No Bus Cuts Denton

Members of No Bus Cuts Denton, a group advocating for keeping fixed bus routes in Denton, pose for a photo Sunday at the Downtown Denton Transit Center. Shown, from left, are Paula Richardson with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1338; Will, who did not give a last name, with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; James B., who did not give a full last name, with Industrial Workers of the World; Joshua Hatton with the Texas State Employees Union; Sarah Isaacs, a University of North Texas student, and Jim Owen with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1338.

Individual members of 10 different labor organizations are the people behind No Bus Cuts Denton, a local advocacy group formed to oppose the Denton County Transportation Authority’s planned cuts to fixed bus routes.

Denton resident Joshua Hatton, a member of the Texas State Employees Union, said No Bus Cuts Denton was formed back in May along with representatives of other unions. That includes the Amalgamated Transit Union, which represents employees internationally and includes DCTA bus drivers.

Hatton said the campaign grew out of that labor perspective, with DCTA bus drivers facing the cuts coinciding with the authority’s on-demand GoZone program.

“We got together and decided to form a campaign, specifically a solidarity campaign, with the bus drivers and try to prevent the job losses,” Hatton said.

Hatton said No Bus Cuts Denton makes decisions as a committee, though he described himself as the point guard of its team for many purposes. He has spoken at Denton City Council meetings, with the organization’s proposals receiving backing from representatives as far up as the state House level, from Carrollton Democrat Michelle Beckley.

“We work through consensus,” Hatton said. “We don’t have any hierarchy, but also we’re all just really members of these organizations.”

Those members don’t all live in Denton, with some living in other parts of North Texas or different states entirely. A list of every labor organization with members in the No Bus Cuts Denton committee is as follows:

  • Amalgamated Transit Union
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • Texas State Employees Union-Communications Workers of America
  • Industrial Workers of the World
  • United Food and Commercial Workers
  • International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
  • International Union of Operating Engineers
  • National Association of Letter Carriers
  • Texas Faculty Association
  • Texas AFT United

Oklahoma resident Fitz Jennings, a member of United Food and Commercial Workers, said his local chapter operates largely in North Texas. He said his organization has participated in several groups out of the Denton area, and that he joined No Bus Cuts Denton because of the threat to bus driver jobs.

“In the labor movement there’s an oft-quoted saying: An injury to one is an injury to all,” Jennings said. “I’ve been participating in the committee and I’ve been offering advice and support.”

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