Transit drivers walk off the job in Milwaukee County - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Transit drivers walk off the job in Milwaukee County

Transit drivers walk off the job in Milwaukee County

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MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Hundreds of Milwaukee County union bus drivers are on strike. That's leaving tens of thousands of commuters scrambling to make alternative plans to get to work and elsewhere.

The roughly 750 drivers walked off the job at 3 a.m. and began picketing at the Milwaukee County Transit System garages after contract negotiations between union leaders and transit officials broke down.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 998 leaders say the strike will last until Saturday.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele accuses the union of "punishing" people who rely on the buses to get around.

Union officials say one of the main obstacles to an agreement is the transit system's plans to hire retirees as part-time drivers.

It is the first strike by MCTS drivers since 1978, when union members stayed off the job for 39 days.

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