In New York City on Tuesday, more than 8,000 school bus drivers walked off the job. It’s the first time school bus drivers have gone on strike in New York City in 33 years – and it’s the largest bus drivers’ union in the nation. The union claims bus drivers’ jobs are in danger as the city puts their contract up for bid in an effort to reduce costs.
On average, the drivers make $35,000 a year – with starting pay at $14 an hour – barely enough to get by, especially in New York City. These school bus drivers in New York City are facing the same problem as police officers in Camden and sanitation workers in Detroit. This is made worse by their cities teetering on the edge of bankruptcy since Wall Street crashed our economy – and the Bush Housing Bubble loaded everyone with debt. Now, looking to get their balance sheets in order, cities are cutting public services and selling our commons off to private corporations that don’t like unions and don’t give a damn about paying their workers a living wage.
Luckily, as we've seen over the last few years in Wisconsin, Ohio, at WalMarts across the nation, at fast food joints in New York City, and at shipping ports on the east and west coasts – American people are saying enough is enough, and are going on strike. And as we know, progressive change in America has always moved forward by the efforts of organized working people.
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