To the Editor:
I take serious issue with the Aug. 15 letter from Charlie Betcher, founder of the Bus Riders Union, who calls for reducing wages of bus drivers in order to meet AC Transit’s financial problem. Charlie Betcher does not speak for me; nor does he speak for the majority of seniors, Gray Panthers or Bus Riders Union members. The great majority of us are workers. We fought for decent wages and conditions for ourselves and all working people. We supported and continue to support the trade union movement in its constant struggle for job security and we are against efforts to destroy unity and create a wedge between bus drivers and bus riders.
Charlie’s letter is a shameful response to the transportation crisis. Bus drivers have one of the most difficult of all jobs. They deal with awful traffic situations, work long hours without adequate rest periods, constantly give directions, deal with sometimes cantankerous passengers and have difficult schedules. That they deal so well with the stress of the job is something I believe most riders are aware of and grateful for.
We need a governmental subsidized transportation system, and in order to have it, our government must cut the military budget. Tell that to that man in the White House; tell it to your congresspeople; tell it to your City Council.