More than 800 jobs could be eliminated if the MBTA moves ahead with major service cuts in response to a sharp decline in ridership, according to a new report.
The report, released by the union-backed coalition Public Transit Public Good, said the job cuts would disproportionately hit Black workers living in communities with high COVID-19 infection rates like Dorchester, Brockton, Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roxbury, Revere, Lynn and Everett.
“These are unprecedented times for all workers,” Jim Evers, Boston Carmen’s Union Local 589 President Jim Evers said in a statement released with the report. “For the MBTA to pull the rug out from under hundreds of workers and their families while the state is still reeling from COVID-19 is unconscionable.”
The coalition’s Mike Vartabedian of Machinists Union District 15 and Lee Matsueda of Community Labor United plan to join Boston Mayor Martin Walsh Monday at 9:15 a.m. on City Hall Plaza to speak against the proposed reductions t o bus, subway, commuter rail and ferry services.
“Any savings from job losses would be offset by Unemployment Insurance obligations of the MBTA and the Commonwealth,” Matsueda said.
The MBTA says it has targeted routes that are running pre-pandemic schedules but with a tiny fraction of its previous passenger loads and says it can’t afford to continue the services but may bring them back if revenues recover, which depends on the success of COVID-19 vaccination and the durability of the work-from-home trend.
The MBTA Fiscal and Management Control Board, which meets on Monday, plans to vote on the service cuts package on Dec. 14.
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