Possibility of school bus strike hangs over New York

Story highlights

  • A union strike could shut down yellow bus services
  • More than 152,000 students would be affected citywide
  • The union is coy about whether it will strike starting Monday
  • Mayor and chancellor say a strike would be illegal
School and city officials in New York expressed concerns Friday that a union strike could shut down yellow bus services for more than 152,000 city students beginning Monday.
"We regret the possibility of what could be a major disturbance in the lives of students and their families," New York City Department of Education Chancellor Dennis Walcott said in a statement.
The conflict stems from an attempt to protect union jobs.
The Education Department filed a bid for bus services Friday that did not include a provision to guarantee jobs for drivers from Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181, even if their current employer doesn't win the bid.
The union was coy about a possible strike.
"There won't be one Monday, but you never know," ATU spokesman David Roscow told CNN.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the chancellor called a potential strike illegal. They cited a 2008 ruling from the New York state high court, which declared that including such a job-protection provision in a bid is anti-competitive.
The mayor also said Friday that 300,000 subway cards had been made available to students through the schools, and he urged families to consider alternate transportation for students Monday.