T union vows to fight enforcement of phone ban without contract talks

The Carmen's Union says it's not against safety, but that arbitrarily banning mere possession of a phone by T drivers is both a workplace change that requires negotiation and potentially a safety problem on its own.

In a statement, the union says it could go to court to try to block enforcement of the rule without bargaining.

Our Union is deeply disturbed by MBTA management’s decision to turn bargained policy on its head, determining that all bus and transportation workers are guilty until proven innocent and declaring management judge, jury and executioner without due process.

There are times when alternative communications, like cellphones, are actually needed on the bus - on an urgent basis for everyone’s protection. To the extent that the MBTA proposes to ban them all together, this policy offers no solution to safety emergencies. ...

The rights of MBTA workers should not and will not be pushed aside in a rush to address an isolated situation. Safety and the legal process should both be respected in this case.

On Monday, the T announced a complete ban on phone possession by drivers in response to last month's crash of a bus in Newton Corner, which the T says was linked to the driver being on the phone at the time.

Previously, only workers found on the phone could be summarily fired.



    Free tagging: 


    Take it or leave it......

    By on

    Sorry, the safety of riders is not negotiable. If your members feel they cannot do the job without a cell phone perhaps they should seek employment elsewhere.


    "We're going to need more

    By on

    "We're going to need more money if you want to arrive at your destination alive."
    - The T Union



    By on

    You know it's crap like this that gives unions a bad name. Management proposes a sensible change and the union threatens to go to court unless they get paid off. Sickening.


    Christ on a crutch.

    By on

    I don't even...

    Do you know what the purpose of a union is? It's a mechanism for a collective bargaining agreement between management and employees. They bargain for what T management can and can't do to drivers, and the terms of the employment status of workers. Inherent in that arrangement is the fact that one side can't change the rules of employee contracts without negotiation with the union. And the T just did that, putting the jobs of hundreds of people at risk for no especially good reason.

    Would I rather that bus drivers not be on their cell phones? Yup. Do I think that the rule is going to be abused to make working conditions worse for drivers? Yup. Is a unilateral change of the collective bargaining agreement illegal under federal law? Yup. Which is why the union is going to sue them for it.



    By on

    and we wonder why fares go up... let's sue to get our way so we can play Farmville while we drive a bus.

    *slaps head*

    Is this matter REALLY worth suing over? What a bunch of cry babies. Why didn't they make a stink three years ago when the original no cell phone policy was put in place. What makes different now?

    Oh ya the T is serious about it..


    Making conditons worse for drivers?

    By on

    The T is only putting at risk the jobs of people WHO PUT OUR LIVES AT RISK. It should also be noted that operators somehow managed to operate *GASP* without cell phones for almost 100 years. Also I'm willing to wager that 100% of all MBTA buses and train cars have at least 1 passenger with a functioning cell phone, not to mention the vehicle;s radio, the emergency phones all along the tunnels and in stations.

    Congratulations erik g

    I was vehemently fuming at the carmen's union, and your post actually got me to see the other side, and switch my position to one of agreeing with what is a principled, albeit unpopular, stand by them.

    Slowly boiling a frog

    By on

    Well, I'm sure the factories didn't setup company towns overnight. Which "sensible" change should the union be allowed to finally act on it as being "too much"? The first? The fifth? The hundredth?

    If we've all come to agree that January 1, both sides were happy, but then management made a change that alters the workers' side of the deal, then why shouldn't the workers have the right to say "hey, wait a sec, we didn't discuss this. Let's get back to something we can both agree on".

    In fact, let's say this policy change is both reasonable and necesary. Why wasn't it announced as the MBTA and the Carmen's Union have agreed that for the safety of the passengers, there will be a change in the discipline policy regarding having a phone? Why didn't the MBTA go to the Union first, then make the policy change?


    Until the bus breaks down

    By on

    I was on a bus once and it lost all power so they couldn't radio in. The driver would not even use a passengers phone to call dispatch because he feared being fired for it.

    There needs to be consideration for these isolated incidents too, I'm all for safety but not for sitting on a dead bus. (A passenger called it in for him if I recall)


    possession of a phone

    By on

    You want another sensible reason. Bus drivers get their breaks out in the field. When taking a break, they should have the right to make personal phone calls. If they are forbidden from carrying a cell phone, where should they make these calls? It's not about money but also about employers not being able to control employees while not on the clock.


