Wave Transit employees challenging work conditions, leading to the suspension of services

Mobile County

MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Wave Transit System put out a statement Monday morning saying they were going to be suspending service for the day for cleaning, but employees say there is more to the story.

The Wave Transit, Mobile’s public transit system suspended services Monday. In a statement, they said it was to clean and sanitize all of their buses. The local president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Antonie Maiben spoke with us and said the drivers refused to put their buses to work because of concerns with the virus. Maiben says the issues started well before the morning of their strike.

For two months, the employees have felt fine he says about their working conditions because customers were only using rear doors on the buses. On July 1st, they started to allow front entry again and that’s when Maiben says concerns grew. He says exposure heightened and four employees contracted the virus. The knowledge of exposure for them has also been tricky due to HIPPA laws.

Maiben says those who are with the union and work for Wave only want a safe place to work. “Wave put out a statement saying in an effort to eliminate some of the COVID-19 they suspended service. That’s just incorrect. It was the drivers this morning that said they want better conditions. They came to work, willing to work, all they wanted was to be protected and have safe equipment.” Maiben told us.

Maiben says they have been provided with the proper PPE, but more measures could be taken like glass covering the drivers, proper cleaning after the day and patrons being required to wear a mask.

The Union says their employees will be back to work in the morning, but only because the buses were deep cleaned today and in hopes things will get better.

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