Transit Workers Union 527 contract approved

News 12 at 11 / Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Today workers, past and present, gathered on Dodge Street to finalize the union for Augusta Public Transit.

"They really need the union to help," former city bus driver Pamela Williams said desperately. "If we had the union in place, what we're going through now, we wouldn't be going through."

According to the termination letter, she was fired from the company on Friday. It's a similar situation for a few other drivers at the meeting. Now she, and others, are speaking out.

"I was terminated the 27th of December," another former driver Alicia Waters said.

" I did not deserve to be terminated," Horace Jamison added.

"I was wrongfully terminated, so absolutely I am pressing a lawsuit on them," Williams said.

Her termination letter cited "failure to exhaust every option to transport your client," but it's a claim the former driver says hurts to hear.

"It really broke my heart because I would never mistreat a client," she said.

You may remember, the city's contract with Mobility ended in July of 2013, and in August a new company took over. Now, Augusta Public Transit is run by McDonald Transit and managed by Quentarus Brown.

While many thought problems would end with the old contract, some are saying the problems are just beginning.

"The drivers at Transit feel like they're on eggshells. Mr. Brown is suspending drivers left and right," Williams said.

News 12 spoke with Brown and when asked how many drivers he's fired since August, his answer was "no comment." He also said he can't talk about personnel issues but that the drivers fired weren't meeting the company's standards and expectations.

So for now, it's word against word, but each bus is equipped with a video camera, something Williams says shows the truth.

"I said just hold on to that tape, because you're gonna need it," said Williams.

Williams said she is planning to sue the company for wrongful termination and plans to appeal the decision in Committee Monday.

News 12 has requested a copy of that video.

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