    Call who?

    When the bus breaks down they use their MBTA-issued radio to call it in, as is standard procedure.

    It's pretty normal for jobs to require people to be without cell phones. Bordom isn't a critical problem.


    Doctors offices, dentists,

    By on

    Doctors offices, dentists, auto mechanics, schools, babysitters, prospective landlords, prospective employers, the cable guy, and everyone else that does business 9-5.


    I'm 50/50 on this one. Yes I

    I'm 50/50 on this one. Yes I agree they should be able to look at their phones during their breaks but if they* could be trusted not to use it then I doubt management would have put the rule into place.

    *collective they, I don't necessarily believe that EVERY T employee can't be trusted but it seems like in almost every crash someone was distracted by their phone.


    By on

    Are such calls truly NECESSARY?

    Answer - No!

    Question - How did workers deal with the issue forty years ago?

    Answer - They WAITED until they got off work. If it was a real emergency, their supervisor would contact them.

    It's time we as a society woke up and finally lose this utter nonsense that people have an absolute right to be in communication with everyone in their lives 24/7.

    And if you can't live without your phone for most of the working day, perhaps you need to find another job.


    breakdown & no power

    By on

    Why didn't you offer to phone the dispatcher? Problem solved.:-)

    There has to be a sensible way

    How about a policy that cell phones must be completely powered off while operating a train or bus with an allowance to use them while on standby at the end of the line when you are outside of the vehicle or in case of an emergency to call the police or dispatch? Any operator found with a phone powered on while in the vehicle outside of those criteria would be suspended. Any operator found using a phone while in the vehicle outside of those criteria would be fired.

    For such emergencies as a bus breaking down, etc.,

    By on

    I myself do not wish to be caught sitting on a dead bus or MBTA subway train. Therefore, I am willing to make an exception to a "no cell phone use by drivers" rule. However, the superiors should enforce the "cellphone for emergency use only" rule, make sure that MBTA drivers don't abuse that ruling, and implement stiff penalties for those who do abuse the "cellphone use for emergency only" rule.

    So I can maybe... kinda...

    So I can maybe... kinda... sorta see that T employees might need their phone to call for help etc.. And then I think about it and I really can't really see it. Because honestly, in the last few years how many times have T employees needed their phones versus how many times have they caused crashes because they were on their phones.


    A contract is a contract.

    By on

    A contract is a contract. What if the T's fuel supplier tried to raise their contract price because they just wanted to, beyond the limits of the negotiated constraints on paper. The language of the prohibition of the cell phone must be carefully worded so as to avoid any abuses that may be caused by the mismanagement by management , or any inadvertent actions. What if an employee was putting his phone in his locker,before his scheduled punch, and an overly zealous supervisor , with perhaps an axe to grind, starts discharge procedures, harassing the employee, and causing payment of loss wages.


    You don't carry a phone on duty - period!

    By on

    How is that ambigious? How can that be abused? Why is this even subject to negotiation?

    Cellphones are NOT a necessity, learn to live with that.


    Hey , King anon, that would

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    Hey , King anon, that would be implimentation. A contract exists, thus negotiations are necessary. Thats it in a nutshell.

    I'd say THAT is pretty much

    By on

    I'd say THAT is pretty much wrongful termination lawsuits and unions are for.

    Ask the union one question

    By on

    How were family emergencies handled thirty years ago before everyone had a cell phone grafter to their ear?

    Cell phones are a CONVENIENCE, not a necessity. Grow up and live with the restrictions.


    How were family emergencies

    By on

    How were family emergencies handled thirty years ago...

    They weren't and people died.

    - The Original SoBo Yuppie



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    You called the family member's office/place of work and told them you were going to the hospital.

    At least I did. I forgot to tell my dad which hospital I was being taken to, but I realized it when I was in the emergency room and 10 minutes later he walked in. Good guess, Dad!



    And how many would have died had the bus completed it's journey over the bridge onto the highway below?


    The same number as the day before

    By on

    You know, when there wasn't a story about a bus hanging over the edge of a bridge for you to hang your woes on and yet you weren't concerned about the lackadaisical approach the MBTA was taking with its half-hearted cell phone policy then.

