ATLANTA, GA (CBS46) MARTA is questioning bus drivers’ health after Super Bowl a sick out.
Several days leading up to Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta and even Super Bowl Sunday there were hundreds of MARTA bus drivers who called off sick. This was while their union was going through contract negotiations with MARTA for more money.
“I understand why they did it,” MARTA rider Stepfon Parks said. “But in a sense the same way you have a family to take care of, your family, you come to work to take care of your family, it’s people that spend their money to ride the bus so they can go to work to take care of their family and their household,” Parks added.
Some riders were affected by it.
“I actually lost my job to it,” Parks said. “I was out there at like 5:30 in the morning and I ain’t seen a bus until 8:30 or 9 o’clock. That was two days in a row back to back and I got fired behind it.”
MARTA says any unexcused absences during January 28th and February 1st may be a violation of the labor agreement and MARTA Act.
CBS46 reporter Vince Sims confirmed absent drivers were sent letters giving them notice and questionnaire to fill out. Drivers are required to answer questions like why were you absent, if you were sick what were your symptoms, and if you went to see a doctor which doctor did you visit?
Anyone not providing the information could be disciplined or even fired.
Some riders feel this is too harsh. But others feel the drivers must be held accountable.
“Get them,” Parks said. “If I lost my job somebody else need to lose theirs too. It needs to be a domino effect you know.”
“A job it’s going to ask you that,” MARTA rider Demarquis Ford said. “You got to have an excuse on why you’ve been out, why you sick, paperwork, doctor’s excuse,” Ford added.
The Union for the bus drivers did not respond to our request for a comment on the issue.
MARTA did not give a time frame for finishing their investigation and any possible action towards the drivers.
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