GWC Injury Lawyers is proud to represent the injured members of ATU 308 and ATU 241 for workers compensation claims and personal injury cases. Unfortunately many of these union members are injured in work related accidents every year. Cutbacks in personnel contribute to an unsafe work environment that cause many of these accidents. We wish that the CTA would recognize the dangers that these cutbacks cause. Below is a press statement written by Robert Kelly, president of ATU 308.
We learned today that a security guard working for a CTA contractor has been arrested and ordered held on a $25,000 bond after being charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse and unlawful restraint. The guard allegedly handcuffed and sexually abused a 17 year old boy on the Orange Line over the weekend.
Local 308 is outraged that the CTA would turn over security on CTA property to private security guards who then physically abuse our passengers. Our members have children and we understand the tremendous outrage felt by all citizens who deserve to be safe while on CTA property. Sadly, this terrible incident could have been avoided. Well over a year ago, Local 308 offered the CTA a plan to bring back CTA’s own trained customer assistants to work at every station at a cost that would have saved the CTA about $2 million dollars. The cost of subcontracting security to companies is higher than the cost of having the CTA employees do the work. The CTA rejected the offer solely because it would have saved them only $2 million! The CTA would apparently prefer to reward a favored private contractor with a sweetheart type contract rather than save money and better protect its passengers. The CTA apparently would rather have private unsupervised guards on the property than have CTA employees who go thru a rigorous screening process and who would be responsible to the CTA.
In this situation it appears that there was a secondary breakdown in accountability because the CTA contractor, Securitas, went out and contracted its work to another security firm. Where is the accountability when the CTA has no idea who is on its property protecting its riders. Citizens have no idea whatsoever who is in a security uniform on CTA property. Obviously in this case it was someone who should not have been allowed on the property. How many more of the CTA’s rent-a-cops have criminal records? Why is the CTA contractor, Securitas, allowed to contract out the work? If Securitas did not have enough people to handle the job, how did they obtain the CTA’s business in the first place? Is this another Christy Webber deal where the CTA subcontracts out work to a clout heavy firm while CTA employees are laid off and out of work? The CTA owes over $1 million dollars in damages because it subcontracted janitorial work to Christy Weber when CTA employees were available to do the work!
The subcontracting abuses by the CTA show why we need to properly monitor how this critical agency uses its available funds. We should not privatize public sector jobs. I am very worried now that there are other unsupervised employees of private companies out there. Should CTA passengers be subjected to such risks when the CTA has its own employees who can protect our riders better and more cost effectively than the private sector? We call on all of our Mayoral and Aldermanic candidates to express their concern for this misuse of CTA funds.
Local 308 and its more than 2300 members extend our deepest concern to this young man and his family.
President Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308