    Ask the T one question

    Are those same systems that were used 30 years ago to contact a driver in an emergency still in place, working, and back up to speed?

    You assume that the organizational capacity for such wasn't scrapped in an era of downsizing of "off line" personnel ... a tenuous assumption at best.


    Yes, the system is still in place

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    Dispatchers have direct phone lines, and train/bus operators, as well as station/depot staff, have two way radios.

    And, given the amout of money the T jsut spent upgrading their radio systems, lack of radio coverage is not a valid excuse for allowing employees to keep their toys with them on duty.

    Absolutely right

    By on

    They should instead use the toys provided in the vehicle that require equivalent distraction from the road to operate.

    It has already been proven that

    By on

    two way radios are far less of a distraction to drivers than hand-held cell phones are. Plus, the two way radios can't be used for non-business related purposes.

    Still a distraction

    By on

    So, I guess *some* risk to passenger safety is acceptable. To hear some people talk, anything that keeps the public from being as safe as possible should be banned.

    Because I don't like

    By on

    Because I don't like something, DO WHAT I SAY and DONT ASK QUESTIONS

    If you are on break - on your own time- you should be able to use a cell phone... for whatever reason you want. This policy (and the MBTAs unilateral implementation) is wrong.

    I'm with the unions

    By on

    Almost always I am anti-union but in this case I am on their side.

    These T riders are parents, they care for elderly parents..etc. They need to be able to receive a phone call from a school or neighbor.

    Blindly making ALL employees leave their phones at home for the action of a few knuckleheads is not an intelligent way to solve problems.

    - The Original SoBo Yuppie



    Maybe if the Union took a hard line on this with its members and let them know they won't defend someone accused of using a cell phone while driving we wouldn't have this problem in the first place.

    If the union was seen as working to solve problems as opposed to defending members clearly doing something wrong maybe the T wouldn't have to issue such a drastic policy. It bugs me how the union is the first to blame management and never owns up to one of its own people doing something really stupid.


    A thoughtful comment. Thank you, BostonDog.

    By on

    Thank you for a thoughtful comment that bypasses the typical "let's generate some outrage!" nonsense.

    This nicely sums up my experience with unions. Union leadership gets stuck defending the worst apples, and the entire membership, and indeed, the institution itself, pays the price of getting tagged with the worst-performers' behavior/work ethic. The situation is, of course, tragic because we all know that there are many, many excellent workers across many professions who are union members.

    That said, the situation (i.e., the public perception of unions) has gotten so bad that I recently declined a reasonably good job offer because it was a union position. I determined that for a professional like me, the potential costs of being associated with the worst apples outweighed the (otherwise generous) benefits.

    I know from experience

    I too have been in unions where they defend the worst people meanwhile the hardworking folks get shafted by the lazy few who don't care and hide behind the threat of filing a grievance.

    There is a lot of really horrible bosses/companies and unions are needed to ensure safe working conditions, fair pay, etc. Sadly the politics of who gets elected to lead the union is even worst then government politics -- often the union is guilty of the same things they accuse "management" of doing. I've found that the worst employees also happen to be the union stewards.

    If MBTA drivers have a valid safety argument the union can work to ensure the MBTA assigns them phones which can only be used to call emergency numbers and dispatch. If the drivers want to be able to conduct personal business during breaks the union can ask that phones and internet tablets be installed in the break rooms. There are ways the union can improve things for the drivers without a knee-jerk condemnation of the T's no-phone policy.

    The union can't not represent

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    The union can't not represent,it be the law. See NLRB. " failure to represent ." Stop picking on the workers, they are entitled to human dignity, union or not. The cell phone today is a major part of society , the welfare even provides for it. What is needed is reasonable, fair ,workable language in the working contract, not a flocking edict from King T to appease the hypocritical masses, who place their own wants and needs above all others. There is a way to do this properly, and this new one isn't it.

    Give it a break

    Stop picking on the workers, they are entitled to human dignity, union or not.

    So having the ability to use a cell phone whenever one wants is now a basic human right?

    We're talking about not being allowed to use a cell phone while at work, a policy many (most?) of employers have. No one is forcing T drivers to lick the floors or expose themselves or anything else which might question one's dignity. No one is prohibiting them from owning and using a cell phone for the 16 hours a day they aren't on the clock.

