Transportation workers in Miami-Dade have launched a mobile initiative aimed at bringing attention to what they say are hazardous conditions for employees during the coronavirus pandemic just days after filing a lawsuit against the county.
Chopper footage showed the mobile billboard Tuesday following buses along several routes in the county, with the billboard criticizing Transit Director Alice Bravo while describing what they say are the hazards employees and passengers face each day on the system.
The mobile billboard is scheduled to be at Government Center in Miami both Tuesday morning and afternoon where supporters intend to rally.
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Workers filed a lawsuit April 17th asking for immediate action to fix what they call “life-threatening” violations by the county’s public transportation system. The lawsuit, filed by the transit workers union representing nearly 3,000 employees, asks for Bravo to make changes it says need to be in place to keep workers safe.
Workers claim, among several items, that officials have not provided them with sufficient masks, gloves and other protective gear. They say buses and rail cars are not properly sanitized and social distancing protocols are not being enforced.
“Bus operators and other transit employees are not receiving sufficient PPE, social distancing protocols are not being enforced, and some buses are dangerously overcrowded,” said union president Jeffery Mitchell in a statement. “We had no choice but to sue - lives are at risk.”
Union officials say they have been complaining for weeks about protocols from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention not being followed.
“Our transit employees are dedicated public servants risking their lives on the front lines,” Mitchell said. “Our passengers are loyal and deserve the highest level of protection.”