Drivers, mechanics and clerical workers for NFT Metro voted down a proposed contract 791 to 4 on Thursday.
After two dozen meetings since the old contract expired on July 31, management and labor are miles apart on wages, dental benefits and medical co-payments, said Vincent G. Crehan, business agent of Local 1342, Amalgamated Transit Union.
He said the 850 members of the local were offered no increase in dental benefits under their old GHI M-2 plan, for which he said only two dentists participate; they too will drop out March 31.
"They want new hires to co-pay 50 percent of any future increases in the cost of medical benefits," Crehan went on.
As for wages, management has offered 3 percent raises for each of the next three years. Crehan said members found this unacceptable because they settled last time for a "cost-neutral contract."