technician, two mechanics, one mechanic’s helper, four utility maintenance workers, one secretary and one clerk have received pink slips.
Throughout the territory, some 62 employees of the 130 in the transit system are facing layoffs. In the St. Thomas-St. John district, those slated to be let go include 20 bus drivers. Workers in that district proposed at a meeting last week to give up sick-leave, overtime and holiday pay until the end of the year to help the government trim operating expenses.
Although Vitran is some $12 million in the hole, Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen said she could appropriate more than half a million dollars to keep the system and its employees working until an overall plan can be developed to increase ridership and fare-box collections.
"I can find it for them [Vitran management] if they’re willing to accept it," she said. "It can be done. It should be done."
Hansen and Mandrew noted that the November senatorial election is looming and said that Vitran employees and their families should make public transportation an issue. Hansen said the impending layoffs will affect not just 23 workers but 23 families. Government officials "are threatening your jobs," she told workers. "You need to threaten their jobs."

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Unionized Vitran workers on St. Croix have agreed to cut back to a four-day work week, as well as to forgo sick-leave and holiday pay, in order to prevent the layoffs of half the transit system employees and cutbacks in service that are scheduled to take effect territorywide on May 10.
In order to reduce costs and save the jobs of almost half of the Vitran workers on St. Croix, the public transit employees said Wednesday they are willing to cut their hours to four-day week.
At a press conference at the La Reine bus transfer station, Ralph Mandrew, president of the V.I. Workers Union, which represents non-managerial Vitran workers, said 40 of the 48 Vitran employees on St. Croix voted to work four days a week to cut costs for the ailing bus system. The union hopes the move can save the jobs of 23 people slated to be laid off on May 10.
Mandrew also said the workers are willing to take time off without pay and forgo holiday work.
"We intend to do all we can during this period to keep public transportation alive and keep these employees employed," Mandrew said. "The employees and the union are making gestures, overtures, to the government."
On St. Croix, 13 drivers, one air-conditioning technician, two mechanics, one mechanic’s helper, four utility maintenance workers, one secretary and one clerk have received pink slips.
Throughout the territory, some 62 employees of the 130 in the transit system are facing layoffs. In the St. Thomas-St. John district, those slated to be let go include 20 bus drivers. Workers in that district proposed at a meeting last week to give up sick-leave, overtime and holiday pay until the end of the year to help the government trim operating expenses.
Although Vitran is some $12 million in the hole, Sen. Alicia "Chucky" Hansen said she could appropriate more than half a million dollars to keep the system and its employees working until an overall plan can be developed to increase ridership and fare-box collections.
"I can find it for them [Vitran management] if they’re willing to accept it," she said. "It can be done. It should be done."
Hansen and Mandrew noted that the November senatorial election is looming and said that Vitran employees and their families should make public transportation an issue. Hansen said the impending layoffs will affect not just 23 workers but 23 families. Government officials "are threatening your jobs," she told workers. "You need to threaten their jobs."