The Port Authority board should be made up of representation from those who truly have a stake in the success of the enterprise -- that is, responsible for the operations and funding of the agency -- and must reside in the authority's service area.
We may never stop the political debate over how many members and who appoints them. With that said, the members of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85, who deliver and maintain the transit service, deserve a seat at the table.
Every time the labor contract expires, the story becomes, labor must do its part as stakeholders. We all know what that means -- in a word, concessions. Over the past three contracts -- 2005, 2008 and 2012 -- union leadership and the members of ATU 85 have done their part by negotiating and ultimately ratifying contract concessions:
• 2012 -- produced more than $60 million in savings by increasing employee pension contributions and work rule changes;
• 2008 -- more than $100 million in savings that helped control legacy costs;
• 2005 -- had similar concessions.
Labor has done its part; the members of ATU 85 have sacrificed. The agreed-upon concessions not only affect each worker and their families, they also stopped proposed route eliminations and service cuts, which without a doubt has helped countless citizens of Allegheny County.
Labor has shown it cares about the success of the enterprise, Port Authority patrons and the citizens of the county.
Labor is a stakeholder with some skin in the game and has earned and deserves a seat and a voice on the Port Authority board of directors.
PATRICK J. McMAHON
The writer is the former president and business agent for ATU 85.