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Worcester Buses Disrupted After Alleged 'Sick-Out'

This article is more than 9 years old.
Retired taxi driver Ralph Collins, 73, waits for his bus outside Mechanics Hall in Worcester on Monday. Collins waited for 30 minutes before calling a cab to get to an appointment. (Kirk Carapezza for WBUR)
Retired taxi driver Ralph Collins, 73, waits for his bus outside Mechanics Hall in Worcester on Monday. Collins waited for 30 minutes before calling a cab to get to an appointment. (Kirk Carapezza for WBUR)

Thousands of Worcester residents had their commutes disrupted after nearly two dozen bus drivers called in sick Monday.

On Monday morning, 22 of 84 bus drivers in Worcester called in sick in what transit officials are calling an "illegal work action."

Worcester Regional Transit Authority General Manager John Carney says the action, which occurred one week after the drivers' contract expired, is "no coincidence."

In response, the transit authority filed an injunction in federal court.

"We’ll be working with the federal mediator to try to get to the bottom of why this kind of action was taken," Carney said, "not only to get a new contract but to understand that this is not the way we treat the riding public. It’s a shame."

An drivers' union official says he's not sure why the drivers called in sick, but leaders are making efforts to get them to work.

This program aired on August 9, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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