President O’Brien pens letter to the editor of the Boston Herald re: Charlie Chieppo of the Pioneer Institute

Carmen’s Union on board
Boston Herald | Letter to the Editor | Thursday, March 02, 2017

Charlie Chieppo of the Pioneer Institute is right about one thing — last year the Boston Carmen’s Union negotiated an historic contract with the MBTA that will save the transit agency $750 million over the next 25 years (“Outsourcing drives T’s cost cutting,” Feb. 28).
However, Chieppo automatically assumes the worst — that we were forced to the bargaining table. Far from it.

For months we had been seeking a seat at the table. We wanted to be part of the solution to the MBTA’s woes, which were caused by decades of neglect and a lack of investment in the tracks and equipment. We knew it would take all of us working together to help bring our riders the transportation system they deserve.

The agreement was in the best interest of our members, our riders and the MBTA. It protected the jobs of our 4,100 members, provided important benefits and identified cost savings that the MBTA badly needed. Our contract is not proof of why the Pacheco Law should continue to be suspended. The Carmen’s Union agreement is proof that you don’t have to privatize jobs in order to find cost savings and efficiencies at the MBTA.

— Jimmy O’Brien, president, Boston Carmen’s Union, Local 589

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