Clipped From Detroit Free Press
DETROIT, AfllCHIGA OPEN LETTER On April 30, 1964, Mr. Lou Gordon, (news-reporter) (news-reporter) (news-reporter) on WXYZ-Radio, WXYZ-Radio, WXYZ-Radio, mads remarks about the bus drivers in the City of Detroit. We fee! that Mr. Gordon was making making statements before he studied the facts. He stated he read with amusement that the Detroit bus drivers were asking for 30 cents an hour increase in their base pay; however, we fail to see anything amusing in this statement. Our position is and always has been that the bus driver in Detroit should receive wages comparable to drivers in other cities, such as Boston, Mass., $3.00 per hour; Chicago, III., $2.97; Pittsburgh, Pa., $3.02; Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio, $2.81; Seattle, Wash., $2.88; Washington, D. C, $2.87, and Minneapolis, Minn., $2.81. At the present present time, the hourly rate of the D.S.R. driver is about 17th in the nation, far below the national average. Also, Mr. Gordon stated one would think the bus drivers would have enough sense to appreciate the fact that they still have a Job and try hopefully to find ways to cut expenses, improve the service, and keep the system operating. We would like to inform this reporter he completely loses sight of the fact that the responsibility for the financial welfare of the D.S.R. rests with management and not with the drivers. Moreover, we feel that the drivers are subsidizing the D.S.R. to the tune of some 30 cents per hour. Mr. Gordon further stated he thinks the bus drivers should be sent to a school of enlightenment, and while they are there, perhaps they could learn a little about courtesy on the road. He certainly has a lot to learn about operating coaches in the City of Detroit. Maybe roads should be built especially for Mr. Gordon's private use. And at this point, we would like to invite him to take a ride on one of the buses for 8 hours in order to observe the outstanding job our drivers are doing in heavy con gested traffic making change, selling tickets, punching transfers, maintaining their schedules, assisting passengers to their destination. In performing these duies, the D.S.R. drivers have compiled one of the safest driving records in cities over 1,000,000 in population. Last year, out of 1535 drivers 1148 received safe driving awards for not having a chargeable accident. People in the transportation industry hailed this record as outstanding. Each year the operators receive a plaque from the League of the Blind which is inscribed "To the D.S.R. coach operators in appreciation of the intelligent and understanding help given to the blind citizens of Metropolitan Metropolitan Detroit." After reading the facts, we hope that you, Mr. Gordon, will feel like most of the citizens of Detroit that bus drivers are neither blind, deaf or dumb, but ars performing an outstanding service to the community. KERCHEL SCHWARTZ President -Business -Business Agent DIv. 26 AFL-CIO AFL-CIO AFL-CIO HUBERT L. HOLLEY Financial Secretary-Treasurer Secretary-Treasurer Secretary-Treasurer OFFICERS OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD WALTER C. ELLIOTT RICHARD GARDZINSKI JEROME HARRINGTON OLIN P. HOUSTON SIG STRZESZEWSKI HERSTON E. WATERS Vice President LEROY McKESSON Recording Secretary LOUIS BARRY Sergeant-At-Arms Sergeant-At-Arms Sergeant-At-Arms Sergeant-At-Arms Sergeant-At-Arms '