Union lawsuit over drivers could delay Kansas City streetcar

9 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago February 19, 2016 Feb 19, 2016 Friday, February 19 2016 Friday, February 19, 2016 10:16:56 AM CST in News
By: The Associated Press

KANSAS CITY (AP) — A union lawsuit could delay the planned spring opening of Kansas City's new streetcar line.

The Kansas City Star reports Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1287 is asking a Jackson County circuit judge to halt work on the streetcar project until the dispute is resolved.

The union contends the city shouldn't be allowed to hire streetcar workers until arbitration with the union is final. The city's contractor has hired drivers and mechanics while arbitration is ongoing.

The city is asking the judge to reject the demand.

The arbitration concerns how bus drivers should be compensated if they are negatively affected by the streetcar line. Union president J.P. Walker says his members are guaranteed preferential hiring under previous labor agreements.

Assistant City Attorney Tara Kelley calls the lawsuit baseless.

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