NEW YORK (AP):
More than 8,000 New York City school bus drivers and aides went on strike over job protection yesterday morning, leaving some 152,000 students, many disabled, trying to find other ways to get to school.
Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said the strike began early yesterday morning. About 200 bus drivers and bus matrons, who help kids on and off buses, were assembled on picket lines in Queens.
"The first days will be extremely chaotic," Walcott told 1010 WINS radio. "It hasn't happened in New York City in over 33 years."
Union head Michael Cordiello told a news conference that the drivers will strike until Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city agree to put a job-security clause back into their contract.
"I came to urge the mayor to resolve this strike," said Cordiello, president of Local 1181 of the Amalgamated Transit Union. "It is within his power to do so."
Parents used subways, carpools and other alternatives to get their children to school, hitting slippery roads as sleet turned to rain around the city and temperatures were at or above freezing.