It hasn’t been like this since I was a toddler. For the first time in about 36 years, the Milwaukee Transit System is on a 3 day strke. But before I dive into this, let me assure the MCTS audience that I had and have workers and bus drivers in my family that driven and worked on buses for the MCTS for many many years. With this strike, it has hit hard on the workers, the poor and most of all, our 11 day festival of Summerfest in which the routes are effected with men, women and children riding to the midgate to enjoy the shows and activities. But as many know, the reasons behind it due to the budget side of work, fair wages, salary, breaks and many other Union-like factors. For this, I present this blog letter to all of the Milwaukee County Transit System Bus Drivers, Mechanics, Office Personal, and supporters who rely on the buses every single day!

Dear Milwaukee County Transit System:

It’s me Stephen. A former bus rider, now driver, and a Milwaukee Black Blogger that is a supporter.

I FEEL YOU!

I feel every single one of you that that is going through this strike. I feel everyone that rely on the services to get to school, appointments, events, or any other use of transportation that gets the need and want for the services of the citizens of the Bus. There is no excuse of why there no talking between the Union and the Bus Company’s higher representatives in order to get a resolution, an official resolution, in order to get this deal on the table, and discussion, and most of all an all around deal that this make sense.

Yes, I have Milwaukee County Transit System REALATED folks in my family, that are or were Bus Operators, Tankers, and Mechanics that worked for the company for quite sometime. My late uncle, rode the bus on routes of the 80 and the 12, and even the MCTS Seasonal Trolley that earned income. Sadly, my uncle died in January 1999 at the Fond Du Lac Station in Milwaukee and it was a big shock to all of us in the family. His funeral was at my old church building back then, and the honorable Pall Bearers at the time were indeed the MCTS Drivers who knew my Uncle on the job. My family at the time THANKED them for their support, and also assistance in our bereavement. If you were apart of my uncle’s tribute back in 1999 at the time of his passing and remembrance, I say this as a family member: THANK YOU! I have another uncle, who has lymphoma. And there were times I hear about him going to work  and making the cash. And even though his health may not be up to par, but he is not going to let his disorder of health stop him for getting to and from work as a mechanic for the MCTS.I have older cousins, who previously worked as Bus Operators knew the game very well.

Sorry I had to get like that. But you never know why things like this happen!

But when I thought about them, this is why I respect the drivers of what they do. As far as the Streetcar thing, different angle. But this is not about the Streetcar. This is about the Buses.

For those who are bus drivers, and mechanics, and other employees of the MCTS, that got harassed, beaten up, cursed at, facing the stress of customers, work, complaints, and many other concerned factors, I FULLY UNDERSTAND! I get it’s not easy. I work as a church secretary and I get those. But for you all, I have many things to say, but I have this: Hold On.

For you drivers that have been out all night with the picket signs: HOLD ON!

For the office workers who have to put up the papers and complaints: HOLD ON!

For the Mechanics that have to spend all the time fixing up the buses that many have to ride and drive, even during the strike: HOLD ON!

For all of us who know folks that need rides to the Schools, Doctors, Church, Dentists, Summerfest,the club, Fourth of July Fireworks, or any other use to get to work: I say this to all: HOLD ON!

For those in the Upper Management, that had to make day to day decisions, that is hard: HOLD ON!

For those who are in the 998 ATU Union: HOLD ON!

Not only HOLD ON, but KEEP PRESSING! Until the strike ends this week by the 4th of July.

Sincerely,

Stephen

P.S. for more info on the Transit Strike, check out the MCTS website, and the FAQ’s of the Transit Strike, reference this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article.

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