Reported Slowdown in Miami-Dade Transit

Officials warn of service delays if workers participate in slowdown

County officials are warning commuters of a possible work slowdown next week by Miami-Dade transit workers that could have them waiting a long time to catch their bus or train.

The illegal slowdown is reportedly planned for Aug. 15 and 16, and could result in service delays of Metrobus and Metrorail services, according to a statement from Miami-Dade Transit.

"As always, MDT will do its best to meet the needs of its customers," the statement read. "However, we ask that those who have pressing appointments to meet on those days make alternate transportation arrangements, if possible, in case of delays or service disruption."

Delays are not expected on the automated Metromover, and the Special Transportation Service is not expected to be impacted.

The slowdown is reportedly being organized by a handful of members of the Transit Workers Union Local 291, and would include workers calling in sick. Union spokesman Ken McKay said the slowdown was not endorsed by the TWU and the union has already put membership on alert not to participate.

"We have worked hard to garner public support and the last thing we want to do is get the public angry at us and lose the support we've gained over the years," said McKay, who warned of repercussions to workers. "There would be heavy sanctions if they get caught up in this thing."

News of the slowdown comes as Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez works on a budget proposal that would cut the workers' benefits and pay.

"From getting to work and school to doctor’s appointments, our transit system provides one of our community’s most essential services," Gimenez said in a statement issued Wednesday. "Our residents have been making financial sacrifices, adjusting their lifestyles, and tightening belts within their own households in order to survive this economic storm.  This proposed slowdown will only hurt them further."

There is an estimated $400 million budget gap in the county for 2012.

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