Portland Afoot: TriMet “moving towards” asking Legislature to get involved in labor dispute.

Michael at Portland Foot is reporting that TriMet is looking to undo the current Oregon law which treats transit workers as essential (similar to police and firefighters), a designation which prevents labor stoppages (strikes or lockouts) and forces labor disputes into binding arbitration. Hints were dropped about the earlier this month, in particular with Lynn Lehrbach (a local labor leader) being dropped from the TriMet board.

More on this to come. Al M. gets a credit (from Michael) for helping to break this story.

UPDATE: As noted by Michael in the comments, TriMet disputes his initial characterization of the story. While TriMet has broached the subject with legislators, the agency claims that they don’t desire a work stoppage, merely to prod negotiations along.

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