School bus drivers back on the job, but not some matrons

February 20, 2013 1:20:22 PM PST
New York City school bus drivers who serve more than 150,000 children have returned to work after a month-long strike.

Regular bus schedules resumed Wednesday on all 7,700 routes serving the nation's largest public school system; 5,000 of those routes were affected by the strike.

While it was back to work for many at the bus company in Red Hook, Brooklyn on Wednesday morning, more than 100 matrons who planned to be riding the buses instead were told to go home. They no longer had jobs.

The owner of the bus company Joseph Fazzia apparently told their union, Local 1181, that he was closing his company because it took a huge financial hit during the month long strike.

During the job action, the matrons were replaced and they say they now feel they've been completely shut out. Local 1181 told Eyewitness News that it will take all appropriate actions to defend its members.

Drivers and matrons from the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 walked off the job Jan. 16, the first school bus driver strike in the city since 1979.

Union officials called off the strike Friday after leading mayoral candidates promised to address job security issues if elected.

The city spent roughly $20.6 million in transit cards, taxis and gas mileage to get tens of thousands of stranded students to school during the strike; some still didn't get there at all, schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott has said. But he estimated the city saved $80 million because it wasn't paying bus companies during the strike.

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