Letter to the Editor: DART driver union president shares concerns with Carney

Kendall Barbour, president of ATU local 842 for DART, sent the following letter to Gov. Carney on Monday.

Gov. Carney,

As the president of ATU local 842 for DART, I have been in constant communication with Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC) in regards to the safety of the drivers.

In my opinion, DTC is not assuring that all employees are safe in regards to this virus.

They sprayed buses down about three weeks ago, and that alone does provide all the protection needed for drivers. Also, they have taken no measures to keeping drivers and customers protected throughout daily service.

As we know, this virus spreads through close contact and is also airborne. Some drivers have been denied the usage of face masks which puts them directly at risk. 

DTC has also put out a memo offering free rides so that students can have access to meal programs. In doing this, DTC will contribute to an increase in riders which is completely unsafe and a disregard for not only the drivers, but also customer safety.

The president put out a statement advising that large groups should be limited to fewer than 10 people, yet DTC has taken no steps to scale back service.

Service should be scaled back, and drivers with children should be able to be with their children while schools are closed, by request of the governor. 

So far, DART has denied drivers the ability to do just that. Safety is extremely important, and DART should move better in making sure everyone is safe.

At this point drivers are becoming dissatisfied with the direction that this administration is moving, and changes must be made. I stand by my members and support their decisions of not showing up to work if conditions show no promising progress.

Drivers should be fully stocked on a daily basis with supplies needed to carry out the job duties and in a safe manner. The ATU union has reached out to everyone regarding this matter and cannot seem to get a response.

Before drivers start to walk off and not show up to work, the union is trying every avenue to shed light on this situation. DTC has been putting out posts to the public as if they are doing their best, yet they still have made no serious attempts to assure that drivers will be safe. Yet, they give drivers who have children out of school a hard time about simple benefits that were granted to them by the governor. At this time, I am asking you to aid ATU local 842 in getting our voices heard. Any help will be greatly appreciated. 

Kendall Barbour
President, ATU local 842