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CTA accepts Blue Line fire blame; fires five workers

It's the CTA's fault. And they accept blame.

Imagine that.

And the CTA fired five workers in the wake of the Blue Line fire  and derailment that injured 150 people in July.

It's also fun to read the CTA spin on this issue -- here:

"CTA officials said today that following an extensive internal investigation, five employees were terminated for rule violations that allowed track conditions to degrade and cause a derailment.... President Frank Kruesi outlined steps that have already been taken to speed up inspections and make repairs in the subway and longer term plans to improve the rail inspection process and increase preventive maintenance."

Well, I will at least give Frank credit for the firings. What do you think?


they admit fault at least, thats a change.

I wonder how much of this has to do with protecting themselves from the lawsuit, and how much is true accountability.

I'm no lawyer, and I apologize for my cynicism, but that's what watching the CTA decay over the last few years does to a person.

Its 100% about protecting themselves from civil liability. There are a lot of law suits in the pipeline and if they get certified class action and they win it will bust the CTA wide open!

No kidding! You think the maintenance/service is poor now? Wait until these liability settlements are finished and the CTA is opreating from receivership/bankruptcy.

Maybe Kreusi should just call Peter Francis Geraci now and save himself some time.

I know I posted about this earlier but a judge ruled that CTA was liable for the derailment now it's just up to the victims to prove their injuries were from the accident. Then two days later the CTA fires 5 people.... anybody wonder if they would have fired the people had the judge not made that ruling?

I know I posted about this earlier but a judge ruled that CTA was liable for the derailment now it's just up to the victims to prove their injuries were from the accident. Then two days later the CTA fires 5 people.... anybody wonder if they would have fired the people had the judge not made that ruling?

The CTA is insured by Lloyd's of London. There will be no receivership or bankruptcy coming from blue line lawsuits.


So was Steve Wynn's Picasso when he put his elbow through it, but he's not exactly having the easiest time getting renumeration for it..

Interesting fact though.

So what difference does it make whether they're insured by Lloyd's of London, or some other insurance company? If the liabilities excede the policy limits, they're SOL no matter how fancy the logo on the checks that do go out once they reach the policy limit.

However, being a public agency also gives them some protection as well. The concepts of bankrupcy or receivership do not apply to government entities.

Ultimately the costs will come out of the public's pockets. The deductables will come out of the public pockets. The amounts beyond the limits of their liablity insurance will come out of the public pockets. And the increase in premiums for future insurance will come out of the public pockets.

The CTA will go on. You'll just pay more for it to continue.

A lot of misconceptions here. First, CTA is self insured. Second, firing the employees does not help the civil case, since an employer is liable for the negligence of its employees. cmama is closer to reality on this.

The real cynical question is will this be like most political firings--the employees appeal and some arbitrator or appeal board gives them their jobs back with backpay?

How long have these people that were fired been employed with the CTA??

Sounds like maybe they were the sacrificial lambs thrown under the bus...

Snail Line: The names, titles, seniority, and salaries of the four were printed in the Tribune. You could look it up yourself http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0701190114jan19,1,2445469.story instead of posting conjecture.

I meant five.

Thank you. That explains everything.


No, my money is more on featherbedding patronage employees (this is CHICAGO).

I get it. Snail Line is or represents Rick Harris, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 308 (quoted in the Tribune).

Arbitration is not a rubber-stamp process for either the union or the CTA. Slamming it is a lot like slamming the concept of a judicial system - a bit of an overreach. I've come across decent hardworking CTA employees, and some who have indeed been scapegoats. I've encountered others who needed to be coached to be able to walk and chew gum simultaneously, but whose ties to someone with influence overcame, say, a lack of competence. Arbitration is an appropriate forum to work that out and figure out the scapegoated wheat from the patronage-bound chaff. Also, this is the CTA. If leadership works best when it works by example, given the CTA's lack of leadership, you're going to get indifferent, if not incompetent, mid-level management and rank-and-file workers. The firings may or may not have been justified. Let these folks have their day before the arbitrator. But I would bet that terminations are merited a lot further up the food chain than these five folks.

CTA is self insured up to 40 million then Lloyd's of London takes over.

cmamma is full of crap. It doesn't matter at all who insures them they're going down big time on this one. And being in receivership/bankruptcy is a good thing because they will be free to void all of those bloated union agreements & pension plans(just like the airlines) and get labor costs under control. Then they fire ALL of CTA's worthless, lazy and incompetent union workforce and farm all of the work out to subcontractors under a competetive bidding scheme at a fixed price.

Dan, you are full of baloney. CTA has been bankrupt in the sense of not generating the cash to pay its bills since at least 1970. While there is a Bankruptcy Code chapter on municipal bankruptcy, it will never get to that. The answer has always been to go to the state legislature to either form the RTA or to get more tax authority for the RTA. If its operating budget is already $110 million in the red, how is a couple of million more in personal injury settlements going to make any difference? The clear fact is: THE TAXPAYERS PAY! The labor law problems of which you complain will persist so long as Congress and the Illinois General Assembly do not change the labor protective provisions of the federal transit laws and the RTA Act. The United Airlines analogy does not apply to the public sector. As I previously said, cmama is much closer to reality than you ever will be.

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