DDOT drivers stage work stoppage on Friday over work conditions during COVID-19 pandemic

DDOT bus service stops due to driver labor dispute

DETROIT – A critical mode of transportation in the city of Detroit just wasn’t there on Friday morning.

Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) drivers staged a work stoppage and said they don’t feel safe on the job due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. That brought Detroit’s bust system to a stop.

READ: DDOT bus service stops due to driver labor dispute

Detroit has 228 DDOT buses. Drivers said they’ve worked under an extended contract for nearly two years.

"Union president Glenn Tolbert said driver’s have one of Detroit’s most difficult jobs.

“We’re not going to be rushing up and down with no place to use the restroom, no place to eat, got to eat on the fly -- we’re not going to do that and be subject to assault,” he said. “And then when we defend ourselves we’re fired. We’re told we’re being unprofessional because we don’t want to get spit on, because we don’t want to get punched in the face or be anybody’s punching bag.”

Driver’s said a firing that happened a couple weeks ago caused the work stoppage.

The city brought in Police Chief James Craig and the Chief Operating Officer Hakim Berry to negotiate new safety rules that drivers want to see. They also brought out a new safety door to be installed on all DDOT buses.

READ: ‘We’re putting it on the line’: DDOT bus drivers want more protection amid COVID-19 pandemic

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