Delays continue on bus strike's third day

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Capital Land,Liz Essley

Arlington Transit warned again of delays Wednesday as the bus drivers’ strike stretched into its third day.

Workers picketed again Wednesday, awaiting “introspective house cleaning” from ART contractor Forsythe Transportation, said union representative Charles Smith.

“The workers want to work, but you can’t begin negotiations that have denied that anything’s wrong. That seems like a non-starter,” he said.

The company’s owner, Bill Forsythe, said 93 percent of his buses were running and that he is training new drivers while the strikers are on suspension.

“Things are settling down a bit in terms of our operation,” he said.

He said a few drivers who had called in sick Monday were now back to work.

Smith said he plans to file a complaint with the Arlington Human Rights Commission Thursday concerning alleged sexual harassment at Forsythe Transportation. He claims the union now has evidence that five women were harassed by management in recent years.

Forsythe denied the allegation.

“I’ve asked Mr. Smith repeatedly: ‘If you have any evidence whatsoever of sexual abuse, please give it to me now.’ We’re committed to investigating immediately and thoroughly,” he said.

Arlington County board member Barbara Favola said she was very disappointed with the situation.

“I want the county to do business with employers that are respectful of their staff,” she said.

She advised the employees to report any alleged abuses to the county.

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