Media Coverage: Local 589 Fights Moves to Privatize Money Room

Below is some recent media coverage as Local 589 fights against the MBTA’s move to privatize the money room.


Union promises fight as MBTA moves to privatize cash-counting jobs
Boston Globe | By Nicole Dungca | October 5, 2016

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is poised to privatize dozens of jobs in its cash-counting department, which would mark Governor Charlie Baker’s first major move to outsource positions in the transit system.

These are our jobs,” said James O’Brien, president of the Boston Carmen’s Union, which represents many of the 72 workers in the cash-counting department. “We’ve been doing it a long time.”

On Wednesday, O’Brien said there are closer to 40 people in the department, not 70 as the MBTA has stated, and expressed concern that a private company “would come in and underbid the contract.”

“They’re there to make a profit on the back of the taxpayers,” he said.


MBTA turns to Brink’s to run ‘money room,’ looks to cut 72 jobs
Boston Herald | By Matt Stout | October 5, 2016

The Herald reported last week that the Carmen’s Union had sent letters to potential bidders warning them that the union could take “legal action” to stall the contract if its labor agreements weren’t honored. The T has rejected the union’s argument.

The T also released a photo last week to the Herald showing a money room employee laying on the floor on a yoga mat, as wads of cash lay on a table nearby. Jim O’Brien, president of the Carmen’s Union, claims that the employee is not a member of his union but a supervisor.


T says hiring Brink’s would save millions
Commonwealth Magazine | By Bruce Mohl | Oct 5, 2016

As Shortsleeve was briefing reporters on Wednesday in a conference room next to his office, officials from the Boston Carmen’s Union came in uninvited to the room to listen to his presentation. Afterward, they disputed some of Shortsleeve’s numbers and said existing federal law may require Brink’s to hire the affected T workers. T officials sharply disputed the union’s interpretation of federal law.

Despite the new law exempting the MBTA from what are considered onerous privatization restrictions, O’Brien said his union will fight the effort to turn over money room jobs to outside contractors. “They’re our jobs. We’d like to continue doing that work,” O’Brien said.

The union chief said he and his coworkers crashed the press briefing because Shortsleeve has not shared information with them. “This is not a transparent process,” he said. “It’s like this has already been decided. The way he makes it sound, this is going through tomorrow with no problem…They’re not being transparent on this,” he said. “The public deserves to know how their money is going to be spent and where it’s going to be spent.”

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