Saturday, May 5, 2007

Man Waits 36 Hours For PAT Bus

Succumbs to Exhaustion And Falls Into Trance-Like State

Former Port Authority employee, Peter Chen, fell into a deep sleep at a Brookline bus stop while waiting nearly 36 hours for the 41G. Mr. Chen was on his way to UPMC Montifiore in Oakland for his annual physical exam which included a full-body CT scan. But after being found semi-conscious, EMS personnel took Chen to UPMC Presbyterian instead.

Chen was one of nearly 1400 employees who were laid off last year due to emergency cost cutting measures but retained health benefits for life due to the aggressive negotiating tactics of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85. Authority CEO Steve Bland had warned that drastic cuts in service would occur if health costs were not reigned in. “That’s not going to happen,” said Pat McMahon, president of Local 85. And happen it did not. 1354 Authority jobs were subsequently eliminated and bus service was cut by 42 percent.

Chen’s wife, Linda, was relieved and happy when he was located. While annoyed at the long wait time on most bus routes, Mrs. Chen still thought the union had made the right decision taking their hard stand. “The doctors at Presby tell me that Peter’s stay may be long and costly due to his extreme exhaustion. As bad as things are now, just imagine how much worse they would be if we didn’t have these excellent health care benefits.”

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