Providence parents are breathing a sigh of relief as the ridiculous school bus drivers strike after stranding 9-thousand kids a day...that included students with special needs...without transportation for eleven school days. The Teamsters whose drivers were striking to force a private company to put the bus drivers into a union run defined benefit pension which is underfunded by millions of dollars while First Student Bus Company wanted the drivers to be in a 401K. The union's trying to shore up the pension system and needs new contributors but First Student feared it would be a financial disaster to fund guaranteed pensions. This is why almost EVERY business in the private sector has shifted away from them and gone to 401K programs. So what was the "settlement"? A contribution into a defined contribution pension, which any financial adviser will tell you is in effect a 401K. Last Thursday, six school buses at the First student bus yard were damaged by fire causing an estimated half a million dollars in damage. Police are investigating the incident being called "suspicious. My goodness, what a coincidence, huh? Most sitting politicians who I'm sure were steaming over the strike are wary of putting pressure on union, who can either support or hurt their political campaigns, but in this case the subject's moot as the dispute was between private companies.
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