• MARTA sickout much bigger than initially reported, court documents show

    By: Dave Huddleston

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - Channel 2 Action News has learned far more MARTA workers have called in sick than previously thought.

    Attorneys for MARTA filed an injunction in court Wednesday morning to get drivers back to work after two days of sickouts.

    Court documents obtained by Channel 2's Dave Huddleston show 130 called in sick Monday. Another 80 called in sick Tuesday. As of Wednesday afternoon, 76 workers had called in sick, which is nearly 300 in three days.

    [READ: Dozens of MARTA drivers call out for second day in a row]

    The transit agency initially said they had 80 workers call in Monday and 73 on Tuesday. On a normal day, fewer than 20 drivers are out.

    MARTA officials said there was a difference in numbers between initial reports and court documents on Monday because as the day progressed, more people called in sick.

    This comes as MARTA tries to encourage people to rely on the transit system to get around Atlanta during the Super Bowl festivities.

    “It is almost game time and MARTA is absolutely ready to provide superior customer service to both folks who live here and the visitors,” MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker told Huddleston earlier this week.


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    But there could be more problems.

    Huddleston obtained a flyer from a source aimed all rail and bus operators that is calling for no work on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

    Workers have been pushing the transit agency tor better working conditions and better pay.

    At the bottom the flyer it says, “We mean business.”

    [READ: MARTA CEO says it will seek legal action after 80 bus drivers stage sickout]

    Huddleston has been reporting on MARTA's problems for months. In the court documents filed Wednesday, they mentioned Huddleston’s December story when we first learned about this current work slowdown.

    The report also said MARTA has suffered significant monetary damages because it can't provide service.

    [READ: Some MARTA bus drivers considering strike before Super Bowl, sources say]

    MARTA's attorneys wouldn't talk to Huddleston following Wednesday’s court hearing, but the company sent him a statement, saying:

    “We have taken this extraordinary legal step today because behavior by some bus operators that adversely impacts our customer service is inappropriate and unacceptable.”

    So far, the judge has not ruled on the injunction.

    Huddleston contacted the MARTA drivers’ union and even though they are named in the injunction, they told him they have nothing to do with the sickout.

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