BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Bangor's transit drivers recently elected to join a union, but workers have mixed feelings about whether that decision is the best course of action for transit employees.
Drivers voted twenty one to seven in favor of joining the Amalgamated Transit Union, or ATU. The ATU represents over 100 transit workers in the Portland area, and Bangor's drivers will join their already established Local 714.
Proponents of the union say this move will now give workers a formal platform to raise their concerns with city officials-- But transit workers are still unsure about how being a part of a union will affect them.
Some employees do not feel unionizing is the best course of action.
"For me personally, I think it's frivolous and unnecessary," said Casey Pitchford, a transit driver. "I like to put what I can into my job and my job gives me back what I put into it, so if I put an effort into it, I get rewards for it."
But other employees believe being in a union can bring benefits that were not available to workers before.
"They could help us with maybe healthcare stuff like that," said Sandy Ellis, a transit driver."Right now we are not full time employees so we weren't eligible for the healthcare benefits, but that would be one good thing."
City officials say it is still too early to determine how this union will affect drivers and the Bangor transit system.
The first meeting to formalize the plans is being held next month. After that, union leaders will meet with representatives from the city to discuss union requests.
Assistant City Manager Bob Farrar told us that the city respects the workers' decision to unionize, and that he looks forward to working with the union in the future.