“Don’t Give Away the MBTA” campaign to raise awareness among community, taxpayers, riders and voters

In a recent story for Boston University’s The Daily Free Press, Breanne Kovatch reports on the launch of Machinists Union Local 264’s new public awareness campaign, DontGiveAwayTheMBTA.net. The campaign will shed light on the poor track records of several of the private companies bidding on contracts to take control of MBTA services and maintenance.

Discussing Governor Baker’s attempts to privatize core MBTA services, Mike Vartabedian, Local 264 Business Representative tells Kovatch, “This isn’t about savings, this is about ideology by the governor because we’re offering the savings and we’re the best in the nation and you’re not going to get that from a private company.” Regarding the campaign, he says, “We want to spread our story out to the community, taxpayers, the riders and voters in the state, who aren’t going to know what’s going on.”

One such story includes the experience of MBTA mechanic and military veteran Nathaniel DuBois. DuBois and other mechanics with less than 10 years with the MBTA have a high likelihood of being laid off if MBTA services are privatized. As a father of three, including a newborn, DuBois states,“I’m going to have to go back to working three dead-end jobs just to make ends meet so that I can pay my bills. That takes me away from my newborn, that takes me away from my wife, my other two kids and everybody else.”

Discussing the impact of privatization on himself and other veterans, DuBois tells Kovatch, “It just seems like the state talks about how they’re going to help veterans, how they want to do all of this stuff to ensure that veterans are taken care of, and I’m living proof that that’s not the way it is. I’m not saying veterans should have any more purpose than anybody else, but it’s big talk about trying to help us and at the end of the day, they’re letting us hang dry as well.”

You can read the full story here.

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