    They just can't have a personal phone with them while driving a bus/train/trolly. If they need to have constant access to a cell phone they can find another job which allows for such things. Save your outrage for real human rights violations.

    to appease the hypocritical masses, who place their own wants and needs above all others.

    So am I hypocritically putting my "want" to not have the bus crash into things above the bus driver's "need" to talk on the phone?

    That's not what unions do

    Maybe if the Union took a hard line on this with its members and let them know they won't defend someone accused of using a cell phone while driving we wouldn't have this problem in the first place.

    That's not what unions do. They exist to represent the union member, regardless of the infraction. Always.
    When I worked in a union many years ago, you could get caught drinking, get fired, and the union would fight for you and often win.

    Look, I'm not anti-union, but...

    This is absurd. It is things like this that make me think that all unions do these days is obstruct sensible policies and make it more expensive to do business in these United States.

    The hyperbole in the first paragraph is pretty amazing. Equating whether an employee can have a cell phone to some type of constitutional right that would require due process is quite a stretch. To make it further sound like we are talking about guilt or innocence is even more crazy.

    And I don't know that I would call multiple crashes due to cell phones an "isolated situation." If they want to try and negotiate the way the policy is written, fine, but statements like this one are nothing more than threatening chest pounding that puts public opinion on management's side.

    Maybe the rule should be something like they can have a phone, but if they are caught using it in a non-emergency situation, it is grounds for immediate termination?


    Wow, I didn't know I had the

    By on

    Wow, I didn't know I had the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of angry birds. Thanks T union for fighting for the man's basic rights!


    Not about the phones...

    By on

    It is obvious this is more about due process of collective bargaining and less about drivers keeping cell phones on them.

    People need to relax with the sensationalism.


    Company Phones?

    By on

    I know it will cost more, but if safety truly is the issue at hand, and the current infrastructure hasn't been maintained such that if the dispatch radios (buses) don't work and the copper-line phones inside the tunnels don't work (subway), perhaps the T should issue company phones that are to be used in case of an emergency or T business only.

    They are handed one at the beginning of their shift and are turned in at the end of shift. Easy to keep an eye on the transactions per phone.

    Clearly a few employees have shown that they're not capable of leaving their cell phones in their bag (purse, backpack, whatever) until they're on break. This is too bad because those bad apples have spoiled the bushel. We do not need to be in contact at all times. And if someone does need to contact a driver, they can call a central number, just like we all did when we needed to call mom or dad at their office growing up.

    Unless the MBTA started

    By on

    Unless the MBTA started handing out cell phones to their drivers at some point, or if the current contract requires drivers to have cell phones while working, how can forbidding their use be called a 'workplace change'? Cell phones are brought to the work environment by the driver voluntarily, they are not required in order for the driver to do their job, and they are discouraged by the management already...so they cannot be, by definition, 'part of the workplace environment'.


    On another note

    Gotta love the comments by the union members

    Jason Scales
    June 17, 2014 at 11:11 pm (UTC -4) Link to this comment
    Can’t say I blame management for thinking they could steamroll us on this. MacDougall threw us under the bus on live tv when the he-she crashed the trolley in 09. Seriously, this is an asinine rule from top to bottom. 2 people (in 5 years) can’t control their urge to fiddle on their phone & 3000 pay the price. If you lose your phone on my bus, consider it gone. I’m not looking for it or calling central if it’s placed on the dash.

    Makes me agree with them even less.


    Threw us under the bus?

    By on

    Threw us under the bus? Priceless. As for Union camaraderie, it seems Jason had no problem throwing the 'she-he' under the bus. Should be called the Massachusetts Bay Transphobia Authority. The T believes in diversity.


    So a driver should risk losing their job because they can be fired for having your celphone in their possession?

    Under this zero-tolerance policy, that could happen. Nobody wants to lose their job because some dimwitted passenger left a phone on a bus. (transphobic bullshit notwithstanding ...)

    According to what he is

    According to what he is saying policy states that he call central and inform them he found a lost phone. If this is the case then he has a valid reason to have a phone in his possession and can prove it (by the fact that he called someone to let them know he has a cell phone and why etc.) and any manager that fires him based on that is an asshole. In that case the union would have a legitimate reason to fight the ban.

