Dozens of Metro bus operators call in sick in possible protest

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – Metro Transit officials suspect a “blue flu” may have caused dozens of employees to call in sick the same day thousands were headed downtown for the Cardinals home opener.

Metro president John Nations said about 70 operators called in sick Monday morning. He added that only about 10 out of the 900 workers in the transit force call in on any given day.

Negotiations between the agency and workers represented by the Alamagamated Transit Union Local 788 have been going for years. But, Nations would not say if he believed the absences was a type of work interruption by employees, “You would have to ask the union that question. I have to deal with the facts as I have them. And that is we had about 10 times the number of people call in sick we normally have and it just so happens it’s Opening Day for the St. Louis Cardinals.”

Nations said several bus routes  in Missouri were running an hour and a half late. He said Illinois bus and Metrolink routes on both sides of the river were unaffected.

We called union officials, but have yet to hear their reaction to the absences.

Negotiations continue.

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