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Don’t Mess With Texas: Feds Withhold Grant Money to Texas Bus Service Due to Union Dispute

Theres’ been a lot written about the Chicago, thug-like tactics of the Obama Administration and its union cronies. And, Texas has certainly been rather vocal in its opposition to some of Obama’s policies. However, even this seems pretty blatant.

According to this and other stories, it would appear that two things are occurring here:

First, it looks as though the US Department of Labor is withholding federal funds for firms in labor disputes which, in itself is troubling–especially as the entity in question is a quasi-public entity.

Second, if the Department of Labor knows that the NLRB does not have jurisdiction on this dispute, then it appears that someone in the Department of Labor may be using this as a means of some sort of political retribution against a public entity in Texas.

Federal funds are still on hold for the local transportation provider TAPS

A disagreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union has kept $1.15 million from reaching the bus service.

As of midnight Friday, TAPS shut down their urban services.

A local representative from UFCW said in a press release it is because TAPS failed to acknowledge an agreement with the union and to abide by terms of federal funding eligibility.

According to an article last week, TAPS cancelled its service last week after funds were withheld from the Department of Labor, prompting protests of UFCW, Local 1000:

TAPS, the area’s mass-transit bus system, had barely finished a press conference announcing it would suspend its urban service at midnight Friday when those who depend on the rides began a protest effort.

They were not protesting TAPS, but the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1000, which has caused the federal government to withhold a $1.155 million grant from TAPS. The grant money is the federal government’s part of a 50-50 match grant. Local funds pay the other part of the match. Last week, TAPS secured funds from another federal transportation fund to continue its services from Tuesday, the first suspension date, until Friday.

[snip]

The talks began more than a year ago, when an old agreement expired. TAPS and the union could not reach an agreement. Because TAPS is a subdivision of the state of Texas, it is barred from entering direct negotiations with unions. The union, Wacker said, seems to not recognize that limitation, although the federal agencies do.

Whether or not the Department of Labor is retaliating against this organization, or the State of Texas remains unclear.

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