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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, July 1, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesCANCELED VITRAN MEETING DRAWS FIRE FROM UNION

CANCELED VITRAN MEETING DRAWS FIRE FROM UNION

The rift between the Turnbull administration and the union representing Vitran workers widened even more Friday afternoon as Government House chief labor negotiator Karen Andrews canceled a meeting that had been scheduled earlier in the week to discuss the findings of a government analysis of funding available for the public transit system and the offer of employees to cut back to a four-day work week.
United Steelworkers Union local president Luis "Tito" Morales criticized Andrews Friday evening on Radio One News not only for canceling the meeting at the last moment but also for what he termed "her arrogant attitude and her disrespect" for the workers and the union.
"We were told Friday afternoon that they are canceling the meeting because she claims she was unable to meet with the governor to discuss the analysis," Morales said. Complaining that Andrews had not communicated directly with him about the cancellation but had directed a subordinate to do so, the union leader added, "Her arrogant attitude is not going to be tolerated by us."
Andrews, in a call moments later to Lee Carle on the WSTA-Lucky 13 evening news, which had also carried Morales' charges, denied ever having shown disrespect to him, the union or the workers.
She said she had received the financial analysis "just now" and had had no opportunity to review it herself, let alone meet with the governor, who had just returned to the territory after a week in the nation's capital, to discuss it.
Morales said the union would be filing an unfair labor practice against Andrews over the matter.
The Public Works Department, which oversees the public transit service, laid off 62 Vitran workers — one-half of the work force — on May 11. Turnbull, meantime, directed top officials from the Finance Department, Office of Budget and Management and Public Works to analyze the potential impact of funding appropriated by the Legislature and the offer of Vitran workers to forgo holiday, sick-leave and overtime pay as well as drop to a four-day week.
Andrews told Lucky 13 that the current schedule of operations for Vitran is five buses for St. Thomas, four for St. Croix and two for St. John. However, a combination of mechanical problems and call-ins by drivers reporting illness in the last week left fewer buses running most days. At one point, neither bus on St. John was in service.
Andrews also said there is "no way" that all of the laid-off workers can be rehired, as the union is demanding.

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The rift between the Turnbull administration and the union representing Vitran workers widened even more Friday afternoon as Government House chief labor negotiator Karen Andrews canceled a meeting that had been scheduled earlier in the week to discuss the findings of a government analysis of funding available for the public transit system and the offer of employees to cut back to a four-day work week.
United Steelworkers Union local president Luis "Tito" Morales criticized Andrews Friday evening on Radio One News not only for canceling the meeting at the last moment but also for what he termed "her arrogant attitude and her disrespect" for the workers and the union.
"We were told Friday afternoon that they are canceling the meeting because she claims she was unable to meet with the governor to discuss the analysis," Morales said. Complaining that Andrews had not communicated directly with him about the cancellation but had directed a subordinate to do so, the union leader added, "Her arrogant attitude is not going to be tolerated by us."
Andrews, in a call moments later to Lee Carle on the WSTA-Lucky 13 evening news, which had also carried Morales' charges, denied ever having shown disrespect to him, the union or the workers.
She said she had received the financial analysis "just now" and had had no opportunity to review it herself, let alone meet with the governor, who had just returned to the territory after a week in the nation's capital, to discuss it.
Morales said the union would be filing an unfair labor practice against Andrews over the matter.
The Public Works Department, which oversees the public transit service, laid off 62 Vitran workers -- one-half of the work force -- on May 11. Turnbull, meantime, directed top officials from the Finance Department, Office of Budget and Management and Public Works to analyze the potential impact of funding appropriated by the Legislature and the offer of Vitran workers to forgo holiday, sick-leave and overtime pay as well as drop to a four-day week.
Andrews told Lucky 13 that the current schedule of operations for Vitran is five buses for St. Thomas, four for St. Croix and two for St. John. However, a combination of mechanical problems and call-ins by drivers reporting illness in the last week left fewer buses running most days. At one point, neither bus on St. John was in service.
Andrews also said there is "no way" that all of the laid-off workers can be rehired, as the union is demanding.