Detroit bus drivers strike over assaults

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The Detroit Free-Press reported that about 100 Detroit Department of Transportation workers refused to drive Friday after a bus driver in the city was attacked this week.

"It’s not just for my members, because if the drivers aren’t safe, the passengers aren't safe," ATU Local 26 present Henry Gaffney told the paper. "This is not the first incident. This is the incident that broke the camel’s back."

Hanley said incidents involving bus drivers being attacked are happening across the country.

"We have a national consensus that you don't raise taxes in a recession, even on millionaires, but transit riders are facing drastic fare hikes and service cuts," he said. "Bus drivers are the only government tax collectors that actually see the people that are being taxed."

Hanley said the national union in Washington was supporting the Detroit bus drivers by sending in a representative to negotiations with city officials. 

The bus drivers' main demand, he said, is "a safe work environment."

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing (D) said Friday on his Twitter page that he was in discussion with the bus drivers and he was "optimistic DDOT buses will be operational today."