NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City school bus companies and union leaders met at Gracie Mansion in an effort to resolve the strike.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg organized the meeting last week. It was conducted by a mediator.
Bloomberg hoped the two sides can come to an agreement to end the strike, which entered its eighth day on Monday.
The walkout began on Jan. 16, triggered by the city’s plan to put bus contracts out to bid to lower costs.
No city representatives, including Mayor Michael Bloomberg, were present at the meeting.
Michael Cordiello of Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union has said the drivers will strike until Bloomberg and the city agree to put a job security clause back into their contract.
Following Monday’s meeting, Cordiello released a statement saying Monday’s dialogue was “long-overdue.” However, he said while the meeting was “ a step in the right direction, we continue to believe that Mayor Bloomberg has a responsibility to take part in these discussions and join us at the table.”
“Despite what the Mayor and his Administration have said, his involvement in the process is not only completely legal, but is necessary to move towards a resolution and end this strike,” the statement read.
The Bloomberg administration has insisted that it cannot do any such thing, and that such a clause would be illegal.
Bloomberg has stressed from the start that this is an issue between the employers and their employees.
“We have to take every opportunity we can to try and resolve this and we insist that the mayor or somebody from the city eventually attend these meetings,” Cordiello told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck.
The strike has idled more than half the city’s school buses, forcing thousands of students to find other ways to get to school.