    I don't get why it has to be this complicated

    By on

    I really don't understand why they can't simply make a rule that you cannot use a phone while on an MBTA vehicle except for cases of extreme emergency.

    By imposing a strict ban they're saying their employees can't be trusted. At all. So those are the kinds of people they employ? What do they do in other major cities?

    They Tried That, But It Wasn't Effective ...

    By on

    ... On multiple occasions, bus and train operators have demonstrated that carrying a cell phone results in an irresistible temptation to use it while driving.

    In light of that fact, it would be irresponsible for the Ⓣ not to take every action possible to eliminate this recurring cause of accidents.

    It was very fortunate that Ms. Shaw's bus didn't crash through the guardrail and off the bridge onto the Turnpike, potentially causing multiple fatalities. Clearly, it was a wakeup call for the Ⓣ to take stronger measures to address the problem.

    Banning the use of cell phones didn't eliminate the danger; what else can they do now but ban them entirely? Would you rather they wait until more people are killed?


    the world "we" want?

    By on

    Let's just go straight to a world where the only rights an employee has are those granted by the employer. Seems like some many people like the idea of the gilded age. Not sure why.

    American corporations....

    ... are doing their best to make this a reality as soon as they possibly can.


    Indentured servitude. Debt peonage. Let's bring back the good old day.

    I just can't...

    By on

    I just can't even begin to comment..

    Wow really? You NEED your cell phone? Really? What did people do before cell phones?

    OH THE HUMANITY OF NOT HAVING A CELL PHONE WHILE WORKING. (when it isn't required for your job)

    The T Union can go straight to hell on this one. Nice to know they could care less about passenger safety.

    I ... just... can't.... even...

    in case you were curious

    By on

    Unlike MBTA drivers, my phone is required for my job, so much so, my company PAYS for my cell phone and I'm required (as per my contract) to carry my work phone at all times.

    I'll take your word for it.

    Nice to be able to use it to talk to your wife/ husband about dinner plans, post personal opinions on UHub (during your break, I hope!) or potentially get informed of a family emergency...rights you would deny all MBTA employees because a few morons couldn't understand the policy. Easier to keep the whole class after school than find the jackass who threw the spitballs. Surprise field inspections would seem to be a smarter idea than a blanket ban on possession. In any event, I don't favor unilateral contract changes. Undermines whole labor relations process, as Kaz and others suggested.


    By on

    Why do I need to do that? I have a computer to do that from. I also have an office phone to make calls from.

    In all seriousness, I don't drive a 3 Ton machine with 60+ passengers on it for my job. BIG DIFFERENCE

    Stop trying to make a connection with 'other workers' and denying rights. What RIGHT is there to carry a cell phone while working, especially while driving a bus with helpless passengers on it. Oh ya, there are none. A cell phone is not a god given right.

    If you don't like the rules, you can find another job that suits your values and what is acceptable for phone usage at work. It's just that simple. No one is forcing MBTA employees to stay.

    Well if you feel that way because some 'morons' didn't follow the rules. Poopoo on them. If self-policing worked, we would not be having this discussion right now. End of story.


    The rules

    By on

    The rules say that the union gets to fight this as it sees fit because that's how collective bargaining works.

    If you don't like the rules...don't pretend to hide behind the ones you like and ignore the ones you don't.


    By on

    Works in reverse too..

    What's worth more

    Passenger Safety while driving a 3 Ton bus


    The Unions right to collective bargain because they don't want to abide by the rules set forth by their employer.

    Because this is what you are asking, and this is what they are arguing. Sure they will say "oh we're not against passenger safety", but what it's really about is a buncha cry babies who want their way.

    Sorry you won't change my opinion about this, but you're welcome to keep trying.

    No intention to change your opinion

    By on

    But even though I'm not trying to change your opinion, I'm more than happy to point out for others how absurd it is in places.

    I address the "passenger safety" versus "collective bargaining" trope in a few other places. Suffice it to say that there's no reason to call it a "versus" because it isn't. We can have both quite capably. In fact, prior to the first cell phone restrictions in 2010/2011, there wasn't a rule against it. Yet here we were in 2014 and the union hadn't gone on strike over the cell phone policy of the past 3-4 years. So, clearly the public has been more safe than it was before 2009 when drivers were allowed to carry their phones and yet collective bargaining wasn't sacrificed in the process.

