FACT PANEL TRIES TO END BUS STRIKE.
Byline: Alexa Haussler and Dominic Berbeo Staff Writers
MTA (1) (Message Transfer Agent or Mail Transfer Agent) The store and forward part of a messaging system. See messaging system.
(2) See M Technology Association.
1. (messaging) MTA - Message Transfer Agent. and union leaders suspended negotiations in a week-old transit strike early Friday evening and left it to a state lawmaker's panel to figure out what the two sides want.
Meanwhile, public outrage over the lengthening strike grew louder Friday, with calls from across the city to resolve the dispute.
J. Richard Leyner, president of the Chamber of Commerce of the Greater San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley
Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills. , said his organization represents 8,000 businesses with 350,000 employees ``and at this point, they are all having difficulty getting back and forth to work.''
Leyner and other business and civic leaders on Friday urged the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the transit drivers' union to resolve the strike while preserving the possibility of creating a San Fernando Valley transportation zone, a key issue affecting the talks.
But James Williams James Williams can refer to:
In American politics:
in full American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations
U.S. , said Friday evening that the strike could be over in 24 hours if Gov. Gray Davis signs legislation effectively killing a Valley zone.
Valley leaders called on Davis to veto the bill and the MTA to stand up to the union's demands.
``We need our own transit zone,'' Leyner said at a news conference held by the Valley Industry and Commerce Association. ``We should have our own transit zone.''
``They must allow transit zones so we can provide common-sense local solutions to our transportation needs,'' said Patricia Lizaola, administrator of the Downtown Association of the city of San Fernando San Fernando, city, Argentina
San Fernando (săn fərnăn`dō), city (1991 pop. 144,761), Buenos Aires prov., E Argentina. It is a district administrative center in the Greater Buenos Aires area. .
Meanwhile, Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg Robert Myles Hertzberg was born on November 19, 1954 in Los Angeles, California, was an attorney and businessperson, and served in the California State Assembly from 1996-2002. , D-Van Nuys, dispatched Assemblyman Herb Wesson Herb J. Wesson, Jr. is a California politician. He currently serves as a Los Angeles City Councilman. He represents the 10th district. He served in the State Assembly representing the 47th district from 1998 until 2004. , D-Los Angeles, to the negotiating table on a ``fact-finding mission,'' officials announced.
``When it comes down to the face-to-face negotiations, we simply came to a place that we didn't know where to go next,'' said Julian Burke, chief executive officer of the MTA. ``They needed some outside help.''
Burke said he, Contreras, Hertzberg, Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. Mayor Richard Riordan Richard J. Riordan (born May 1, 1930) is a Republican politician from California, U.S. who served as the California Secretary of Education from 2003–2005 and as Mayor of Los Angeles from 1993–2001. Riordan ran for Governor of California unsuccessfully in 2002. , and MTA board Chairwoman Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke agreed during an emergency five-way telephone conference Friday to assemble a ``fact-finding panel.''
The panel, Julian Burke said, will include Wesson, who arrived late Friday, and retired state Supreme Court Justice Edward A. Panelli.
``I'm on a fact-finding mission to see if there's a role for the state in this process,`` Wesson said. He was to make his first report to Hertzberg on Friday night and continue monitoring the talks when they resume at 10 a.m. today.
Wesson's arrival came after an edgy day of negotiations at the Pasadena Hilton Hotel, where MTA negotiators and officials from the bus and rail drivers union met together for roughly one hour.
The rest of the day - which was the second official day of negotiations since the strike began last week - was spent caucusing and waiting for word about the fact-finding panel.
The UTU Noun 1. Utu - sun god; counterpart of Akkadian Shamash
Sumer - an area in the southern region of Babylonia in present-day Iraq; site of the Sumerian civilization of city-states that flowered during the third millennium BC went on strike at 12:01 a.m. Sept. 16 after a breakdown in negotiations over a new contract. Unions representing mechanics and maintenance and clerical workers are honoring the drivers' picket lines.
The union ordered the walkout after rejecting the MTA's proposals for controlling costs, particularly overtime. The transit agency says it faces a $438 million operating deficit over the next 10 years unless it cuts costs or raises fares.
Meanwhile, business leaders Friday implored transit officials and unions to settle contract talks, saying the strike could cripple the city if it stretches into a second week.
``We cannot afford to have buses sitting idle,'' said Ezunial Burts, president of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. ``This is the kind of thing that will cripple a strong economy.''
Burts suggested that the bus drivers' union start bus service again while negotiations are completed.
``We're here to say enough is enough, we have to get these buses rolling again,'' Burts said. ``Business owners fully understand the union's arguments, but they have to think about those who are dependent on their services.''
Valley business representatives urged an end to the walkout, which they say has dampened sales while forcing some transit-dependent employees to miss work.
``I don't think this strike can go on much longer without having a significant impact on the San Fernando Valley,'' said Richard Katz, co- chairman of VICA's ground transportation committee.
In a related development Friday, Los Angeles City Councilman Nate Holden Nathaniel "Nate" R. Holden (1929-) served on the Los Angeles City Council from 1987 to 2002. He previously served a term on the California State Senate and was Assistant Chief Deputy to then Los Angeles County Supervisor Kenneth Hahn. introduced a motion urging the governor to sign Senate Bill 1101 which, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. proponents of a Valley transportation zone, would effectively kill it before it even takes off.
The zone, involving a nine-city region, is proposed to take over operation of dozens of MTA bus lines.
The governor has until Sept. 30 to veto SB 110, sign it into law or allow it to become law without his signature. The bill requires a Valley zone to adopt MTA collective bargaining agreements The contractual agreement between an employer and a Labor Union that governs wages, hours, and working conditions for employees and which can be enforced against both the employer and the union for failure to comply with its terms. for MTA drivers, mechanics and other employees who transfer to the zone.
Holden introduced the motion as an urgency measure, but the council put off consideration of it until Tuesday at the urging of Councilman Joel Wachs Joel Wachs served for several terms as Los Angeles City Councilman for the 2nd district. He was first elected by defeating incumbent James B. Potter.
While in office, Wachs chaired the Public Works Committee and vice-chair of the Environmental Quality & Waste Management .
MTA Chief Julian Burke said the Legislature and the governor could play key roles in the talks.
``The state is a key funder for the MTA,`` Burke said. ``Let's hope they're able to bring us some financial and legislative options''
Staff Writer Rick Orlov contributed to this report.