(KMOV.com) -- Metro Transit will shut down bus and rail service if union employees follow through with a strike, company officials said on Friday.
Amalgamated Transit Union Local 788, representing transit workers in St. Louis, announced they could strike if Metro does not budge in negotiations. The union is asking for better wages and retirement benefits for its workers.
John Nations, Metro's president and CEO, said a strike would be illegal.
"Even though they held a press conference, they did not make a commitment to us, to our workers, to our riders or to our region, that they will work through next week and Fair St. Louis, which right now is our immediate concern," Nations said.
Metro said in the event of a strike, customers can expect the following:
· There will be no MetroBus or MetroLink service.
· If sufficient manpower is available, Metro Call-A-Ride service will be provided, but will be limited to services contracted by the Transportation Management Association. No other Metro Call-A-Ride service will be provided.
· Monthly and weekly passes will be accepted into the next month or week based on the number of days of the service stoppage. OR, customers may return their passes by mail (with a return address) to Metro, Attn: Pass Return, 707 N. 1st Street, St. Louis, MO 63102 and in exchange, they will be sent the equivalent number of day passes.
· There will be no cash refunds.
· Metro transit service will resume after operators and mechanics notify Metro of their intention to return to work in sufficient numbers to provide a safe and reliable transit service and the system can again be put back into operation after appropriate safety inspections. It will take some time to recertify the system for safe operation.
· Customers will be kept informed through social media, at metrostlouis.org or by calling customer service at 314-231-2345 or 618-271-2345 during business hours.
Union contract negotiations remain in mediation. A union spokesperson said Friday that the Local 788 won’t make a decision on a strike until the conclusion of mediation, which he said could be any day.
Last year, an estimated 45 million people rode Metro buses and 17 million rode trains.