    So, you may hold to your opinion but it's founded on fallacious and specious arguments that don't support it.

    Except that the consequences

    By on

    of those few morons workers who didn't follow the policy turned out to be pretty severe. Unless you somehow think that greatly reducing the potential for injured passengers and damaged equipment is less important than denying a worker's non-existent "right" to carry a personal cellphone with them while on duty.

    What about...

    By on

    A worker's very existent right to not have work rules change without a discussion?

    How does that stack up against injuries and damaged equipment? Probably not very well. I can't imagine what does. We should probably fix everything in the entire MBTA system to the point that nobody has any chance of injuries or the equipment possibly being damaged at all before we allow another train to run.

    I hope the 30 minute delay in getting your padded sumo suit on in order to avoid personal injury or damaging the equipment doesn't slow you down. Especially considering the route now requires the driver to park and check-in by radio every 5 minutes to assure they aren't asleep at the wheel.

    By the way, I like that the two-way radio to dispatch is the answer everyone gives as to how you're supposed to hear from loved ones who might have an emergency. Like the two-way radio is less difficult or distracting to use than answering a cell phone if it rings. Are they giving all the driver's bluetooth headsets to talk to dispatch even? Or do they have to pick up the manual handset still?

    Interesting that folks who value the rule....

    ... against using cell phones on the job (which I agree is a sensible rule) don't care about the rule that an employer can't usually (barring a genuine, unanticipated emergency) change contractual work rules without first properly bargaining (also a sensible rule).

    Oh, please

    Everyone's job has trade-offs. For instance, I'm able to comment here while waiting for my boss to finish up his previous meeting and be ready for me. On the other hand, my "lunch break" today was a staff meeting in which sandwiches were served. T workers may not be able to post on message boards, but I'm betting they get to take an actual lunch during which they can eat their sandwich in peace.

    If your job involves being responsible for the welfare of dozens of people around you, there are going to be higher safety standards. The T already tried banning cell phone use - it didn't work. If drivers are going to be angry about not being able to carry phones anymore, they should blame their reckless, asshole coworkers who ruined it for everyone else.

    A curious thought experiment

    By on

    I wonder how many of you upset that the union is fighting this are Zipcar members or have ever rented a car or U-Haul.

    Imagine if these renting agencies put in effect a rule stating that if you're ever spotted even having your cell phone on you while in their car, then they will terminate your membership immediately and if you are ever involved in an accident in their vehicle and it is shown that you had your phone on you at the time, then you are responsible for all damages and your purchased insurance is nullified. The agency isn't heartless. It will add a locked box in the trunk that you can leave your phone in while driving their vehicle.

    I wonder how many of you "you can live without your cell phone while driving" people would be happy to use this service still.


    Bad analogy - when you are

    By on

    Bad analogy - when you are driving a U-Haul or Zipcar, you are probably driving by yourself, or perhaps with a few other people who have in some way consented to having you drive them around (i.e. they did not pay you according to a structured fare). So, if you use your cell phone while driving and get into an accident, you put yourself, and maybe some others who could have (and perhaps should have) told you to put down the cell phone while driving into harm's way. Moreover, if while in a Zipcar or other rental car it was determined that an accident was caused by your using the cell phone while driving you would probably face the exact penalties you outline above. I think the difference here is that these drivers are (1) driving vehicles that are much larger than even most U-Hauls that people rent (2) are potentially transporting a large number of people who pay them for the service according to a structured fare (3) are responsible for the safety and well-being of these people to the best of their ability. For zipcar or u-haul, you are (1) not driving these vehicles as part of a job that involves (2) transporting other human beings from one place to another and (3) if you are, you are in violation of the terms of use for these rental services, and would not be covered anyhow in the event of an accident. So, I don't think that this approaches a thought experiment worth thinking through.

    Big difference

    By on

    Big difference between Uhaul and ZipCar vs Driving for the MBTA

    1. You aren't driving 60+ passengers
    2. You need a CDL to drive a bus (again different rules)

    And if my memory serves correct, zipcar already has a cell phone policy. (feel free to correct me if I am wrong). If you are in an accident while on your phone, you automatically have to pay all the damages, and zipcar's insurance will not cover you.


