Bus drivers protest outside CARTA garage, call for hazard pay

Updated: Nov. 18, 2020 at 9:23 PM EST
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Some drivers for the Lowcountry’s largest public transportation provider are calling for hazard pay to be provided to bus operators as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Roughly a dozen protesters gathered on Wednesday afternoon outside the CARTA garage on Leeds Avenue in North Charleston where a sign on the building’s facade says “heroes work here.”

“What do they call us? Heroes,” protesters chanted. “What do they give us? Zeroes.”

“We’re faced with a lot of risks daily transporting hundreds of people,” said Amalgamated Transit Union Local 610 President Gloria Fulton. “We’re not sure whether they’re infected and we’re putting our lives on the frontline every day.”

Bus drivers on CARTA’s routes are employees of Transdev, a company based in France. A CARTA spokesperson referred questions about the protesters’ concerns to Transdev, but a representative for the latter firm did not immediately return a request for comment.

Fulton said that public transportation employees in other cities such as Columbia and New Orleans have received hazard pay, but not in Charleston.

“I’m not sure why we’re not getting it, but I know that we do deserve it,” said Fulton.

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