    Wasn't a direct analogy

    By on

    It was a thought experiment, not a direct analogy. Of course it's not analogous. Congratulations on cracking the code!

    However, what you point out with Zipcar is that you can't use those devices while driving. That was already the MBTA policy. The new one is getting caught with having them on your person AT ALL. That's not against Zipcar policy. I wonder how many users they would have if it were.

    Based on the number of people

    Based on the number of people I see in traffic on phones in your average day people would do a lot better to worry about all the arseholes in cars on their cells and texting. #MBTA

    That's nice

    By on

    but we're not talking about normal people in private, personal cars texting while driving. These same people aren't transporting 60+ people.

    Try to stay on topic, OK?

    No, we're not

    By on

    But imagine if we were. There's a LOT more of them out there than buses. In fact, I bet the MBTA's driving record on the whole is WELL below the average of normal people in private personal cars.

    Also, the number of passengers on the bus is unimportant to the discussion. It could just be the MBTA driver and nobody else and the policy is still in effect. So, really, do try to stay on topic, okay?

    Yes we are

    By on

    Kaz, you must work for the T, because you're putting up a silly fight for nothing.

    I stand by my comment, a 3 Ton bus vs a passenger car.

    a vehicle owned and operated by an employer NOT the driver vs private car owned by the driver.

    big difference. stop trying to connect to them. You're gonna lose this battle. No one will side with you, at least no one who doesn't drive for the T.

    Just being contrarian

    By on

    You've decided you disagree with me, so you'll spout anything that makes it seem like it's not worth listening to what I have to say.

    Example: Me saying "no, we're not" was in agreement with your previous post. Your most recent subject is just a disagreement with my subject line....which makes it a disagreement with your previous comment that I was agreeing to the principle of.

    You just stated a disagreement with yourself in order to prove your disagreement with anything I say. Kudos on attempting to demonstrate the veracity of your opinion solely through your voracity to disagree with me.


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    Now all of you are starting to sound like a Monty Python skit.


    I'll answer

    Even though I think this analogy is terrible and ignore real world issues in favor of getting the answer you want.

    Sure, I think that fewer people would rent with Zipcar if they had to lock their phones in the trunk while driving. I keep my phone in my purse when driving and honestly having it locked in the trunk wouldn't make much difference to me, either. If the rule is to not use the phone and that rule doesn't stop people from doing it then, yes - a tougher rule is going to be put in place.

    Is the point of this that people won't want to work for the T if they have to stop carrying their phones? Because if so, fuck those people. Go find a new job where you can ignore safety regulations without consequence because you know your union will defend every shitty, reckless, asinine thing you do until the bitter end. Go ahead. I wish them enormous luck finding such a thing. Then we can hire new people who will keep their damn phones in their lockers.

    Zipcar driver here

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    Zipcar driver here. I carry my phone with me IN MY HANDBAG while driving. If I need to make or answer a call I pull over first. The world doesn't come to an end. I'm happy to agree to drive responsibly, why should I expect them to ensure my bad behavior?

    I have had too many close calls as a driver and pedestrian from distracted car drivers talking on their cell phones. This could have been a horrible tragedy. I'm glad the MBTA is setting a high standard.

    I'm sure T management is not

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    I'm sure T management is not surprised that the union wants to negotiate a rule that could cost a union member his/her job.

    Negotiation doesn't always mean more money. It could just be a clarification of the rule or making sure procedures are in place for a driver to get a message if needed.

    Several years ago my employer wanted to implement a drug policy. My union did not have a problem with the policy but negotiated terms that insured every member had access to meetings before the policy took place to clarify the policy. No money was involved.


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    Newest Amtrak Engines have technology that alerts a remote Operations Center in Wilmington Delaware if an active electronic device is brought into the Cab. Severe Discipline up to an including termination could. Result. No negotiation or Arbitration involved. Turn off you phone with involved in the safe operation of the train or b prepared to work somewhere else.

    Zero need for them to have call phones!


    The T can easil install cell phones on each transit vehicle which dials one number and one number only. That being the line needed to report an emergency. It's done all the time in other types of businesses. Probably the best example is the elevator help button. Push it and it calls one number where someone answers.

    This will require someone to be at the phone which rings. I find it hard to believe the union would argue since it would create a job. That being for the person who has to answer the phone.

    Zero need for operators to have their own cell.